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Patriots vs. Bills: Predicting the Score

The New England Patriots face off against the Buffalo Bills in their season opener at 1:00 PM ET tomorrow. Read on for predictions from the Pats Pulpit staff.


The New England Patriots face off against the Buffalo Bills in their season opener at 1:00 PM ET tomorrow. Here are the predictions for how the game will turn out from the Pats Pulpit staff:

Richard Hill: 31-17, Patriots

The Bills will be without their top two players on defense (Gilmore and Byrd) and will be exposed behind their defensive line. The Patriots defense only has to focus on Spiller. Game over.

Adam Fox: 27-14, Patriots

Spiller is a huge focal point of the attack as Marrone attempts to prevent the game from resting entirely on EJ Manuel's shoulders, and the Patriots--after some difficulty breaking in the new targets--take advantage of a weakened Buffalo secondary. The Patriots are content to lean on their running game after going up by a couple scores to run out the clock.

Alec Shane: 24-17, Patriots

This isn't going to be the blowout everyone thinks it is. While rookie QB EJ Manuel will struggle, so will New England's young stable of receivers as they try to fight their first-game jitters. Ultimately, a big turnover on defense and a strong outing from Stevan Ridley lead the Patriots to victory.

Aashish Sharma: 31-14, Patriots

It's safe to say Tom Brady enjoys playing the Bills. He has dominated the franchise, owning a 20-2 record with a 103.0 career passer rating in his career against Buffalo. New England's defense on the other hand, won't have to worry much about Stevie Johnson. With rookie quarterback EJ Manuel starting his first professional game, the bulk of the offense should fall on the shoulders of runningback CJ Spiller.

Greg Knopping: 34-23, Patriots

The Patriots will come into this game on defense with a single mentality: stop C.J. Spiller. The Patriots do have one of the league's best run defenses, and I think they will succeed in slowing Spiller down to some extent. My biggest worry for the defense is actually rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. Manuel won't be asked to do too much in his reads, and his ability to throw from outside the pocket could give the Patriots fits. That being said, with two key players out in the secondary in Stephon Gilmore and Jarius Byrd, I believe the Patriots offense will put up too many points for the Bills to steal a win.

Randy Booth: 24-10, Patriots

The Patriots' running game will have a nice day, while Tom Brady and his rookie receivers will put on just enough of a good show to convince you they can do this for real. The Bills' offense will struggle under its rookie quarterback, but they will show some glimpses of a bright future, too. But, in the end, it's a Patriots win once again in Buffalo.

Kevin O'Connor: 42-17, Patriots

Let's be real, with both Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd out for the Buffalo Bills, I highly doubt they'll be able to stop Tom Brady and the passing attack. Brady will get his chance to show how great this offense can be, even without star tight end Rob Gronkowski. With rookie quarterback EJ Manuel at the helm for the Bills, I expect the new and improved defense to mix-and-match defensive fronts, confusing him and forcing multiple turnovers.

Brian Galliford, Buffalo Rumblings: 31-23, Patriots

At the very least, this game promises to feature a lot of interesting wrinkles as fans begin to get a feel for what these new Bills are all about. Expect a much closer game than what most are expecting, but New England likely has too much established star power - which trumps Buffalo's youth - for the Bills to start the Marrone and Manuel era off on the right foot