Relevant Bills head to New England for AFCE showdown

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass as Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) rushes by the block of offensive tackle Nate Solder (77) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

Merry Christmas, to us!

T’was the day before Christmas, and all through BuffaloLand,

Bills fans were amazed, ‘cause the playoffs were at hand.

Though doubters are present, as the team heads to Mass bay,

Saint Belichick and the Patriots, still stand in the way.

Yes, our present this year, because we’ve been good, is this feeling we have, which we’ve missed for such a long, long, really, really long, long time.

Relevance: a: relation to the matter at hand b: practical and especially social applicability c: being relevant in the NFL playoff picture.

This, is our Merry Christmas to us. The first gift of Christmas, is the gift of relevance.

Coming into this holiday weekend, the Bills were the 6th seeded team in the AFC playoff race, lined up to play the Jacksonville Jaguars – if the playoffs were this weekend. But, they are not, and the Indianapolis Colts didn’t do the Bills any favors.

The Ravens knocked off the Colts 23-16 on Saturday and placed the Bills squarely back “in the hunt”. There are also more games to be played by other teams that will affect the final standings. The Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers stand poised to thwart our Christmas wish.

And –  there is next week too.

But for right now, for this one shining moment, we, the fans of the Buffalo Bills, are remain relevant in the NFL world. Truly a Christmas miracle.

Musings From Around the NFL

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The Tennessee Titans are home against the L.A. Rams…go Rams.

The L.A. Chargers at playing in New York against the Jets…go Jets.

The Oakland Raiders play the Eagles on Christmas night…go Eagles.

And the Miami Dolphins visit the Kansas City Chiefs today…it’s complicated.

Oh, I know you are dying to know, despite losing Ezekiel Elliott for six weeks, and losing Carson Wentz down the stretch, I am in the finals of my fantasy league today. And I get Elliott back, for the championship!

Last Week

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Quality win against the Miami Dolphins.

It’s always nice to beat the Dolphins, but last week’s win was essentially a playoff win. How nice was it to see the offense be a vital part of that win?

It was a game worth celebrating, but as you know, there’s little time for that.

It’s Patriots time.

This Week

(Orchard Park, NY, 12/03/17) New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski (87) jumps on Buffalo Bills’ Tre’Davious White after White intercepted a pass intended for Gronkowski during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at New Era Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on Sunday, December 03, 2017. Staff photo by Christopher Evans.

It’s been awhile since the Bills played a meaningful 15th game of the season against the Patriots. This one could be a doozy.

There are side stories, too. There is the “Gronk” issue. There is the Alex Guerrero distraction. These could help the Bills.

And, as much as we want to remember that these Patriots were beaten two weeks ago by the Miami Dolphins, we need to remember that the same Patriots went into Pittsburgh and beat the #1 AFC seeded team on their home field – no matter how they did it.

So, Merry Christmas to us. This is fun, isn’t it?

I’m going to let the eggnog do the talking today, and why not?

Buffalo 17 – New England 16

Read me next week!

Editor’s babble: Many thanks to Rick Bates for keeping us going throughout this tumultuous football season. You can follow Rick on Twitter @MyHammock. Thanks, Rick. Merry Christmas!

12 Replies to “Relevant Bills head to New England for AFCE showdown”

  1. Merry X’mas……The Best way for the Bills to make the playoffs just win out!!

    Bills (11+) @ Pats
    Wowser, it has come down to week 15 at New England a team the Bills can’t beat if the game has any meaning. Brady 27-3 against the Bills while throwing for 66 TD’s while being coached by the the greatest coach in NFL history… I did have a dream the other night that the Bills went up by 14 early with snow blowing through the air. It woke me from a sound sleep as I realized I was dreaming!!

    What are the Bills chances against the Pats who need this game to clinch home field advantage for the playoffs? I’m sorry I have to say slim to none but “MIRACLES ” have happen in sports…

    Will the Bills defenders make Gronk pay for his brutal assault on White, can the Bills muster a pass rush while containing the run, will we see the good TT today, can OC Dennison keep the Pats D off balance, will the trainer fiasco be a distraction —so many questions!!

    As much as I’m excited I’m also dreading this match-up because my gut tells me the Bills will be out of this by halftime…

    We need Shady to have the game of his life and the D-line to pummel Brady like he hasn’t been pummeled before… What has happened to the Bills pass rush as they only have 24 and they are just a head of the woeful Bucs on percentage of putting pressure on the QB (25% to 21%). Lawson is the leading sacker with 4 and Hughes has a disappointing 3 going into today’s game!!

    Teams have been playing the Pats WR’s tight not giving them a 5+ yard cushion but it has left Gronk One on One… Gronk will get his touches but the Bills can’t let the others beat them…We will see more of ex-bill Gillislee today as Burkhead is out, Gillislee has been a healthy scratch for over a month.

    So much riding on the game and it is hard to have faith that TT can lead the Bills to victory, he needs to be accurate and consistent, the Bills can’t afford to go 3 & out back to back to back to back.

    Bills give it their best but the odds are and history dictate otherwise.

    Pats 31 Bills 16

    Go Bills!!!

  2. Merry Christmas everyone! It would be great for the Bills to give all of us a nice Christmas gift today by beating the Patriots in Foxboro. Unfortunately, I echo Goose’s sentiments and feel the Bills chances of a win today are slim to none. In the second divisional matchup, the Patriots have done significantly better against the Bills during the Brady/Belichek era. It would be nice to see the defense step up after Gronk’s vicious/illegal hit, but I don’t see the offense doing enough to win, especially with Taylor as the starter (offense only had three points last game). Pats 30, Bills 10.

  3. Can the NFL ever not give the Pats the BS call? Ever? If there’s a BS reason to overturn anything for tgbe Pats, the NFL is going to give it to them. BULLSH*T. If anything, that was a TD. At worst, it wasn’t enough to overturn. Sick of rigged BS in favor of the effin Pats.

  4. Merry X’mas !!

    It was the typical Bills/Pats game–close for a half and then boom.

    Anyone see the Gronk interview when he talks about his hometown team passing on him 2x in the draft—Oh Boy!!

  5. Taylor’s play frustrates me. He rarely throws the ball away to avoid taking a sack. On multiple occasions yesterday, he had the opportunity to throw it away, but instead, ran around and got sacked. Two occasions come to mind, on first down, Taylor takes a 15 yard sack and it becomes 2nd and 25 (the Tolbert play was next). 3rd and long, Taylor holds onto the ball instead of throwing it away and fumbles the ball when hit (luckily recovered by the Bills). Just add this to more reasons why the Bills need a real franchise QB.

    It sucks the Bills had to play the Patriots and the refs yesterday. Patriots now have 29 scoring drives on the season in which a penalty has given them an extra first down. Leads the NFL. Coincidence?

    We still have at least one more week of meaningful football. The Bills/Dolphins game has been flexed to 4:25, along with all the other AFC Wild Card hopefuls.

    Enough of football for today. Hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas!

  6. Good morning..

    Steve that is one hell of a stat, they must be leading the league with TD’s not allowed when the receiver crosses the goal-line….

  7. tyrod’s play is very frustrating – “if we only had a quarterback”…..
    in addition to the holding on to the ball too long, it seems like for every good pass play he completes there is at least one (or two) where he misses so badly on critical plays you just cringe and get pissed off i cannot wait until this team gets a genuine starting quarterback.

  8. Good morning

    TT’s days in Buffalo are over, he is what he is an average QB that has peaked. He will have a long career in the NFL as a good back-up as long as his legs hold up. If he can’t scramble and run he will be through..

    Will the Bills fans be patient with a young QB leading the team as he goes through growing pains? It will be difficult for the Bills to repeat this years success with a rookie QB or a 2nd year QB such as Peterman. They may bring in an older QB to mentor but they haven’t had much luck with that in the recent past.

  9. patient as long as the guy flashes some potential. i’m watching mitchell trubisky after 11 games and it seems he has the potential to be a star- lightning quick release, good accuracy and a command of the offense- leads the team kind of like a low key phil rivers. seems like an aaron rogers in the making. if i were a bears fan i would be very happy with their position going into next year despite the losing record now.
    year (2) seems to be a popular year for the younger QBs to start making a run- carson wentz, marcus mariota, jared goff.
    get a guy that shows promise and yeah, i’ll be very happy and patient (for another year at least).

    • Agreed. As long as the QB shows potential and makes continuous improvement. TT is not the guy and it’s time to move on from him. TT is a likable guy and he has a lot of good qualities, but the bad outweigh the good with him.

      Hopefully the Bills will be able to get that 17 year monkey off of their backs this Sunday. If not, then the Bills have really screwed up their spot in the draft.