Inside The Bills

Report: Garoppolo still has pain in shoulder

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2016 – 11:30 am

Reports out of New England have been mixed on the health of Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s injured throwing shoulder. Both he and Jacoby Brissett were at practice Tuesday as New England got a day head start coming off their Thursday night game last week. But according to Comcast Sports Network’s Mike Giardi, Garoppolo is still experiencing pain in his throwing shoulder.

The report certainly indicates that Garoppolo is not yet 100 percent. As for Brissett, though he had tape on his injured thumb and wrist, said he was in “tip top” shape.

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As seen above ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that one of the QBs should be available for Sunday’s game against the Bills.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Brissett & Garoppolo at practice Tuesday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2016 – 2:58 pm

According to the New England Sports Network, the Patriots two injured quarterbacks were both at practice on Tuesday.

The report said that both Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett were at practice. Coming off a Thursday night game the Patriots are getting a one day head start on their practice week. Garoppolo, who is dealing with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder and Brissett, who sustained a thumb injury starting in place of Garoppolo last week, both were on the practice field.

Brissett had his injured thumb wrapped in tape as well as his wrist according to NESN. It said that Garoppolo was also on the practice field, but during the media viewing portion of practice neither quarterback attempted a pass.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported that when seen in the locker room that Garoppolo did not have his injured shoulder in a sling of any kind.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said the Bills probably won’t know who is starting at QB for the Patriots until kickoff.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pats add DL John Hughes

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2016 – 1:50 pm

The Patriots made an addition to their defensive line this week. New England signed veteran DL John Hughes.

Hughes, 27, originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (87th overall) of the Cleveland Browns out of Cincinnati in the 2012 NFL Draft. He played in the 2016 season opener for Cleveland in a reserve role before being released on Sept. 20. The 6-foot-2, 320-pounder, has played in 53 NFL games with 10 starts and has 123 total tackles, 5½ sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

In addition, the Patriots announced that they have signed WR Da’Ron Brown to the practice squad. Brown, 25, originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (233rd overall) of the Kansas City Chiefs out of Northern Illinois in the 2015 NFL Draft. The 6-foot, 199-pounder, spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. He was released by Kansas City on Sept. 3, 2016.


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Belichick talking up Bills run game

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2016 – 8:45 am

He probably would’ve spoken highly of Buffalo’s run game anyway, but in the wake of their 208-yard rushing day in Sunday’s win over Arizona, Bill Belichick was quick to explain how challenging the Bills rushing attack is with LeSean McCoy and multi-dimensional QB in Tyrod Taylor.

“Their running game definitely gives you a lot of problems, and in addition to (Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy) the overall scheme that they employ is challenging as well,” said Belichick. “Read options schemes, zone schemes and then some blocking scheme plays, double team pullers, combination blocks. They have all that. I also thought that Gillislee gave them some good strong runs in short yardage and red area situations as well. Obviously McCoy is as good as it gets. The production that he’s had is outstanding. He’s a very difficult guy to handle. They give you a lot of different problems between not only the different players, but the different schemes that they employ.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brady denied appeal, Deflategate suspension upheld

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2016 – 11:14 am

Tom Brady’s appeal for an en banc hearing by the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has been denied. The ruling by the Second Circuit’s 13 judges came down this morning. It all but ensures that Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016 season.

That includes New England’s Week 4 home game against the Bills, meaning that backup QB Jimmy Garappolo will be the anticipated starter against Buffalo, one of two division games during the course of Brady’s league imposed four-game Deflategate suspension (Miami is the other in Week 2).

His appeal to the Second Circuit was a long shot at best. According to the Boston Globe between 2000-2010 the Second Circuit has granted an en banc appeal to just eight of more than 27,000 cases over that 10-year span.

Brady can still petition the Supreme Court to hear his case and potentially overturn the Second Circuit panel’s 2-1 decision against him, but it’s considered ill advised by legal experts in light of the Second Circuit’s denial.

The NFL Players Association released a statement shortly after the 2nd Circuit denial and stated that they will review all of their options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case (considered highly unlikely), according to the USA Today, Brady and the union could seek a stay that would allow him to play while the proceedings play out in court — a process that could take up to a couple of years.

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show, was hopeful that Buffalo could dethrone New England at the top of the AFC East this season.

“I hope we unseat that guy named Tom Brady sooner than later because I’ll tell you what, enough’s enough,” he said with a laugh. “You’ve already broken the records. You’re already the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. But I respect him. I like Tom, he’s a good friend of mine, but it’s time to change.”

Right now it appears that the Deflategate suspension will help in that regard.

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Brady rehearing ask impacts Bills Wk 4 game

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 1:10 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady, through the NFLPA, is expected to file a petition today for a rehearing of his league-imposed four-game suspension or his role in the Deflategate scandal. Brady is going to be asking for a rehearing en banc, which means he’s asking for the entire panel of all the active judges of the Second Circuit to rehear the case, instead of just a three-judge panel, as was the case in the original hearing, which ruled against Brady 2-1.

There will be no timetable for the Second Circuit to decide whether to rehear the case. If they accept the petition and agree to rehear the case it would put an automatic stay on the NFL’s four-game suspension of Brady and that means he would almost certainly face the Bills in Week 4 at Foxborough. Rehearings take months so it would buy Brady more than enough time to play the 2016 season.

It should be noted that rehearings of such decisions are extremely rare.

If the rehearing petition is denied the four-game suspension would remain in place for the start of the regular season. At that point Brady’s only hope would be an appeal to the Supreme Court and ask for a stay of the Second Circuit decision. It’s considered a long shot for a stay to be granted by the highest court in the land.

Monday was the deadline for Brady to submit the petition.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

U.S. Appeals court reinstates Brady suspension

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2016 – 11:53 am

Per multiple reports a U.S. Appeals court has reinstated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for his alleged role in Deflate-gate. The ruling is not exactly a surprise as the court appeared to be leaning in favor of the league based on lines of questioning during initial proceedings.

The suspension was originally to be served by Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season for his alleged role in Deflate-gate when the majority of New England footballs used in the AFC title game against Indianapolis in January of 2015 were below the required air pressure under the rules of the game.

At this point if the suspension is in fact served in full starting with the first week of the season, the Bills would presumably not face Brady since Buffalo and New England square off in Week 4 this fall.

Most legal analysts believe this is the end of the road in the way of appeals for Brady to challenge the rulings in this case.


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Watkins: We’ve got to do more on offense

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 12:39 pm

The 20-13 final said enough for the men on Buffalo’s offense. On a day where their defense was really frustrating the Patriots offense, the Bills offensive unit had to do more when it came to finishing drives. That’s why Sammy Watkins had nothing but praise for his defensive teammates after the game.

“The defense played great. I know they got a little miscue with big plays and things like that, but to hold those guys to 20 points, they did great,” Watkins said. “That’s why it’s all on the offense. We’ve got to score points. You can’t ask for a better defensive stand and better defensive plays. We’ve got to score on offense and that’s on any team, the offense has to put up points.”

Buffalo’s offense did move the ball on New England with four of their 13 possessions covering 50 or more yards, but only one of those four drives resulted in a touchdown. When asked what’s keeping them from finding the end zone more often, Watkins chalked it up to details.

“It’s just little things. Little situations. Little first downs, catch the ball get the first down,” he said. “Catch the ball and go out of bounds. There are little things we’ve got to clean up. We’re not far off. There are little situations we’re in and we’ve got to focus a little bit more on both sides of the ball.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gronk gives Bills ‘D’ credit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 12:29 pm

They held the Patriots to more than 17 points below their scoring average (37.3) on their home field. They held Tom Brady to a 51 percent completion percentage, his lowest since his first half of work against the Bills in the season finale in 2014. And he had his lowest passer rating (72.3) since that 2014 season finale as well. In the process they held Rob Gronkowski to just two receptions for 37 yards despite being targeted twice. It left Gronk respecting Buffalo’s ‘D’ postgame.

“They’re a good team. You got to give credit to them. They’ve got a good defense,” said Gronkowski. “They’ve got a lot of good players out there and you got to give them credit. They did a lot of things right – tough, physical and ready to play. The thing is, we just came in here and got the win and wins are always big.”

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell felt the same way about Buffalo’s stifling defense.

“They [the Bills] played a really good game on defense,” he said. “We couldn’t convert on third downs, they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They were just sending more guys than we could handle. They played lights out on third down; I think we converted like three-out-of-12 third downs [4-for-14 on 3rd downs]. We could never stay out on the field and get into a rhythm and I get into some up-tempo plays because they kept stopping us,”

Gronk is right. The win was the most important thing, but the Patriots aren’t laughing at the Bills anymore like they did in the days of Donte Whitner. They can see they’re closing the gap.


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Head of officiating explains inadvertent whistle

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2015 – 1:09 am

The NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino provided an explanation for the officiating crew’s inadvertent whistle in the Bills-Patriots game Monday night.

Here was his explanation.

 

On the inadvertent whistle:

“The line judge lost track of the football and he blew his whistle inadvertently. That’s a mistake and we shouldn’t have blown the whistle. So by rule they are going to look as to where was the football when the whistle was blown and they determined that Amendola had the football when the whistle was blown. So then the team with possession gets an option: they can either take the ball at that spot or they can replay the down. So New England decided to take the ball at the spot which was more beneficial to them. And then there was a penalty on the play called against coach Ryan so that penalty by rule is also enforced from the spot where the whistle blew. So that’s how they came to that decision.”

On if he was confused as to why the whistle was blown:

“Sure. You’re always wondering when – again just by definition an inadvertent whistle is a whistle that shouldn’t have been blown – so you’re wondering why. It has happened before. This isn’t the first time an official loses track of where the football is and thinks that the play is over and blows his whistle. We do want our officials to blow their whistle when the play is over. So you’re wondering why that happened. But then once it did happen, the crew I thought did a good job of handling where they were going to put the football because again both teams are affected by the whistle blowing. Both teams stop and so we can’t assume what would have happened. So we gave the ball to the Patriots at the spot of the catch and then enforced the penalty from there.”

 


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Moment of silence for Bills-Pats pre-game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 5:45 pm

Prior to the Monday night game between the Bills and Patriots there will be a special moment of silence observed. Here are the details.

Before the national anthem is sung there will be a moment of silence observed for 18-year old Ezra Schwartz, a Sharon, Massachusetts native who was killed on Thursday in the West Bank. Schwartz was not military, but was delivering food to soldiers. Here is more on his story.


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Brady not thrilled Bills CBs playing so well

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 12:10 pm

The Buffalo Bills two starting cornerbacks, Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore have probably been the two most consistent players on defense this season. One opponent who is noticing is Patriots QB Tom Brady.

“Yeah, they definitely have good matchups out there, so I think they have a lot of confidence in them,” said Brady in reference to Darby and Gilmore. “And those players have done a great job when the coach has asked them, ‘Alright, you’ve got this guy, and you’re going to match him and shadow him.’ They definitely do a good job of that.

“It was a little disappointing to see from my study that they were playing as well as they were, but that’s part of it. You’re going to go against good players. And they’ve got good players, so we’ve got to still kind of figure out how to move the ball down the field.”

Even though Brady did throw for a season-high 466 yards in a Week 2 win over the Bills, he had the fourth-lowest completion percentage in a game this season (64.4%) and the third lowest yards per attempt (7.9) as the approach was for Brady to get the ball out fast to neutralize Buffalo’s pass rush.

Brady currently leads the league in pass release time at an average of just 2.13 seconds.


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Patriots body double for Tyrod Taylor

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2015 – 2:45 pm

The New England Patriots, like every other team in the NFL have a scout team designed to give their starting defense as realistic a look as possible to prepare for Buffalo’s offense on Monday night. Finding someone who can emulate Tyrod Taylor is not easy, but the Patriots feel they’ve got a suitable body double.

New England made use of backup QB Jimmy Garappolo on the scout team to serve as their Tyrod Taylor in practice.

“Jimmy is a good athlete,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “We’ve had several quarterbacks like that this year that we’ve played against that have run well – [Blake] Bortles and obviously Taylor and you can go right down the line. So when those situations come up, teams that run those kinds of plays, bootlegs or quarterback keeps or even just loose scramble plays, he gives us a great look on those.

“And throwing the ball, too, some of it is running around, sometimes we’ve done things like put a receiver back there to run around, which is good for the defensive line or the pass rush to see a player that has that kind of quickness. Like when we played against [Doug] Flutie or somebody like that, I can remember putting whoever our quickest player was back there to run around to simulate the pass rush and how hard it was to contain him, but then you couldn’t throw the ball. You didn’t get the look down the field or the defensive backs would see a receiver in the game at quarterback, and again that was good for the line, but the guy couldn’t throw the ball 20 yards downfield.

“But with Jimmy, it’s obviously a different story, so he’s given us a great look on the passing part of it but also the running part of it. And again, those players are smart. They run when they can run. They don’t run when there’s nowhere to run. If there’s nowhere to run, they’ll throw. But if you give them a spot to run, unless they have a great passing opportunity, they’ll take advantage of it.”

Belichick and his defense successfully closed down potential running lanes for Taylor in the first meeting. Hemmed in the pocket a good portion of the time, Taylor was sacked a season-high eight times in the first matchup with New England.

“I think that’s really the key for us, if we have the player contained he’s probably not going to try to run too much,” Belichick said. “If we don’t, then we’re vulnerable and he’s going to get us. It’s having the guy who can make that right decision and really give you that realistic look of, we don’t really have it and he hurts us with it, whereas sometimes you’re coaching on the film in practice and you’re saying, ‘Well if we were playing against this guy and this happened, this is what he’s going to do.’ But we can’t really do that so the players never really get that. They hear it, but they don’t really experience it. But Jimmy has done a good job of that. He’s moved and he’s very athletic. He’s fast and he’s got very good quickness, and he can obviously throw the ball so it brings all those elements into it.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-20

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 12:49 pm

The Bills are trying to pull off an impressive trifecta in their gauntlet run through the division, and the hardest hurdle to clear is next with the Patriots in Foxboro Monday night. They’re 2-0 so far. We’ll see what Monday night holds. Here are your latest edition of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

any chance they let robert woods do something besides block this week?

Snowbird_Killer

CB: I know Woods hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities to make plays in the passing game lately. Part of the reason is the reduction in pass attempts the last few weeks. Tyrod Taylor has averaged just over 18 pass attempts a game in his last three appearances. It’s not like they haven’t made an effort to get Woods the ball. His eight targets in the last two games are second only to Sammy Watkins. Charles Clay and LeSean McCoy are the only other players who have been passing targets the last two games.

So while Woods hasn’t been able to make a giant impact in the passing game, when the Bills do go to the air he is a part of the plan. The passing game has just taken a back seat to the run game of late.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

biggest matchup advantage the Bills have this week?

BenCiraolo27

CB: I really like Charles Clay in this game. Patrick Chung is a box safety and Devin McCourty is average at best in coverage. I believe Clay could have a day against the Patriots in the passing game and serve as a valuable underneath and seam target for Tyrod Taylor.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

the last few games, Bills have put a healthy DT on the inactive list, do you expect that to change against Blount?

lophus89

CB: I don’t know that LeGarrette Blount’s presence on the opponent’s roster necessarily demands that another defensive tackle be active Monday night. The Jets’ Chris Ivory runs every bit as tough as Blount, and in my opinion runs with more power and Buffalo had a DT inactive last Thursday night.

The inactive list is put together with a lot of factors in mind. Injuries, game plan, matchups, etc. So I understand why you might expect with a big back that more DTs would be active, but knowing that Carrington and Mario can play end or tackle you have enough versatility in your defensive linemen that all of them do not need to be active on game day provided everyone is healthy.

 

4 – Chris;
I would be interested on your thoughts for handling Gronk ?
My thoughts are assigning someone to shadow him every play, a player who is big enough and tough enough to match him physically . My thoughts, Hughes or Lawson on D, maybe Gregg or Gray who know TE plays ??
We need to think outside the box on him.

Jim in Florida


CB:
I had a new idea about how to handle Gronk that came to me this week. Unfortunately with Leodis McKelvin’s status up in the air I’m not sure it will work. In any case, with Julian Edelman out of the lineup Buffalo can afford to deploy their defensive backs differently.

Let’s assume for now that Leodis McKelvin is available to play. If that’s the case I would put McKelvin outside opposite Ronald Darby, leave Nickell Robey in the slot and put Stephon Gilmore on Rob Gronkowski.

He’s the most physical defensive back on the team. He can clearly run with Gronk and has the physical skill set and size to defend passes against him. Without game-breaking threats elsewhere you can afford to put your top corner on Gronk in my opinion. You’ve got nothing to lose as I see it.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will EJ be the backup QB on Monday or not dress? #Bills

BuffaloWingWear

CB: Rex Ryan said that EJ Manuel is his backup for the rest of the season and that last Thursday night was a special circumstance in making Josh Johnson the backup QB and making Manuel one of the team’s seven inactive players.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod glad he has 2nd crack at Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2015 – 9:04 am

Tyrod Taylor was anything but happy with his performance against New England back in Week 2. Though he threw three touchdown passes to help Buffalo climb back into the game, he also threw three interceptions and was sacked eight times. That’s why he’s aiming to redeem himself with a productive and consistent performance Monday night in Foxborough.

“Every time you go out there and perform I definitely take it personally,” said Taylor. “Whether it’s a good performance or a bad performance.  Every time you get a chance to go out there and prove yourself, those bad performances are in your head. You definitely want to go out there and show people what you can do and who you are. I look forward to that every time I step on the football field.”

Taylor stressed that he won’t be trying to do anything that’s outside the scope of the game plan unless he’s forced to improvise.


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Watkins: No margin for error with Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2015 – 8:38 am

The Bills learned the hard way back in Week 2 that if you commit unforced errors when playing the Patriots they will inevitably make you pay for it. That lesson is serving them well this week in their preparation for the rematch with New England on Monday night. Sammy Watkins and company know all too well that they have to have a virtually air tight performance if they want to have a legitimate chance to win the game.

“Going against the New England Patriots you got to really watch a lot of film on those guys,” Watkins said. “Those guys are so good at what they do, you got to really know what you are doing. Nobody can mess up, everybody on the field, got to be on the right page, all 11 guys got to be prepared. You got to eliminate all the mistakes, and go out there and play fast and play hard because they are going to do the same thing.”

 


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Pats sign WR Harper

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2015 – 6:47 pm

The Patriots added a receiver to their 53-man roster Tuesday in the wake of the injury to Julian Edelman. 

The Patriots signed rookie WR Chris Harper from the practice squad. Harper, 21, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Cal and he made the 53-man roster out of training camp. 

The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder, played in the season opener vs. Pittsburgh as a reserve wide receiver, but did not record any statistics. He was released by the Patriots on Sept. 15, and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 17.

To make room for Harper on the roster the Patriots released OL Chris Barker.


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Report: Surgery for Pats WR Edelman

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2015 – 9:27 am

The injury sustained by New England WR Julian Edelman in the first quarter of the Patriots win over the Giants Sunday night will apparently require surgery.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Edelman, who reportedly broke a bone in his left foot, will have surgery today (Monday).

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Edelman is not expected to be available for the Patriots Week 11 matchup with the Bills in Foxborough on Monday night. Danny Amendola is expected to assume Edelman’s primary slot receiver role in the New England offense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Edelman sustains broken foot

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2015 – 10:01 pm

The Patriots remained undefeated Sunday, but not without a key injury. Leading receiver Julian Edelman suffered a broken foot in the first quarter and did not return. He’s out indefinitely so his chances of playing next Monday night against the Bills appears unlikely.

New England also lost RB Dion Lewis for the rest of the season two weeks ago to a torn ACL. On Sunday they also played without three of their offensive linemen. No word yet on what the status of Marcus Cannon, Tre Jackson and Sebastian Vollmer, who were all inactive against the Giants.

It’s expected that Danny Amendola will fill Edelman’s role in the slot as he did for much of the remainder of the Giants game.

Here’s a look at how Edelman breaks foot vs. Giants


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Patriots lose RB Dion Lewis for the year

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2015 – 1:58 pm

An injury to a key player is beginning to affect other AFC East teams besides the Bills. According to multiple reports the New England Patriots lost their most dynamic rusher in Dion Lewis, who sustained a torn ACL in the Patriots win Sunday over Washington.

Lewis is also third on the team in receptions and receiving yards behind Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. James White is expected to pick up the slack with Brandon Bolden behind power back LeGarrette Blount.

Buffalo faces the Patriots in New England on Monday Night Football in Week 11. Lewis had 91 total yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the Patriots first meeting with the Bills in Week 2.

 


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