slides: What to Watch For: Bills vs. Patriots

Sunday, October 02, 2016

 

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Rob Gronkowski is questionable to play on Sunday.

The New England Patriots (3-0) host AFC East rival (1-2) Buffalo on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. 

Since 2001, the Patriots have won 27 of 30 games against Buffalo, with their last loss coming in December of 2014. 

The caveat to that game is that it was meaningless for the Patriots, as they had clinched everything and rested the majority of their regulars. 

The Patriots are 69-42-1 all-time against Buffalo. 

See What to Watch for in the Slideshow Below 

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Things to Watch For: Bills vs. Patriots

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Catching a Break

The Patriots catch a big break on Sunday as the Buffalo Bills announced that receiver, Sammy Watkins is officially out with a foot injury. 

Receiver, Greg Salas, is also out of the game with a hamstring injury. 

This means that former USC star, Robert Woods, will be Buffalo's top receiver and will attract all the attention of the Patriots secondary. 

On the year, Woods has 11 catches for 81 yards, an average of 7.4 yards per catch. 

 

PHOTO: Wikipedia 

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Rob Gronkowski

Tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has been listed as questionable to play in Sunday's game against Buffalo, according to the Patriots Friday injury report. 

 Gronkowski played 14 snaps and was only targeted once in his first game back from a hamstring injury last week against Houston.

"Whenever you're coming back from an injury, you're not all of a sudden at 100 percent or full-go, so just kind of taking it one day at a time and easing myself into the progression of playing football and doing everything out there," said Gronkowski during his press conference earlier this week.   

 

NOTE: It should be pointed out that the "probable" status for injury reports was eliminated prior to the season. Players are now either playing, questionable, doubtful or out. 

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3rd Down

The Patriots should be able to have success on third down both offensively and defensively, because the Buffalo Bills are one of the worst teams in the league on third down. 

Offensively, Buffalo is last in the league at converting third downs, going three and out ten times, and having six other possessions where they have managed just one first down. 

With Watkins and Salas both out, Buffalo's third down chances appear to take another hit. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Buffalo has had 13 possessions where they have allowed the opposing offense to get at least three first downs. 

 

PHOTO: Tyler_r/flickr

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LeGarrette Blount

The reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Month leads the entire NFL with 298 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 75 carries to this point in the season. 

This week Blount and the running backs should see more of a challenge.

The Buffalo defense is ranked as the 15th best run defense in the league, giving up an average of 98 yards per game. 

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Garoppolo or Brissett

Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett? One of them will be playing quarterback for the Patriots on Sunday, but it is unclear who. 

The latest is that both Garoppolo and Brissett have been listed as questionable on the Patriots Friday injury report. 

At Friday practice, according to CSNNE, Garoppolo was practicing taking a snap from under center but with no football. He was not seen throwing during the media portion of practice. 

Jacoby Brissett was seen lightly tossing the ball around while jogging at Friday's practice. 

Earlier in the week, both quarterbacks were throwing the ball up to 30 yards down the field. 

 

NOTE: It should be pointed out that the "probable" status for injury reports was eliminated prior to the season. Players are now either playing, questionable, doubtful or out. 

 
 

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