Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week 1 AFC East game picks: Pats at Bills

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the divisional bout between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.

Dan's take:
Mike Pettine’s revamped defense will show its colors in the Bills' home opener, but Tom Brady’s Week 1 winning streak continues at the Ralph. Look for Stevan Ridley and the New England running game to be dominant against a defensive line that struggled mightily last year. If Brady can get into a rhythm with his young receiving corps against Buffalo's banged-up secondary, it may not be close.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Bills 17

Nick's take:
The Bills already have too many issues defensively to hold their ground against the Patriots. With Stephon Gilmore out and Jairus Byrd likely sitting, Brady and his new weapons have their way in Orchard Park. C.J. Spiller will be impressive, as usual, but New England turns a few Buffalo three-and-outs into touchdowns and has the game in hand by halftime.
Prediction: Patriots 41, Bills 14

Sean's take:
The Bills certainly believe their arrow is trending upward, but a Week 1 matchup against AFC East juggernaut New England all but guarantees a loss in head coach Doug Marrone's debut. It's business as usual for the Patriots, who batter a weakened Bills secondary and stifle Spiller en route to a big opening-day victory.
Prediction: Patriots 45, Bills 13