It's hard to believe that the 2011 NFL regular season is down to its last game, but this Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills travel to Foxboro to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The Bills sit at the bottom of the AFC East yet again with a 5-9 record, while the Patriots have already clinched a playoff berth and are looking to secure home-field advantage with their 12-3 record.
The Bills have a tough challenge, as they look to stop one of the most potent, high-octane offenses in the league. Brady is on pace to break Dan Marino's 1984 passing record, as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees did a week ago.
With 4,897 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, he surely has a chance to match Brees this weekend against a depleted Buffalo secondary. However, Jairus Byrd, the Bills' ball-hawking safety who returned two interceptions for touchdowns last week, will surely be looking to snag a pass away from Brady.
Buffalo needs to take away Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, the National Football League's leader in yards and receptions, as the little guy has caught 116 balls for 1,518 yards, finding the end zone nine times. Welker will likely be lined up with rookie Bills cornerback Aaron Williams.
Williams, who has 24 tackles, five pass deflections and an interception on the year, has been very inconsistent and will have a tough time keeping up with the speedy go-to man on the Patriots.
Not only do the Bills need to key in on Welker, but they need to take away their two tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who have accounted for 154 catches for 1,991 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year.
Strong safety George Wilson and the rotation of outside linebackers will really need to stay tough in their coverage of them, as both have the strength, size and quickness to win their matchups with opposing defenders.
On offense, the Bills need to expose the Patriots' league-worst passing offense that allows an average of 294.7 yards per game through the air, utilizing Stevie Johnson and David Nelson.
Running back C.J. Spiller has continued to be effective out of the backfield, and making sure Ryan Fitzpatrick & Co. can stay on the field longer than the Patriots could mean a victory for the Buffalo Bills.
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