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NFL Bargain Bets: Week 10
November 6th 2008
by Old Man Winner

New England Patriots (-4) vs Buffalo Bills 

I understand that historical trends are sometimes meaningless, but this one is hard to ignore. The New England Patriots have defeated the Buffalo Bills 10 games in a row - regardless of where the games have been played. The last time the Bills beat the Pats was on Sept 7, 2003 when they put a 31-0 whooping on the Pats. However, in their second meeting, later that same year, the Pats returned the favor by trouncing the Bills 31-0. The Pats have not looked back since.

Since Tom Brady went down in week 1, many have predicted that this could be the year a divisional rival could catch the Pats. Most of those folks have predicted it would be the Bills. These prognosticators were looking pretty smart after the Bills started 4-0. However, I didn't hear anyone mention anything about quality of their competition in those first four games. Let me help out there - those teams the Bills beat to start the season - Seattle, Jacksonville, Oakland, and St. Louis currently have a combined record of 9-23. That's the equivalent of how many of the larger college teams start their season - with tune-up games.

Unfortunately for the Bills, when the real competition came along they didn't fair quite as well. In their last four games they are 1-3 against teams with a combined record of 17-15. So, in essence they have showed they can beat the lousy teams, but can't even beat most of the average teams. What is going to happen this week when they play a pretty good team . . . a Super Bowl team . . . on the road?

To be fair, New England has also played a very soft schedule and has been a few notches below stellar. But, I do see some snippets of Belichick bringing this team along. Buffalo will be without DE Aaron Schubel and that lessens the pass rush. I expect this to be a game of attrition with the better coach again proving his team is not quite ready to give up the division crown.

NE by 7

Bargain Bets 2008 Record:  6-2-1

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