Buffalo (6-6) at New England (7-5)

Fair Currently: Foxborough, MA
Temp: 26° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Dec 8, 2002
  • TV: CBS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS (TICKER) Drew Bledsoe used to be the most popular player on the New England Patriots. On Sunday, he returns as the enemy with the Buffalo Bills.

The top overall pick by the Patriots in 1993, Bledsoe spent his first nine seasons in New England, leading the team to one Super Bowl.

But things ended on a sour note for Bledsoe, who suffered internal injuries in Week Two last season against the New York Jets. Coach Bill Belichick never gave Bledsoe his job when healthy and Tom Brady captured Super Bowl MVP honors after leading the Patriots to their first NFL championship.

Belichick had no choice but to trade Bledsoe after Brady’s heroics, but dealing him within the division to Buffalo was somewhat surprising. Bills general manager Tom Donahoe sent New England a 2003 first-round pick for Bledsoe, a price no other team was willing to pay.

After the trade, Bledsoe took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe, thanking fans in New England for their support over the years.

Bledsoe lost his first encounter with his old team earlier this season, again getting outshined by Brady in a 38-7 defeat.

Brady completed 23-of-27 passes for 310 yards and matched a career high with four touchdown passes, including a pair to running back Antowain Smith.

Bledsoe threw for 302 yards but engineered just one scoring drive, hitting Peerless Price for a one-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left in the first half. However, the Patriots exposed Bledsoe’s lack of mobility, sacking him four times.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Bledsoe comes to New England with a chance to further tighten the AFC East race.

Miami and New England share the divisional lead, but only a game ahead of Buffalo and the New York Jets.

Last week, Bledsoe continued his MVP-like season, throwing for 306 yards and three TDs in a 38-21 victory over Miami. He has passed for 3,514 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

New England completed a stretch of five games in a 25-day span on Thanksgiving with a methodical 20-12 victory at Detroit. The Patriots intercepted rookie Joey Harrington three times and got a 27-yard return by linebacker Tedy Bruschi for a score.

The Patriots may be the favorites to win a second straight divisional title, playing three of their final four games at home.

New England has taken the last four meetings between the teams and leads the series, 45-39-1.

Updated Sunday, Dec 8, 2002

Team Comparison

Team Records Standings PF PA Road/Home AFC NFC DIV Streak
Buffalo 8-8-0 4th AFC East 379 397 3-5-0 Road 5-7-0 3-1-0 2-4-0 Won 1
New England 9-7-0 3rd AFC East 381 346 5-3-0 Home 6-6-0 3-1-0 4-2-0 Won 1

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Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards

Scoreboard

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