It's doubtful the Buffalo Bills will get lucky in their regular-season finale by facing an Indianapolis Colts team that is resting its key starters.
The Colts (12-2) should be in the running with Jacksonville (13-1) for home-field advantage the final weekend.
Indy faces Cleveland and Buffalo the next two weeks. Jacksonville faces Tennessee and Cincinnati.
The Colts and Jaguars did not meet this season. If they finish with the same record, the tie will be broken by net points in conference games.
Jacksonville currently leads Indy by 42 in that category. But since the Colts play the 2-13 Browns Sunday, they could make up a big portion of the points deficit.
It's in the Colts' best interest to run up the score. With home field on the line, the Colts won't be resting Edgerrin James or Peyton Manning against the Bills, unless, of course, they lose to the Browns.
Tackle Robert Hicks and running back Antowain Smith both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game at New England.
Both worked out on a limited basis in Wednesday's practice in the fieldhouse. Hicks was noticeably favoring his sprained right ankle. Jonathan Linton, rather than Smith, took the snaps at running back with the first unit.
The Patriots will be without star cornerback Ty Law, who has a broken hand. The other starting corner, Steve Israel, missed last week's game with a sore ankle. But he's probable this week. The Pats also are without running back Kevin Faulk, who's out for the year with an ankle injury.
It was a year ago that officiating errors in the Bills' game at New England helped prompt the institution of instant replay. Both Wade Phillips and Pete Carroll said the current system is better than no replay at all.
"I think it's helped some and that's good," Phillips said. "It's awfully hard on coaches because we don't have the information. We're relying on guys (assistant coaches) in the box (watching the replay). But there have been some calls that have been overturned, and if that's the case then I think it's been good."
"Last week they had me challenge a play that I never pushed the button on," Carroll said. "I couldn't convince the guys on the field that I hadn't challenged. So there still are some problems with it.
"But overall it's a good tool for us," Carroll said. "It certainly does right some wrongs. You just have to get over the fact the game gets stopped. That's the part I've never liked."
Andre Reed is listed as questionable for Sunday with sore ribs. Reed needs four catches to tie Art Monk and move into second place on the all-time catches list with 940. He needs 18 receiving yards to pass Steve Largent and move into fourth place all time.
The Patriots rank 26th in the NFL in rushing yards. They still are suffering from the loss of running back Robert Edwards, their No. 1 draft pick in '98 who suffered a severe knee injury in a sand football game in Hawaii last February.
It's questionable whether Edwards will ever play again.
"It's very iffy," Carroll said. "He ran a 4.9 (40-yard dash) the other day. His speed is coming back. But I don't know that it ever come all the way back. . . . He may need another year (of rehabilitation)."
With Antoine Winfield moving up to starting cornerback, the Bills have to pick a new "gunner" to line up wide and cover punts. Daryl Porter is one gunner. Phillips said Donovan Greer and Keion Carpenter are among the candidates.