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[BN] Blitz newsletter: The Patriots game is big, but the next one's bigger

Strange as it sounds, if you had to pick a scenario where the Bills finish 9-7 – by beating the Patriots or Dolphins and losing to the other – they'd be better off losing this week and winning next week in Miami.

That's because the Bills need the Miami game for a few common-opponent tiebreakers that may arise. At the end of the season, the order of your wins is irrelevant.

Even so, the Bills aren't looking past the Patriots this week. Sean McDermott offered several moments of silence before even acknowledging the question. Said Richie Incognito: "They're the AFC East champs for, like, the 90th time in a row, man. You do not look past these people."

Pro Bowl voting can be "a joke sometimes," Tolbert admits: Bills running back Mike Tolbert was picked as an alternate to the Pro Bowl at fullback despite not playing the position all year ... and despite the Bills having an actual fullback who has been a Pro Bowler before. Tolbert was excited for the honor, but knew it didn't sit well across the locker room.

Tre'Davious White miffed about Pro Bowl snub: White's anger over the Gronkowski hit seems to have subdued, or at least been pushed to the side for his anger at missing the Pro Bowl.

No moral victories: Asked Wednesday if he took any solace from knocking Tom Brady off his game in the team's first meeting this season, Bills coach Sean McDermott replied: "We lost the game. It's about winning and losing, it's about winning football games. That's what we're here to do. We're not here for moral victories."



Already in hyperdrive: "For us, the playoffs started two weeks ago," Richie Incognito said.

Still the gold standard: LeSean McCoy on playing the Patriots: "It’s a challenge. Everybody likes challenges."

Mark Gaughan's X's and O's: Tom Brady's back must be strong because it carries the Patriots defense.

Bills-Patriots Scouting Report: How do you stop Gronk? Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is a riddle no defense has been able to solve.

Mark Gaughan's Big-Play Breakdown: Look for the Pats to take a first-down deep shot.

A Brady-Belichick rift? The Patriots are reportedly dealing with internal "friction" after coach Bill Belichick restricted access to Tom Brady's personal trainer.

Injury updates: Starting cornerback E.J. Gaines was among six Bills not practicing.

Analyzing Tyrod with help: Checking in on the Bills QB's stats with his top two pass-catchers on the field.

Jerry Sullivan: The call was right, the rule is dumb

Tyrod Watch: His inside-the-pocket stats got a slight boost vs. Dolphins.

How the locals fared: Rob Gronkowski hauled in nine balls for 168 yards in Week 15.

Shady gives back: LeSean McCoy on his holiday party: I had "more fun than the kids."

Flags flying less: On the penalty front, the Bills are showing good discipline under McDermott.

Voice of the Fan: Fred Jackson is the personification of Buffalo.

Trivia: On Jim Kelly's performances against the Patriots.

Podcast: Alex Smith as Bills QB?

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