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ORCHARD PARK Cheap
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, N.Y. (AP) Having apparently been kept in
the dark since being drafted by the Bills, rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White
was genuinely curious about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s career-long
dominance of Buffalo.

”Uh, no, I don’t know the record. What is it?” the first-round draft pick
asked.

He was informed of Brady going 26-3 against his AFC East rival, and needing
one more win to break Brett Favre’s record (set against Detroit) of most
victories by a quarterback against one opponent.

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”Phew,” he said. ”Yeah, that’s a good winning percentage.”

Impressed as White might be, the numbers ultimately didn’t matter much.

”I don’t care about it because I wasn’t here,” he said Cheap
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, while noting much of Buffalo’s roster has
changed under first-year coach Sean McDermott. ”We’ve got pretty much a new core
of guys, including myself. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Youthful enthusiasm prevails at a time the Bills (6-5) attempt to keep pace
in the AFC playoff picture while hosting an opponent on Sunday they’ve defeated
five times in their past 34 meetings.

”I understand what you’re getting at there,” McDermott said, referring to
Buffalo’s struggles against New England. ”What I’m most focused on right now is
the game this weekend.”

Buffalo has regained some semblance of momentum following a 16-10 win at
Kansas City , which snapped a three-game skid in which the Bills were outscored
135-55, and allowed 1,242 yards offense. It didn’t help that McDermott’s
decision backfired in benching quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie
Nathan Peterman, who threw five first-half interceptions in a 54-24 loss at the
Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 19.

The Patriots (9-2) have won seven in a row and set an NFL record by clinching
the team’s 17th consecutive winning season following a 35-17 win over Miami .
It’s a run during which Brady has completed 176 of 253 attempts for 1,975 yards
with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Patriots’ revamped defense has rebounded by not having allowed more than
17 points in its past seven games after giving up an average 32 in its first
four.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is the master when it comes to dismissing the
past Cheap
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, whether coming off a win or loss, by
insisting he’s focused solely on the next opponent. He even balked at saying
anything positive about Brady during a conference call with Buffalo-area
reporters.

”I’m sure there are other people that can talk about other historical things
and our team and the league and our players and all that,” Belichick said.
”We’re trying to get ready for Buffalo, and that’s a big task.”

A number of things to look out for; the two teams meet again in three weeks
at New England:

RED-ZONE FOCUS: The Patriots struggled to produce touchdowns in the red zone
early this season. Only twice in their first 10 games did they score touchdowns
on 75 percent or more of their possessions inside the 20-yard line.

That changed in last week’s win over Miami, when New England went 5 for 5
with five TDs and no field goals. Including field goals, the Patriots are 18 for
18 in the red zone over their last four.

SUSTAINING DRIVES: The Bills’ offense is still struggling to stay on the
field under Taylor. He was benched after Buffalo managed 99 net yards and four
first downs through 55 minutes in a 47-10 loss to New Orleans on Nov. 12.
Against the Chiefs, the Bills combined for 81 yards and four first downs on five
second-half drives.

”That’s all third-down situations. We had three, three-and-outs,” coordinator
Rick Dennison said. ”We need to stay on the field. We know that.”

JOB SECURITY: McDermott won’t commit to Taylor starting beyond this
weekend Cheap
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, while saying he has full confidence in his
quarterback.

”My job is to focus on winning games, preparing myself and getting this team
ready,” Taylor said when asked how he interprets McDermott’s mixed message. ”I
don’t necessarily put my mind on those comments.”

LEWIS HITS STRIDE: It’s been a long road back for Patriots running back Dion
Lewis, who missed parts of the last two seasons with knee injuries.

After a slow start this year, he has become New England’s most consistent
threat out of the backfield. Lewis has had at least 10 carries in the each of
the past six games, and leads the Patriots with 498 rushing yards and a 5.1 yard
per carry average – both career highs. He’s also second on the team with three
rushing TDs (also a career best), to go along with one kickoff return for a
score.

TURNOVER TIME: In six wins, the Bills have 15 takeaways (five fumbles, 10
interceptions) Cheap
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, while turning the ball over just twice. In
five losses, Buffalo has four takeaways (two fumbles, two interceptions), while
turning over the ball 11 times.

AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Massachusetts, contributed to
this report.

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and
http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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