BBD Editor: Dan Hope
Much to the chagrin of Buffalo Bills fans and the delight of New England Patriots fans, Sunday’s regular-season finale between the two teams is essentially meaningless. The Bills, at 8-7, have been eliminated from the playoffs for a 15th consecutive year; the Patriots, at 12-3, have already clinched the AFC’s No. 1 postseason seed.
Still, there will be pride on the line in Sunday’s game, especially for the Buffalo Bills, who haven’t beat the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium since 2000 and have lost 26 of their 28 games against the Patriots since. Additionally, a victory Sunday could secure the Bills’ first winning record since 2004, another year they went 9-7.
With that in mind, there’s still reason for Bills fans to watch Sunday’s season finale, and there’s still reason for the Bills to play as hard as they can to secure a win—but it’s also undeniable that everyone involved with the Bills should have one eye toward the offseason at this point. As much as the Bills will play for a W on Sunday, it will also be a final chance for both players and coaches to prove their worth to the Bills and/or to the league as a whole heading into 2015.
Here’s some of the dynamics that will be worth keeping an eye on Sunday.