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The Boston Globe

Sports

Patriots-Bills series has seen wild games recently

FOXBOROUGH --- When the Patriots host the Buffalo Bills in an AFC East division matchup Sunday at Gillette Stadium, it will mark the 106th meeting (and second this season) between the two teams. The last matchup at Buffalo Sept. 30 produced a wild finish, with the Patriots rallying from a 21-7 deficit to score six consecutive second-half touchdowns in a 52-28 victory.

It was in keeping with some of the wild swings that have become commonplace in the last three games between the division foes.

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After recording seven straight series sweeps and 15 consecutive wins, the Patriots had their streak of dominance over the Bills snapped in a 34-31 loss at Buffalo Sept. 25, 2011. Then, in the 2011 regular-season finale on Jan. 1, 2012, the Patriots avenged that loss by overcoming a 21-0 deficit in the first quarter with 49 unanswered points.

``It’s a team that we’ve played a bunch of times and there have been some different types of games against this team,’ said Tom Brady, who in 21 games against the Bills has been intercepted 17 times and sacked 39 times, the most any NFL team has had against the Patriots quarterback.

``Like last year, we were down 21-0 here and then I don’t know how many points we scored – 45 or I don’t know what the final was, [49] unanswered or something,’’ Brady recalled. ``It was the same thing down 21-7 at the beginning of this year. In our first game last year, we were up 21 points and they came back and won.

``There have been some kind of wild swings and I think that shows the inconsistency that we’ve played [with] against them,’’ Brady said. ``Hopefully, we can go out there and play consistently for 60 minutes.’’

But Patriots coach Bill Belichick had his own theory as to why his team has been subjected to such wild affairs against the Bills.

``I think one of the explosive parts of Buffalo’s game is that they’re able to go on runs,’’ Belichick said. ``We’ve seen it before where it’s been 14-7 and they’d go for 21 points. They go on a run. Of course, that comes with big plays on offense, big plays in the kicking game, turnovers on defense.

``You just can’t relax against this team, because they’re so explosive, they can take the ball away from you and they can score in the kicking game and they’re pretty much capable of scoring from anywhere on the field, offensively.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.
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