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The New England Patriots have a reunion to attend Monday night in Orchard Park.There the Buffalo Bills await their not-so-close AFC East family for a prime-time matchup carrying all the anticipation that a double-digit point spread could.But there are some connections between the 5-2 Patriots and 2-5 Bills.Seven players in Buffalo’s fold were once Patriots. Two players in New England’s fold were once Bills.Here’s a glance through those roster ties as the 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff at New Era Field edges closer.BUFFALOAndre Holmes James Develin Color Rush Jersey , wide receiver – The Patriots signed Holmes to the practice squad in January 2013, but waived the Hillsdale product during organized team activities that May. Holmes has since made stops with the Oakland Raiders and Bills, with whom the 6-foot-4, 210-pound wideout signed on a three-year deal after free agency opened in 2017. Holmes has caught 121 passes for 1,655 yards and 15 touchdowns since his short time in Foxborough. He’s appeared in all seven games for Buffalo this season, starting two.Conor McDermott, offensive tackle – One of just four selections made by the Patriots in the 2017 NFL draft, arriving in the sixth round at No. 211 overall, McDermott would be waived following his rookie preseason. The Bills claimed the UCLA Bruin the next day. McDermott entered into three games during his first campaign on Buffalo’s 53-man roster, and one thus far into his second. He has played four snaps on offense and 15 on special teams.Ryan Groy, center – The Patriots traded then-rookie linebacker Matthew Wells to the Chicago Bears in exchange for Groy in the midst of training camp in 2015. Groy would be waived with the injury designation as the locker room trimmed from 90 to 75 to 53 by early September Lawrence Guy Color Rush Jersey , however. The Wisconsin guard-slash-center joined the Bills’ active roster by way of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad two months later. Groy has played in 44 games for Buffalo dating back to then, getting 13 starts.Robert Thomas, defensive tackle – Thomas, currently in his second stint on Buffalo’s practice squad after a two-game promotion to the 53, signed to New England’s scout team back in November 2015. The former Arkansas defensive tackle left the Patriots as the calendar flipped to December for a spot on the Miami Dolphins’ active roster. Thomas has also been a member of the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants since entering the league in 2014. He has recorded 22 tackles and one sack.Ramon Humber, linebacker – As the 2016 league year kicked off, Humber’s name was the first Patriots signing to cross the wire. But the veteran linebacker and special-teamer via the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints would be released prior to New England’s preseason finale that August, and agreed to terms with the Bills less than 24 hours later. Humber started a career-high nine games and collected a career-high 89 tackles for Buffalo in 2017. He has played in every game thus far into 2018.Ryan Lewis, cornerback – New England signed Lewis https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/David-Andrews-Jersey , previously of the Arizona Cardinals, to the practice squad a week into the 2017 regular season. There the undrafted corner out of Pittsburgh remained for the duration of the year. Lewis re-upped with the Patriots on a futures contract in February, yet was waived following the preseason and claimed on Labor Day weekend by Buffalo. Lewis has checked in for his first three NFL regular-season games since then, posting a dozen tackles, a trio of pass deflections and a pair of forced fumbles.Corey Bojorquez, punter – The greatest trick the Patriots ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And yet the Bills needed more convincing when it came to Bojorquez, the strong-legged lefty punter who never left New England’s sideline during an exhibition game this August. Buffalo claimed Bojorquez at the roster deadline even so, and the rookie free agent has made up for lost time over the last seven weeks. Bojorquez has launched 40 punts – third-most in the league – for an average of 45.8 yards per and a long of 60. He’s had one blocked and was the holder on a run-kick option gone awry, but the preseason All-22 didn’t lie.NEW ENGLANDChris Hogan, wide receiver – Buffalo would be the fourth stop in Hogan’s NFL journey. The wideout, who may have used to play lacrosse Steve Grogan Color Rush Jersey , spent one season on the Bills’ practice squad and the subsequent three on active roster. Hogan accrued 87 receptions for 886 yards and six touchdowns over that span before departing to New England on a three-year, $12 million restricted offer sheet that went unmatched in March 2016. Hogan, now in the final year of that deal, has reeled in 21 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots this fall.Stephon Gilmore, cornerback – Gilmore entered the league at pick No. 10 overall in 2012, and the South Carolina corner went on to start 66 of his 68 appearances for the organization that drafted him. A Pro Bowler during his final season in Buffalo, Gilmore finished his tenure having totaled 14 interceptions – with one coming against quarterback Tom Brady – and 62 pass deflections. His five-year, $65 million pact with the Patriots has aged well. With Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots dropped to 9-5 on the year, fell behind the Texans in the playoff seedings, and lost their second game in a row. Given how they lost the week before Trey Flowers Jersey , on a last-second miracle in Miami, you’d think the team would want to exorcise those demons with a convincing win today. Not the case, and the Patriots are likely going to be playing on Wild Card Weekend for the first time in forever.But fear not; all is not lost in New England. And only in New England is hosting a playoff game during Wild Card Weekend some kind of disgrace. But here are five positives we can all take away from this game.Steelers were due. When you’re 11-2 against the Steelers and are winners of the last 7 straight, you’re going to drop one eventually. And in the grand scheme of things, I’d rather the Steelers get theirs now, during the regular season, than when the game really matters. The Patriots aren’t going to beat the Patriots every single time – they don’t beat any team every single time – and with this 2018 team being so wildly inconsistent, it makes all the sense in the world that a Steelers team fighting for its playoff life would finally break the losing streak.Expected loss. I don’t know about any of you, but I had this game pegged as a loss when the schedule first came out. Having to travel to Pittsburgh right on the heels of the house of horrors that is Miami just felt like too much for this team to handle, especially a mentally weak team like the 2018 Patriots. I initially had the team going 12-4 when the schedule first came out, with a win coming at Detroit Deatrich Wise Jr Color Rush Jersey , but that’s why we watch.Playoffs still all but guaranteed. This is a very weird year, especially in the AFC, and all you need to do is make the postseason to have a legitimate shot at a deep playoff run. It’s definitely a blow to have lost the inside track to a first round bye, and this team’s road performance in 2018 should leave you highly skeptical as to whether or not the Patriots have a legit shot in the divisional round (which would likely be against Houston) – but the Patriots are still going to win the AFC East and host at least one playoff game.Home games left. The reason the Patriots are going to win the AFC East is because they close out the year at home. Yeah, they STINK on the road, but they’re very solid at home. Combine that with games against the hapless Bills and Jets, and 11-5 should be how this team finishes. A two game win streak to take into the playoffs could go a long way.First world problems. Here’s what everyone is so bummed about today: no first overall seed, no first round bye. Think about that. We’re so spoiled as fans that we’re pissed off about potentially watching this team play an extra game hosting a Wild Card team BEFORE THE FULL PLAYOFF PICTURE HAS EVEN CRYSTALIZED. Remember how excited the Bills were last year just to make the playoffs? Or how excited their fans were? I’m going to take this time to remind you that the Patriots have won five Super Bowls this century, and anything else they do at this point is just gravy. So they lost – who cares? There are plenty of teams who would consider 9-5 and a great shot at a division title one of the most successful seasons in memory. So let’s all suck it up and continue to enjoy these Tom Brady games while we still can.



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Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:06 pm