Why Marcus Spears is taking the Bills in 'emotional' game vs. Pats (0:48)

Spears likes the Bills because they will be playing with a lot of motivation. 0:47

2:00 PM AST

There are quick-hit thoughts and notes about the New England Pats and the National Football League.

This is the first thing. The team is preparing for an emotional environment on the road against the Bills. The program is on CBS

Everyone in the NFL community has been rooting for the Bills and injured safety Damar Hamlin, and now New England faces Buffalo in a game with playoff implications, as a win secures a spot in the playoffs for the Pats.

It will be a very emotional game. We know what to expect when we enter this environment. Wise said that they have a heart towards what they saw.

There is a balance between being compassionate and playing a sport. I think our leaders are keeping that balance right where it needs to be for us to play the game and have fun.

The captains made it clear all week that they were focused on Hamlin's recovery.

Check the latest picture of the playoffs. The Playoff machine.

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He acknowledged that the difference between seeing it on TV and seeing it in person was different.

There will be a moment of support and love for Hamlin when the players arrive at New Era Field for the game. Bills players will have a patch on their jerseys with Hamlin's name on it. All players in the league can wear black T-shirts with the words "Love for Damar 3" on them.

AdrianPhillips expects to be a "super emotional environment" and there is an element of unknown for many.

He wished he had an answer. You just try to go through it the best you can, talk to the players on the other side, let them know you're praying for them, and then you just go out there and win the game.

All you can do is try. We all want to be in the playoffs, and we have to do what we have to do to get there.

It will be something that we have never experienced before. When we get to that road, we'll cross it.

The players talked about the importance of a fast start.

Hunter Henry said that once they got into the flow of the game, it would settle down. You need to be prepared for the first wave.

There are two If the team finishes in the top half of the league, the final three opponents for the year will be decided on Sunday. The pieces need to be locked in.

  • The home game will be against the same team that finished in the same spot.

  • The home game is between the two teams that finish in the same place.

  • The road game is between the two teams that finish in the same place.

Here are the upcoming opponents of thePatriots.

The Commanders are the Eagles, Bolts, Chiefs, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, and Falcons.

The road includes the Cowboys, Giants, Broncos, Raiders, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, and the Raiders.

There are three. Davon Godchaux compared defending the Bills to dealing with a snake with Josh Allen as the head. He said Allen is where their focus needs to be. It is more difficult when you consider that in his last five games against the Pats, Allen has thrown 15 touchdown passes and no turnovers. In the past 45 seasons, that is the longest streak of touchdown without an intercept against New England. Next on the list are Drew Brees and Alex Smith.

There was a spark that started the feud between the two teams.

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There are four. Trying to keep the ball away from Allen is one way to slow him down. In the last six games, the Pats have lost the time-of- possession battle. It is one shy of matching the longest streak in the NFL this season, but it is the longest streak in the past decade.

There are five. Last week's win over Miami could have been Matthew Slater's last game at Gillette Stadium, as his contract ends after the season. He will consult with his family and others before making a decision about retirement. Some of his teammates believe he isn't ready to stop playing and that he's still making a difference on special teams.

There are six. Peppers has played over three quarters of the defensive snaps this season and has 52 tackles. He has made 8 tackles on special teams, which is third most on the club. Peppers said coming to New England on a one-year deal has been a great experience and he is open to seeing where things go in the future.

I haven't paid much attention to that. He said that he has been focused on showing everyone that he is back healthy. Everything else will take care of itself if you do that.

There are seven. Jake Bailey, a four-year veteran, was placed on the reserve/suspended list. The team suspension is due to differing opinions on whether Bailey was ready to return to game action. It would be difficult for him to play for the team again. He won't get the guaranteed money in his contract if he lands on the reserve/suspended list. Among the top draft-eligible punters are Iowa's Tory Taylor and Michigan's Brad Robbins.

There are eight. Dante Scarnecchia and Ivan Fears were highlighted in a recent feature by NFL Films. Fears is still a regular at the team's facility at times after handing over the running back reins to his former assistant, who rates Fears along with his father, Nick, and Bill, as having the greatest impact on his coaching career.

"A coach is a teacher."

After a combined 59 seasons, Dante Scarnecchia and Ivan Fears retire as @Patriots royalty who touched the lives of hundreds of players.#NFLFilmsPresents

— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) January 6, 2023

There are nine. The only starting quarterbacks with at least six wins against New England have been Allen and Manning.

There are ten. It's difficult to separate the human side from the sports side. At the end of the day, we all want to play the game as hard as we can, but we all want to leave.