It was week 1 and the excitement in Buffalo and around the team was at an all time high. With Marrone coming in and changing the philosophy and having the backing of the players as well as the fans, it was a nice feeling.
Here we are 17 weeks later and the excitement is less than what it was back then, but there is still something to play for. The Buffalo Bills can beat their longtime nemesis, the Patriots, and also finish with a winning record in the division, 4-2.
There are three keys for the Buffalo Bills that they will need to do to pull a win off against the Patriots in week 17.
Show Up In The 4th Quarter:
The Bills are notorious for not showing up in the 4th quarter and have had issues this year late in games. The Patriots are one of the best 4th quarter teams in the NFL. For Buffalo to have a chance they need to keep it close and make sure they win the 4th quarter. With this, a win should be in the making.
Offensive Ball Control:
Thad Lewis and the offense need to win the ball control game. They need to move the markers and keep the clock running. If they can keep the ball out of Brady’s hands and the Pats offense off the field, they will limit the opportunities for the Patriots and we all know that the Pats and Brady don’t need many opportunities or a lot of time either.
Put Brady on his Back:
Minimally the 41 sack front defensive line that the Bills are bringing to the game need to pressure Brady. Brady as shown that he can be flustered late in his career and if the Bills can get him off his mark and make mistakes, the Bills could have a fairly good game. The defensive line if Williams, Williams, Hughes and Dareus are bringing in 41 combined sacks and need to put Brady on his back. Pressuring Brady and creating sack opportunities will only add to the offensive control and keep Brady and Co. off of the field. The D-line will be creating different looks and trying to get Dareus free to get him 2.5 sacks so that he can join the 10+ sack club. Look for different looks from Pettine to make this happen, but without pressure, Brady will pick apart this defense.