Game Preview: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills


It’s finally here. There is absolutely no downplaying this game. This is the biggest game the Buffalo Bills will be playing in a very long time. With the momentum from last Sundays comeback win in Detroit, to the confirmation and today’s scheduled press conference introducing the Pegula’s as the new owners of the Buffalo Bills, to playing the hated Patriots for sole possession of first place 6 weeks into the season…saying that Ralph Wilson Stadium will be rocking on Sunday would be the understatement of the century.

We all know the struggles that the Bills have had with the Patriots over the years, so there is no need to rehash that here. The Bills last beat the Patriots in 2011 when they came back from 21 points down to win the game. They nearly knocked them off in week 1 last year. They had had plenty of other games over the years where they could have won. But the feeling around the Bills this year is that this year is different. That these are the Buffalo Bills that will finally reverse the Bills fortune against the Patriots and start a new generation of Bills football in Buffalo. Will that all start Sunday? Let’s take a look…

Two weeks ago everyone was talking about how the Patriots dynasty was over, Tom Brady was washed up, and that the AFC East was up for grabs for the first time in over a decade. Now, after one win over the hapless Bengals, everyone is once again all over the Patriots jock. To be honest, it’s a more than nauseating listening to the media talking heads drone on and on about how wonderful Tom Brady is just a week after literally planning his funeral on air.

I’ll be honest. I was not impressed with the Patriots victory last Sunday night against Cincinnati. With the loss the Bengals are now 1-11 in their last 12 prime time games on the road. To call them chokers would be an understatement. There is a reason why Andy Dalton has not yet one a playoff game. It’s because he can’t handle the pressure of the spotlight. The Bengals came out flat on Sunday and the Patriots came out fighting for their lives after listening to the media bash them all week long. The result was less than unexpected.

Well, guess what? The Bills are not the Bengals and you can bet your bottom dollar that the Bills will be more amped up than ever for this game on Sunday. The Bills are tired of being the Patriots doormat for the last 15 years and with the new ownership group now entrenched and the momentum of coming off a huge comeback victory in Detroit, it could very well be the cocky Patriots walking into a firestorm this week.

I understand that it’s hard to imagine the Bills beating the Patriots after the levels of ineptitude that the Bills have played at against them over the years but this year is different. The Bills defense is dominant. They lead the NFL in sacks again this year and the Patriots offensive line is in shambles. Tom Brady had better be comfortable on his back because that is where he is going to spend a good majority of the afternoon on Sunday.

The Bills offense got a huge confidence boost last week when they rallied from 14 points down to win the game behind new starting quarterback Kyle Orton. The first half was not pretty but starting in the second half the developing chemistry between the offense and Orton was evident and the Bills began moving the ball very well against the number one in the NFL Detroit Lions defense.

I know it is hard to imagine due to the past culture, but I really don’t find it hard to imagine a scenario developing on Sunday that was very similar to the Patriots game against the Chiefs two weeks ago. If the Bills can get up on the Patriots early, and force them to pass the ball and let the defense get after Tom Brady, it could be a very long afternoon for the UGG toting diva behind center.

Let’s take a look at 5 keys to victory for the Bills:

1) Pressure Tom Brady. The Patriots offensive line is porous and weak. The Bills lead the NFL in sacks. If they can get after Tom Brady and start hitting him early and often then the turnovers will come. Look at his performance in Kansas City a few weeks ago as a blueprint.

2) Get ahead early. If the Bills can get ahead by 10 points early than I think the game could very well turn into a blowout. The Patriots do not have the offensive firepower of years past and their offensive line cannot hold up long enough against the Bills offensive line to sustain that time of game plan. If the Bills can get an early lead they should be in a great position to win the game with ease.

3) Take away the short pass. If the Bills can take away the short outlet pass to Edelman (the same play the used to run with Wes Welker) and force Tom Brady to wait in the pocket and throw the ball down the field than the Patriots will be in trouble on offense. Not only is their offensive line not good enough to do that, but they don’t have the big play wide receivers that they used to. If you can take away Brady’s crutch on offense than he will be forced into the uncomfortable position he found himself in on Monday Night Football in Kansas City.

4) Run the ball. If the Bills can run the ball with success against New England than they can keep Tom Brady off the field and keep their defense off the field and fresh by winning the time of possession battle. This means using Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller more than they have the previous two weeks. The Patriots defense can be gashed by the run (see the Chiefs and Dolphin games as examples) and the Bills need to do the same on Sunday.

5) No stupid penalties. I know that last week and in previous weeks the Bills have been the victims of some really terrible calls by the officials but they have also had their fair share of stupid penalties too. They need to avoid those and not give the Patriots any second chances with the ball or take away any big plays of their own. Limit the penalties and the Bills will be in a great position to win this game.

So, with all that being said the time has come for me to make my prediction for this Sundays huge game. I WILL be at the game on Sunday and I cannot wait to join the madhouse at Ralph Wilson Stadium and cheer on the Bills against the hated Patriots. With that being said, I see this game as a huge turning of the page for the Bills. I see a big game from Kyle Orton in his second game at quarterback, and I see a HUGE game by the Bills defense (at least 5 sacks and 3 turnovers).

My final score is:

Buffalo Bills 34 New England Patriots 13. Let’s see the “experts” try and spin that!