Bills vs. Patriots: Three Keys to the Game


As the Buffalo Bills prepare to take on the New England Patriots, here are three important keys to the game

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Ahh yes. Here we go again. The Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots meet in a timeless rivalry that seems to be gaining momentum every year, with this season being the climax with another battle between Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick.

While the entire AFC East sits at 1-0 going into week two, this game will sure be critical to both teams down the line if the division and/or playoff races come into the picture. Here are the three keys to the game:

1) Can Tyrod Taylor do it again?

I’ve been on record of saying that Tyrod Taylor could work as a wildcat option in the Bills offense, but not an everyday quarterback until he proved he could sit in the pocket and sling the ball all over the field. He certainly did that last week, completing 14 of his 19 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown.

That is what the Bills need with this offense. Just a QB who can manage the game, make a play or two, and not turn the ball over.

Taylor’s first act was impressive. Now it’s time for his curtain call against a Pats team who looks to run over, around and through anybody who gets in their way after the offseason surrounding Tom Brady.

2) How will the Bills handle Gronk?

In all reality, five catches for 94 yards would be a good day for the Bills to hold Rob Gronkowski to as the Steelers did on opening night. The problem is, three of those catches went for touchdowns and that cannot happen for Buffalo.

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills free safety Aaron Williams (23) celebrates his fourth quarter interception against the Indianapolis Colts at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Now there’s a reason Rex Ryan is the head coach and not me, but I like the possibility of a Preston Brown matching up with him. His length and athleticism could help underneath, and then throw an Aaron Williams over the top when the tight end tries to run fly routes.

Gronkowski’s going to have multiple catches and probably a TD. However, three scores is not what Buffalo needs in this one.

3) No secondary stars can go off for Pats

Last season in Buffalo, Brandon LaFell went off with four catches and 97 yards for a pair of touchdowns in New England’s 37-22 win in Week 6 Last week, it was not T.Y. Hilton, but Donte Moncrief who scored a TD and caught six passes for 46 yards.

Gronkowski is going to get his catches, Julian Edelman will probably add a few as well, because they are just that good. But the Bills cannot let other secondary players have significant contributions, if they want to win this game.


Ralph Wilson Stadium is going to be rocking on Sunday, and the confidence and hype surrounding this team is higher than ever. Right now I don’t foresee a dominating performance like against Indianapolis, but I do see the Bills pulling this one out and ending up on top of the division when the week is all said and done.

21. 47. 27. 16. Final

Next: Bills vs. Patriots: Five players to watch

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