Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Three Keys to the Game


The Buffalo Bills finally did it last week. They won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Now Buffalo has the chance to make it three straight wins when it takes on the New England Patriots Monday in prime time.

The Bills travel to New England for a crucial AFC East and Wild Card matchup, with heavy playoff implications on the line.

Here’s this week’s Three Keys to the Game for the matchup with the Patriots, which kicks off Monday at 8:30 p.m. from Gillette Stadium:

1) Limit Gronk.

There’s no stopping Rob Gronkowski. That’s a fact. But the Bills can certainly limit his impact, and they have the talent to do just that.

With Julian Edelman out this week, it will be a lot easier to slow down Gronk.

If Buffalo can cover Danny Amendola, Edelman’s replacement, one-on-one it’ll allow the Bills to double-team Gronkowski.

Gronk is going to leave his mark, but it just can’t be the big.

2) Ground and pound.

One way the Bills can slow down the New England offense is if they run the ball, and run it a lot.

The Buffalo backfield has found success as of late, with the dynamic duo of LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams taking the league by storm.

After gashing the NFL’s top rushing defense in the Jets for 148 yards last week, there’s no reason no to believe that the Buffalo backfield can’t do it again this week.

The last time the Patriots faced a rushing attack like Buffalo’s was Week 1 when they played the Pittsburgh Steelers. DeAngelo Williams stung New England for 127 yards on 21 carries in the opener.

And not to mention Tyrod Taylor has ran the ball effectively this season as well. The dual-threat quarterback ran for 43 yards and a touchdown on just five rushes in the Week 2 matchup.

If Buffalo can run the ball effectively and keep the Tom Brady and Co. off of the field, the Bills will have a shot at the upset.

3) Time for the defensive to shine.

The star-studded Buffalo defensive line is still looking for its signature game of the season, and a prime-time matchup against the Patriots is the perfect opportunity.

The Patriots have four offensive linemen on the injury report this week, and have also used 20 different offensive line combinations this season. Both are never good.

This is a perfect opportunity for the defensive line to take advantage of some weaker offensive linemen.

While Tom Brady got the ball out extremely quick in the Week 2 matchup, with the lack of weapons he might have to hold the ball a tad longer which should allow the Bills to form a nice pass rush.

Prediction: Bills win 27-24

Buffalo pulls off the upset. This will be a close on throughout, but with the lack of Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, and the uncertainty along the offensive line, the Patriots won’t be as explosive on offense. The Bills will ride LeSean McCoy’s big day to victory.