Players to Watch for Bills vs. Patriots


The Bills got all the help they needed on Sunday with the Raiders, Dolphins, and Jets all losing. The only winning team, the Chiefs, will face Buffalo next week in a huge game as far as playoff implications go, but let’s save that for next week. Tonight is the game every Bills fan and player circled on their calendar before the season began. Two teams that hate each other playing on Monday Night, here are my players to watch.

Buffalo Bills

  • LeSean McCoy – The easiest way to stop Tom Brady is by keeping the ball out of his hands. Shady had 89 yards in the first match up, though he was not fully healthy. If he can have a big game and allow Buffalo to move the ball while chewing up clock it would be a huge help for the Buffalo defense. McCoy has looked great the past two weeks, rushing for over 100 yards in both games on less than 20 carries. Expect big things from McCoy tonight, who has a chance to show everyone why the Bills got him.
  • Ronald Darby – Darby will likely be covering Edelman’s replacement, Danny Amendola, which means lots of short crossing routes. Darby is the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, but has yet to show the rest of the league, no he finally has that chance in a nationally televised game against the best quarterback in the league.
  • Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes – Williams did not play much at all during the Jets game due to illness, but he hasn’t done much all year. Frustrated with the scheme, and not being able to rush the quarterback as much as last year, Williams and Hughes have underperformed this year. As far as Hughes goes he needs to stay discipline. Primetime game against the Patriots seems like one of those times Hughes gets too amped up and takes a dumb personal foul.

New England Patriots

  • Danny Amendola – Edelman torched the Bills in the week two game, scoring twice but converting a bunch of short third downs to keep drives going. Amendola has been disappointing as a Patriot, partly because of the emergence of Edelman, but now it’s his time with Edelman sidelined. Amendola is not as shifty, but certainly is a capable receiver, especially with Brady throwing him the ball.
  • Malcolm Butler – The Super Bowl hero for the Patriots has seen an increased role this year as the number one corner for the team. Tonight he will be up against Sammy Watkins, who had a monster game two weeks ago, and beat Revis a few times last week. If the protection holds up for Tyrod Taylor Butler is going to have his hands full. The Bills would be wise to target Butler early and often.
  • Dont’a Hightower – The Bills caught another break this week with the announcement that Pats linebacker Jamie Collins will be out with an illness. This means Hightower will be the man in charge of stopping the Bills ground game that includes not just LeSean McCoy, but Tyrod Taylor every time he drops back to pass. Hightower has looked faster and lighter this year, but is he fast enough to stick with McCoy and Taylor?