The New England Patriots should be able to take care of business against the Buffalo Bills with relative ease, because the Bills are at a severe disadvantage on defense with cornerback Stephon Gilmore out and Jairus Byrd playing through some pain. Add that in to the fact that E.J. Manuel might not play on Sunday (though I doubt he misses the game), and the Patriots are clearly the heavy favorites. However, rivalry games always have a way of being close affairs, and the Patriots did have a bit of a scare the last time these two teams played, as the Pats played poorly on defense coming off of the bye week.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after a win over the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis and Callahan and spoke about facing the Buffalo Bills, “Buffalo, I know we’ve done a good job against Buffalo over the years. They’re a tough, very tough team. We always have battles against them. We’ve come out on the winning end more times that not, but look, they give us everything that we can handle. I’ve got a ton of respect for that team. … We’ve got a great way to start. There’s no tougher challenge in the NFL than going on the road on opening day against a division opponent. I learned that a long time ago. This is going to be really a great challenge for us. There’s not a lot of information on the team that we’re playing — new coach, new coordinator, new offense, new defense. You’ve got to really prepare for everything. That’s really what we’re trying to do.”
During his press conference yesterday, head coach Bill Belichick praised some of the big-play guys on the Bills offense in Stevie Johnson and C.J. Spiller. Johnson took the time to brag about how much better he is than the Patriots DBs, and he ended up embarrassing himself by implying that Patrick Chung still plays for the Patriots (made worse by the fact that Johnson stated he knows Chung personally). Johnson will be a handful for the Pats DBs, and he should be able to create some big-time mis-matches when lining up in the slot in three-wide sets (the Bills are going to be doing this).