HOW THE PATRIOTS COULD LOSE:
Buffalo’s offense is almost entirely running back LeSean McCoy. He has piled up 1,407 combined rushing and receiving yards and leads the team with 52 receptions. When he rushes for more than 75 yards, the Bills are 5-2. If he is under 75 yards, Buffalo is 3-4.
Last week the Dolphins seemingly slowed him by holding him to 50 yards rushing on 20 carries. However, he scored two touchdowns and finished with 96 total yards.
In the first game versus New England, McCoy rushed for 93 yards on just 15 carries but was not a factor in the passing game. He had only two receptions on five targets for just nine yards. McCoy was also held out of the end zone.
New England inside linebacker Kyle Van Noy–if he is healthy enough to play this weekend–will have the primary responsibility for checking LeSean McCoy in both the running and passing game. If Van Noy is out again, Marquis Flowers. David Harris and Elandon Roberts will have to take on key roles to slow McCoy
Stopping McCoy–at least in the passing game–will again be a key for the Patriots in controlling the Bills’ offense. If Van Noy (and his teammates) can slow McCoy, they slow the Bills’ offense.