Tuesday Talking Points: Patriots/Bills Week 4 storylines

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Patriots picked up a key win over the Jets last week. With another division foe on the schedule, what should we really be talking about?

The Patriots improved to 3-0 with another strong win in the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium over the Jets this past Sunday. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that this team begins the 2019 season undefeated, given the level of talent across this roster from top-to-bottom.

Everything seems to be going right for the defending champs on paper; but although the Pats emerged victorious, the team is still a little banged up entering Week 4. What’s a little more surprising is that division rival Buffalo also enters this week unbeaten, which makes this Sunday’s meeting all the more intense. Here’s what you should be talking about this week.

Buffalo’s perfect record shouldn’t fool you

Yes, the Bills are 3-0. No, it’s not impressive. Here’s why:

They’ve played lackluster competition. The Jets, followed by the Giants and the Bengals, have made up the early portion of the Bills’ schedule. Sure, it’s the first time the franchise has won each of their first three games since 2011 – a season in which they wound up finishing 6-10 and missing the playoffs, it should be pointed out, though.

Let’s see what they can do against some real competition.

The Patriots’ perfect record should impress you

New England’s competition hasn’t been other-worldly either, but it’s the way they’ve won these games that should really open your eyes. The Pats have been outscoring their opponents 106-17 to start the season; that’s the third-highest point differential to start a season in NFL history, behind only the ’68 Cowboys and the ’62 Packers.

Maybe even more impressive than the offense though is the stifling defense, which hasn’t allowed a touchdown in five games going back to the 2018 AFC Championship. The team itself has allowed a couple of scores, but neither was because of the defense: one came on a muffed punt recovered in the end zone for a Jets touchdown, and the other came courtesy of a pick-six thrown by backup Jarrett Stidham on just his third NFL pass attempt. Yikes.

What should be creating the most buzz this week is the anticipation of just how good (or how much better) this group could get. That’s scary to think about, yet so much fun to watch.

Is Tom Brady actually like a fine wine?

To be fair, there’s reason to believe he could be. Just look at the numbers… they speak for themselves.

To put that into perspective: in 2018 through his first three games, Brady completed (only) 64% of his throws for 644 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT. No, really… that’s actually correct.

It’s just a work of art to watch how Brady operates the offense: so cool, calm, and collected. He knows exactly what the defense is that’s coming at him with, and there’s nothing they can do to stop him.

The mastery of the game of football is something every player strives for, and only one has come pretty much as close as you can get to that level. He just happens to play quarterback for the Patriots.

Is Julian Edelman good to go?

For now, all signs point to Jules being a ‘go’ on Sunday in Buffalo.

Edelman took a hit during the second quarter on Sunday that knocked him out of the game, and although X-Rays on his ribs came back negative, there’s still reason for caution… mainly because No. 11 has already dealt with one injury this season. He’s 33-years-old after all, and it’s no secret he’s Tom Brady’s favorite weapon.

Josh Gordon also came out of the game on a couple of occasions after he appeared to be shaken up. Either man going down spells trouble for the Pats, but losing both would be catastrophic to this bunch.

Edelman hasn’t been ruled out for this week, though we should know a bit more following practice on Wednesday.

The Patriots must play a full 60 minutes

This was a big focus particularly two weeks ago when New England played the Dolphins in Miami, given what happened at the end of 2018’s meeting at Hard Rock Stadium. Now, it becomes a weekly emphasis for Bill Belichick and his coaching staff.

We saw it come up again this week when Tom Brady was pulled with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots holding a comfortable lead at 30-7. Jarrett Stidham made his NFL regular season debut, and unfortunately it was one to forget. A pick-six on just his third throw was returned to the house by Jets safety Jamaal Adams, and Brady was quickly summoned off the bench and thrust back into action.

Those are the kinds of things that can happen when you become complacent, and New England needs to urge their players to go for a full wire-to-wire performance… especially when the schedule gets tougher.

Next. Josh Gordon stepped up for Patriots offense Sunday. dark

What are YOU talking about for this week’s Patriots matchup? Let us know in the comments section below!