The Patriots take on the Bills for the first time this year. The Patriots have a negative record after losing two games in a row. It's the first time they've had a negative record in ten years. They are looking to avoid a three game skid against a Bills team that beat them in Orchard Park around this time last year. The last time the Patriots lost three in a row? It was the Buffalo Bills who gave them that third loss, 10 years ago.
Here are some players that need to step up today to prevent history from repeating itself.
Chandler Jones- The Buffalo Bills have only allowed one sack this year. One. The Patriots barely got any pressure on Joe Flacco last Sunday, which of course could partially be contributed to the replacement referees' non calls. Still, we saw the effect of not getting any pressure on the quarterback, he will dice up our mediocre secondary. Chandler Jones is already the Patriots best pass rusher, he has to have a big day against this Bills offensive line.
Stevan Ridley- The Bills defensive strategy is somewhat similar in principle to the Giants formula. They rush with their strong front four and play tight coverage on the receivers. One of the ways to battle back against this strategy is with the run game. Keep those four pass rushers from pinning their ears back and make them respect the ground game. This is especially crucial with Logan Mankins out. The Patriots have been inept at running the ball for the last five years or so. If they are going to prove they are a new and balanced offense, we need to see more of Stevan Ridley. If he can have a game like he did in Week 1, that will open up things for Brady and the Patriots should win.
Devin McCourty- I think McCourty's "bad game" Sunday night is being blown out of proportion a bit because of his crucial PI late in the game. Overall, McCourty had plenty of good plays, but he obviously had some bad too - including dropping two interceptions. He catches those, that's the game. One thing you hear about Ryan Fitzpatrick is that he will throw you a couple. If he does, McCourty has got to hold on to them. Don't sleep on this Bills offense, they may have plenty of injuries but they have talent and are still dangerous. The Patriots defense proved last week that they aren't all the way there yet. The key to winning against the Bills offense will be getting pressure and cashing in on turnovers.