Patriots vs Bills Preview: What to Expect on Offense

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Another week, another blowout; and the game this past Sunday wasn't as close as the final score indicated.  The story through three weeks has been the Patriots defense.  Say what you want about the level of competition, but this unit has been record-setting good.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

Sure, the talent level of their last two opponents resembles that of a freshmen football team comprised mainly of kids who have never played organized football before.  That's beside the point.  The Patriots aren't just keeping offenses out of the endzone, they are barely allowing them to cross midfield.

While it's been fun to watch, it's been difficult to get amped up for these past two games.  The Dolphins are abysmal, and the Jets are the Jets; only this time they were staring a third string quarterback.  However, there's a little bit of juice heading into this one, with both New England and Buffalo sitting at 3-0.
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This is a unique situation, in that both teams are undefeated, but the combined record of their opponents is 0-18.  However, the manner in which each team has reached their 3-0 marks has been a bit different.  Though the competition has been lacking, the Patriots have been demolishing opponents.  Meanwhile, Buffalo has eked out victories over both the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals.

Were this game going to be played in Foxboro, I may feel differently, but I believe going into Buffalo this early in the season will present some challenges that the Patriots have yet to face this year; like a hostile crowd.

I'm sure Bills fans will be lighting themselves on fire, jumping through tables, puking on one another and throwing inanimate sex objects onto the field.  The crowd's going to be amped up for this one, so if the Patriots can get off to a good start, it'll help to neutralize that.

It won't be easy.  Buffalo may not have the offense of a 3-0 team, but their defense is no joke.  They are 5th in the league in both yards and points allowed per game.  They also have the second most passes defensed in the league; second only to the Patriots.

Though Brady has owned Buffalo throughout his career, he hasn't been as sharp since Sean McDermott took over.  The Patriots have managed to win all 4 meetings, but Brady has thrown 3 TD's and 4 INT's in those games.  He's been sacked 8 times, and in the two meetings last year, completed just 60% of his passes.  Despite those numbers, the Patriots have an average margin of victory of 18 points in those games.

With Buffalo's strength being their secondary, this could be the game where the Patriots get their run game on track.  Both the Giants and Bengals were able to find success on the ground against the Bills.  That's an area where the Pats have struggled so far this year, but don't expect them to shy away from it.  I think Sony Michel needs to get 15-20 carries in this one.

We've seen the Pats offense stretch the field a bit so far this season, taking several shots downfield.  Don't expect too much of that on Sunday.  This is going to be a possess the ball, move the chains and sustain drives type of game.

I expect a heavy dose of Julian Edelman and James White.  Buffalo's pass rush isn't anything special, but with the state of New England's offensive line, look for Tom Brady to utilize quick throws to neutralize that rush.  Dump offs to White, quick hitters to Edelman; I wouldn't be surprised to see some wide receiver screens to Josh Gordon as well.  Brady will look to get the ball in the hands of some playmakers and watch them go to work.



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Boston Sports Syndicate: Patriots vs Bills Preview: What to Expect on Offense
Patriots vs Bills Preview: What to Expect on Offense
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