With week 3 of the NFL already here, fans are trying to decipher which teams are for real, and which are frauds. One thing we do know is that the New England Patriots have been regarded as being for real for quite some time, and this year is no different. On the other hand, the Buffalo Bills are still searching for an answer to lead them to being a legitimate team. Some people argue that the answer is already in Buffalo, and that this isn’t the same old Bills team of years past.
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The Bills head into week 3 with a perfect 2-0 record, thanks to victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. The Kansas City Chiefs game was a complete romp, 41-7, perhaps a reflection of the state of Chiefs’ football, but nevertheless it was impressive coming from the Bills. Last week against the Raiders at home, the Bills showed their resiliency in a tight battle that came down to the final seconds. Ryan Fitzpatrick connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson on 4th down to seal the victory with 14 seconds remaining. Again, maybe it was a reflection of the competition, but it was refreshing to Bills’ fans. Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson have really built a rapport between one another, with running back Fred Jackson continuing to play at a high level. Just when you think C.J Spiller is going step in and snatch the starting spot away, Jackson continues to impress. The offensive numbers the Bills have put up the first two weeks are a far cry from previous years. However, in previous years, the defense was the unit that kept them in games, against the Raiders, it was nonexistent. The Raiders aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, and they managed to pass for over 300 yards under Jason Campbell. The Bills offense is going to need to need to keep this pace up, as I believe the Patriots are going to score with ease.
The New England Patriots are in a familiar role: starting the season 2-0. They took care of business against the Miami Dolphins in week 1, and the San Diego Chargers last week. The Chargers had numerous chances to win that game, but shot themselves in the foot constantly; notably, failing to score from the 1-yard line on 4th down. That’s what they Patriots do though, they are an opportunistic defense, and they step up when they have to. They may give up a bunch of yards, but they get a critical stop or turnover when it’s needed. The Patriots will be without starting center Dan Koppen again on Sunday, as he went down with a fractured left fibula against the Dolphins in week 1. Losing a center for most teams is a huge blow; however, Dan Connolly has had experience at the position, and looked great against the Chargers last week.
Patriots vs Bills Pick:
Ralph Wilson Stadium has often been the Bills biggest weapon, but not against the Patriots as they have been steam rolled by the Patriots in recent memory at home. In fact, the past five meetings in Buffalo between the two, the Patriots have gone 5-0, winning by an average score of 29-6. As I stated in an earlier Patriots pick this season: to be successful against the Patriots you need to generate a pass rush. The opposition needs to have a stout defensive line that harasses Tom Brady to disrupt their offensive rhythm. I’m not quite sure the Bills are going to be able to bother Brady and company much, as I foresee them putting up around 40 points. I’m not buying into the hype on the Bills until they can perform against elite teams.