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Patriots/Bills Preview

The 5-2 Buffalo Bills will be hosting the 2-4 New England Patriots on Sunday. Usually, it’s the Patriots who are in first place and Buffalo is usually the team that is either in second or third place in the division. However, there is no Tom Brady anymore and the Bills are the team who are at the top of the AFC East for the moment. It’s been two long decades of dominance from the Patriots. With that being said, here are my keys for the Bills to win this game and have a 6-2 record.

John Brown

The Bills will get wide receiver John Brown back after missing last week’s game against the Jets with a knee injury. Even though Buffalo won last week, they missed Brown. Brown is a game changer and getting him back is great news for Bills quarterback Josh Allen. According to Bills sideline reporter Sal Capaccio, Brown practiced for a second day in a row, which is great news for Buffalo. I think this game is going to be a run heavy game and I’ll get to that next, but having Brown back is good to hear if you’re a Bills fan.

Rain

It’s expected to be a rainy game in Orchard Park on Sunday. With the weather looking like it won’t be a game to throw the ball around, so I expect each team to run the ball a lot. Bills running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss will be a factor in this game if Buffalo wants to beat the Patriots. According to the team’s website, both running backs did a decent job against the Jets. Moss had seven attempts and rushed for 47 yards, while Singletary had eight attempts and registered 29 yards. It seems like Moss has been getting more of the workload but in order to win this game, I think both running backs will be a factor.

Beating New England for the first time

This section isn’t about the Bills, it’s about Josh Allen. In his young career, the Bills quarterback has never beaten the Patriots. Last year against New England, he would like to forget about the game that was played in Buffalo because not only did he have to leave the game because of a concussion, but he played poorly. He played better later on in the season in New England, but it was the same result.

As I mentioned earlier, the Patriots do not have Tom Brady. Even though Allen hasn’t been the same quarterback he was during the first four weeks of the season, he can redeem himself against the team that has been his kryptonite during his career. We might not see him throw the ball that much because of the rain, but we’ll see what happens.

No Julian Edelman

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman underwent a precautionary standard knee procedure this morning and is expected to miss “some period of time”, including the game on Sunday. With Buffalo’s defense struggling, not having to go up against Edelman is a break for the Bills.

Defense

There’s no question the Bills defense has been struggling mightily. However, Buffalo’s defense played better in the second half last week. I’m not sure if head coach Sean McDermott took over play calling or if there was an adjustment, but if they can play like they did in the second half against New York, then that would be very helpful. However, looking at the injury report, there is some concern.

The biggest concern is safety Micah Hyde, who has a concussion. As seen above, he did not practice again. Hopefully he will be ready to go for Sunday, because he is a key piece on that defense.

You can catch the game on CBS.

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