By BBD Editor Mike Watkins
To some Bills fans there is no bigger game every year than the two where we take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Patriots have run rough shot over the division for about as long as the Bills have sat in its basement. In order for the Bills to truly be back they’ll need to be the best and that starts right here in Week 4. Here are the five things the Bills must do in order to beat New England.
1. Young but talented Secondary: Everyone already knows the Patriots love to throw the ball and why wouldn’t they? If you have Tom Brady you would throw the ball as often as you could also. The Bills CB’s will face their toughest test to date Sunday against one of the best in the league in Tom Brady. If you are the Patriots you have to look at the Bills CB’s and like that matchup with a rookie and a second year player. The duo of Gilmore and Williams as well as the other CB’s could be in for a long day and will need assistance from the DL to shorten Brady and their WR’s window of opportunity. The Bills had some trouble last week with quick slants and outs. The Patriots likely took note of this and so did the Bills. Look for the Bills CB’s to try and jump these routes early
2. Spread the Patriots out: The Patriots biggest weakness as it was last year is in the secondary. Look for the Bills to spread them out and really test that depth. The deeper you get into their reserve CB’s the more vulnerable they become. While the Bills are not real deep at WR themselves they should still be able to find a lot of matchups they like. This is one of those weeks where the Bills will really miss David Nelson
3. Aggression: Coming off of two straight losses the Patriots are likely to be real fired up to get back on track, which will in turn likely lead to a real aggressive nature to their play. The Bills should use this to their advantage and run a lot of misdirection, screens, and play actions in the beginning of the game. One or two big plays from this and you will have the Patriots thinking more instead of reacting that leads to frustration that will hopefully lead to the Bills capitalizing on mistakes.
4. The others will have to beat them: Even if Spiller and Jackson play neither will be a 100% and likely limited. Thus the Patriots will go into this game looking to bottle up are next biggest Bills weapon in Stevie Johnson. The Patriots are going to go into this game with the game plan of if they are going to beat us its going to have to be D.Jones, TJ Graham, S.Chandler, and T.Choice that sends the Patriots to their third straight loss. It’s not a bad game plan on the Patriots part and its up to those players to exploit the one on one matchups they are likely to see.
5. First Impressions: A lot was made of how the Bills transformed their defensive line from a point of weakness to a point of strength in one offseason with the signing of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. The recent success the Giants have had was a good part of the justification as to why these moves were made. To be honest why wouldn’t they, the Giants have had a lot of success beating the Patriots with a deep talented DL that comes at Brady and waves. The Bills hope to mimic this success and this will be the first run at the Patriots with their revamped DL. Expect it to have some success, the Bills DL has continued to get better every week and with a below average at best run game and with a heavy spread formation passing game with a average OL expect the Bills DL to be able to pin their ears back and really go after Brady.