Oh boy, Buffalo Fam! We’re there! We’re at the game everyone circles in their calendar as soon as the schedules are released. Some circle it and say “Chalk that one up as a loss.” Others circle it making sure they have that Sunday or Monday morning off from work because if the Bills win, we’re going WILD! I myself, am a mixed bag. Not the most optimistic fan when it comes to this game, however, IF the Bills win? IF they can beat the Patriots?! You better bet your ass I’m gonna go WILD. What’s Tom Brady’s record against the Bills? A whopping 26-3. One of those losses barely even counts either. It was a Week 17 throwaway game that by the end, Jimmy Garoppolo was under center and Tom Brady was on the sideline, readying for a nice first round playoff bye. Must be nice, eh Tom?! What’s more is “Tommy Terrific” is just two touchdowns away from breaking the record for most touchdowns thrown in Orchard Park since the 2001 year. He would be passing my bearded hero, Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s going to happen.. We all know this. Not just because Tom will be back next year but because he’ll throw for both those TDs on Sunday. That’s probably in Bill Belichick’s game plan notes; “Get Brady two touchdown passes and Mike Gillislee (who has been a healthy scratch the past couple of weeks) two rushing touchdowns.” We as Bills fans know how this works. Know beating around the bush here, Terry and Kim may have bought the Bills back in 2014, but Tom and Bill have owned the Bills since their tenure together started back in 2001. Alright, now that I’ve aired my grievances, it’s now time for the feats of strength. Sure, Brady can throw for two and Gillislee can rush for two more. That doesn’t mean the Bills have to lose, right? Let’s go to the keys to the game. The main points that will lead the Buffalo Bills to victory. So stick those ‘key’s in the ignition and let’s roll!
Stop the running backs (all of them)
The Patriots have three running backs they like to use. Four if you count Gillislee. Who knows, he might not even play but I have a sneaky feeling he’ll be active for this one. Bills may have contained Kareem Hunt last week but as of late, who hasn’t? Let’s not forget what the Jets’ Powell/Forte did to the Bills defense, what the Saints’ Ingram/Kamara did to them and even the combo of the Chargers’ Gordon/Eckler did to them. I realize Tom is the greatest of all time *shudders*, and you have to contain his passing game as well but Bills secondary is GOOD. Buffalo has only allowed a touchdown on 2.5 percent of their opponents passing attempts this year. Along with the Jaguars, that’s tied for the best in the NFL. So stop the running game first and foremost; attack Burkhead, attack White, and attack Lewis. For once, I’m asking for the Bills to put the game in Tom Brady’s hands. Pressure him to make perfect throws to his receivers because our secondary can take care of themselves.
Get that offense moving
The Bills offense is obviously their weaker side of the ball, even with the defense’s struggles. They’re offense is wildly inconsistent. The key to winning this one against the Patriots is sustaining drives. I’m not even asking for points every drive, just keep three and outs or even just short drives to a minimum. I will bet my life savings that if the Bills put up 16 points like they did last week, they will NOT win this game. Get the points you can, play good, sound football. This all seems like obvious stuff but it’s all about fundamentals here. The Patriots aren’t going to give the Bills any freebies. Bills need to move the ball, come away with scoring drives, and give that defense a rest. If Patriots jump out to an early multiple score lead you might as well turn the TV channel to NFL Redzone at half time. If Bills jump out to a multi-score lead? DO NOT START TRYING TO RUN OUT THE CLOCK IN THE SECOND QUARTER. We’ve seen this before. It doesn’t end well. Patriots don’t give up large leads but they sure as hell can come back from a large deficit. ‘Sup Falcons?
What do you guys think? What do the Bills have to do in this one to come away with a win? Do they stand a chance? I’m curious of other fans optimism levels. Follow me on twitter @bblehar, we’ll curse out our Bills together on Sunday. Go Texans, go Lions, and most importantly, go Bills.