The Buffalo Bills will be hosting the New England Patriots in both teams first official game of the 2013 NFL season. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
The Bills are a big underdog, but they usually are, and have played the Patriots close despite that the past few seasons.
The Bills are plagued with injuries heading into today’s game, safety Jairus Byrd, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore will both miss out today. Both of those players are huge to the Bills and it will be hard for them to replace either one. The Bills secondary was already their weakest point on defense, and missing those two makes it even worse. The Bills will rely on their defensive line to set the tone, and win the game today. They need to get to Brady to protect their secondary because if they don’t then Brady will pick the Bills apart on his way to another victory. The Bills defensive line is their strength, boasting Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Alan Branch, and Marcell Dareus across it. Kyle Williams has given New England problems over the last few seasons, and Mario Williams is always dangerous. The Patriots offensive line will have their hands full today going against this Bills line. The Patriots have the advantage here because their offensive line usually performs well, and keeps Brady protected, so as long as they handle the blitzes, New England should be just fine.
CJ Spiller could be a difference maker in the game for the Bills. EJ Manuel is a rookie QB making his first career start, and the Bills game plan will revolve around Spiller. They want Manuel to run a high pace offense, and get the ball out of his hands quickly to his playmakers. This is where the game might be won or lost for either team. Spiller may not have a big day running because New England has a great run defense, but if Spiller gets open across the middle with space, watch out. Spiller is very dangerous in open spaces and New England will to contain him anytime the ball is in his hands. I figure Spiller will do the most damage in the passing attack because New England has had trouble containing backs, and tight ends across the middle. Whoever has Spiller in the passing game better make sure they wrap up because they do NOT want to be in a foot chase with this guy. This part of the Bills offense is most scary to me, and we will see if New England has gotten better in an area of weakness.
Along with Spiller is tight end Scott Chandler, and he has had his way with New England across the middle. The Patriots may see a heavy dose of this duo across the middle today, and they better have a plan for it. Rookie LB Jamie Collins or veteran safety Steven Gregory will be tasked with the job of stopping Scott Chandler, and keeping him from burning them. Gregory’s strength in the passing game is against tight ends and runningbacks, and he will be putting that to good use today. Jamie Collins is an excellent linebacker in coverage and we may get to see our first take of it today if he is on Chandler. If he slows down Chandler then that will be impressive.
The Patriots have rushed for over 100 yards rushing against the Bills in 7 straight games, and the Patriots are bringing in a loaded backfield. Stevan Ridley will get the heavy dose of the Bills defense today, so if you have Ridley start him. Ridley should have a good day against the Bills along with LeGarrette Blount. Blount had an excellent preseason, and is better in games than practices. I wouldn’t be surprise to see Blount get a few carries today, and break some big plays. Look for these two to stand out in the game on offense.
Brady should have no problems throwing against this Bills defense today, especially if he is protected. Brady will have a new cast of wide receivers today, and it will be our first chance of seeing them all in action! Brady has two favorite targets before the season has even begun, and they are, Danny Amendola, and Kenbrell Thompkins. I think Thompkins will have a huge game today. Thompkins is a route runner, deep threat, and a 3rd down guy who has Brady’s trust 100%.
Watch the game today at 1 pm EST time and Go Pats!