The Patriots and Bills are throwing down in just a few short days on Monday Night Football in what is sure to be less entertaining than all the talk the Bills are providing leading up to the actual game.
The Patriots can and should win this game and not just because it’s a home game, but because they are very capable of winning at these three key areas.
1. Stopping the Run:
Usually I post protecting Tom Brady as the number one key, but not this week, not this game. This game means the Patriots number one key area to win, the area they have to win, is stopping the run. Buffalo loves to run the football with LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams and even their QB Tyrod Taylor. The Pats may be without Collins so Mayo and Freeny need a big game. We know Hightower will bring it, but the other two need to step up their game, especially Freeny. Miss tackles in this game will not do, it will cause the team to drop their first loss of the season. If they bottle up the speedy Bills on the ground and make them take flight in the air, they will win the game.
2. Protecting Tom Brady:
Brady is better when he has time. He had a banged up line with more nonstarters protecting him than actual starters and was without Edelman, and that is why the offense struggled for 3 and half quarters against the Giants. Still, when he had adequate time, he moved the ball quickly into field goal range, so the Pats need to do that for an entire game. The Pats can survive without Edelman if they can protect Brady and give him time to find the right guys. If Brady gets protected in the pocket, the rest takes care of itself.
3. Covering Sammy Watkins:
Who else do they have to throw the ball too, if it’s not Watkins deep? They don’t go to anybody else too often, so if Butler can contain him and force Taylor to throw the ball short and consistently up the field, they will probably struggle to string together enough scoring drives.