Patriots must contain CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson vs. Bills

The Patriots were able to limit CJ Spiller to under 100 rushing yards in each of their meetings with Buffalo last season. Credit: Getty Images
The Patriots were able to limit CJ Spiller to under 100 rushing yards in each of their meetings with Buffalo last season. Credit: Getty Images

Enough about training camp and who looked good in shorts and shells.

No more talk referencing preseason stats and if they translate to the regular season.

Finally, it’s here. The Patriots will kick off their 2013-14 NFL season Sunday at 1 p.m. in Orchard Park, NY where they face the Bills.

It’s not exactly Patriots-Seahawks (although many feel that matchup may come in early February), but any game – especially an opener – played on the road is a tough one, even if the Bills only look to compete with the Jets for third place in the AFC East this season.

So what can we expect from the Patriots, and just how much can we take away from Week 1? Well, that depends on where you’re looking.

The Bills boast one of the game’s better rushing attacks in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. While Jackson used to lead the way, his injuries and Spiller’s emergence have flipped the depth chart, as Spiller is one of the top backs heading into 2013.

It’ll be a great test early in the season for the Patriots defensive line and linebackers, as the Bills will most likely run often over putting the ball in rookie QB EJ Manuel’s hands. But Bill Belichick isn’t going to focus all the attention on the running game.

“We have to have an awareness of the players that are in there but we have to defend the scheme that they run against us and we have to carry out our responsibilities,” Belichick said. “It’s kind of a combination of those things. We’ll be aware of the skills that Manuel has, that [Jeff] Tuel has, that Spiller has, that Jackson has, that [Tashard] Choice has … We still have to play our defense and maybe we have a little bit better awareness specifically of one player over another and we should.”

And you can be sure that new Bills head coach Doug Marrone has his hands full in trying to figure out a way to contain the Pats offense – even if it’s full of young players that are new to the NFL.

“You have, obviously a quarterback that can put the ball right on the money, who’s an elite quarterback in this league,” Marrone said. “Those receivers play well. They run good routes. They get off man coverage. They find their spots in zones. So, they’ve got a bunch of guys that are able to get open.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA details back-up plan for commuters for potential…

The MTA said it was prepared to offer buses and ferries to counter a potential LIRR strike as early as July 20.

Local

Lawmakers look to regulate Elmo, Spider-Man and other…

After a string of incidents and growing concern, officials are hoping to regulate costumed characters that solicit money for photos in Times Square.

Local

Brooklyn Bridge Park rink opens up for free…

New Yorkers can now get three hours of free skate three days a week at a new rink alongside the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Local

Babe Ruth bat sells for $214,000 at auction

A nearly century-old Babe Ruth bat sold for $214,000 at a memorabilia auction Saturday night.

Gossip

Jenni 'JWoww' Farley gives birth

First came smooshing, then came love, then came a baby.

Movies

Interview: Josh Gad on 'Wish I Was Here'…

"Wish I Was Here" star Josh Gad talks about "Garden State," the pain of playing mean and how kids today know that he's the voice of "Frozen"'s snowman.

Movies

Box office: Humans let 'Apes' conquer humans, giant…

This weekend at the box office, audiences flocked to watch humanity get dominated by a bunch of CGI apes.

Movies

Noel Clarke wants in on ‘Star Wars’

Former "Doctor Who" co-star Noel Clarke has his sights set on the "Star Wars" franchise next, and personally he likes his odds of landing a role.

NBA

Nets lose Paul Pierce to two-year deal with…

Paul Pierce is taking a gamble on joining a franchise on the rise.

NBA

GIF: LeBron James returns to Cleveland so deal…

To anyone out there who is upset about his decision, this .GIF is for you. Enjoy.

World Cup

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down…

By Philip PullellaVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

Education

Beat summer brain drain with these 5 tips

  Hazy, hot and humid summer afternoons have often been used as the perfect excuse to procrastinate. But summer can be a great time to…

Food

Peanut butter like you've never had it before

Peanut butter recipes for adult palate.

Parenting

3 lessons from Pinterest's most popular toddler

Meet Quinoa from the "My Imaginary Well-Dressed Daughter" Pinterest board.

Wellbeing

Fart gas might prevent cancer

You might not like the smell, but fart gas might help prevent cancer.