If you only listen to Rex Ryan, you’d think it was the Bills coming off a Super Bowl win and ready to pulverize the measly Patriots this Sunday (1 p.m., CBS).
If you listen to his players, you’d know it’s now “personal” between the two squads.
In fact, Bills safety Aaron Williams went as far as to say he “hates” New England earlier this week.
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One would already assume the wildebeest hates the lion, though.
Needless to say, Ryan hasn’t changed one bit since going from the Jets to the Bills. It’s pretty safe to say that he’ll never change. And that goes for the identity of his teams, too, which is always defense first.
The Bills have a very dangerous front seven, especially the defensive line. Protecting Tom Brady is always the top priority, and it’s going to be about as tough as it gets on Sunday against a Bills team with a bounty on Brady.
Here are three more things to watch for:
Forgive the Buffalo Bills fans for being excited around this time of year. You see, the Bills are tied for first place. Who cares that it’s only Week 2 and every other team in the division is 1-0? The fans are riding high after a big Week 1 win over the Colts, and it sounds like they’ve all discovered their voices. All joking aside, it’s going to be vital for the Patriots to get out ahead. The last thing they want is an already loud stadium going next level on them with a lead. As Bill Belichick said earlier this week, “It will be as loud as we allow it to be.”
2. Using the tight ends
Patriots tight ends accounted for all four touchdowns last week – three for Rob Gronkowski and one for Scott Chandler. Chandler makes his return to Buffalo this weekend, and undoubtedly would love to find the end zone there. But as previously noted, the Bills front seven is a tough group and loves to bring pressure. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the tight ends used more in a blocking role this week. You can obviously never count Gronk out, when it comes to the end zone, but he may be even more valuable helping out a young offensive line. Expect a bigger day offensively from the Pats wideouts.
3. Bills have offense, too
Sure, Rex Ryan is a defensive guru, but he’s got some offensive weapons at his disposal in Buffalo. LeSean McCoy is a premiere back and can make defenders miss in open space. Percy Harvin caught a touchdown last week and Ryan uses him all over the field. And although Tyrod Taylor is not your typical quarterback, that’s exactly why he can pose problems on the ground. Keeping him in the pocket on Sunday is going to be a big focus for the Patriots.