In their first meeting with the Bills this year, the Patriots trailed 21-7 early in the third quarter then scored touchdowns on six straight possessions and pulled away for a 52-28 victory. It was just the second game in NFL history in which a team had a 300-yard pass rusher, two 100-yard receivers and two 100-yard rushers in the same game.
“They are very balanced now,” Buffalo linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said. “It is not just the Tom Brady show. It’s not just that they are going to line up five wide and throw the ball around. Now they do have the run dimension and they are averaging about 150 yards a game and that is definitely something that we are going to have to handle.”
That Bills were 2-1 going into that loss to the Patriots and followed it up with a 45-3 rout by the San Francisco 49ers in which they became the NFL’s first team to allow 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in the same game.
Buffalo’s only win in its last five games was in overtime, 19-16 over the slumping Arizona Cardinals.
Now it must try to stop the team that leads the NFL with 32.8 points and 440.8 yards per game with a defense that has allowed the second most points (31.0 per game) and yards (417.9).
“It’s (about) everybody knowing their job, playing fast and saying, ‘hey, you know what, they’re going to make a play, but it’s not letting one play turn into two, and not letting two turn into three,’ “ Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams said.
Even a strong start won’t mean much, not after Buffalo raced into the lead in two of the last three games between the teams before collapsing.
“I think everybody clicked” in the second half of the last meeting when the Patriots scored 45 points, Brady said. “We didn’t play very well in the first half so we were down 21-7 and it was a little bit of an adverse situation for us and we found a way to dig ourselves out of it. Hopefully, we don’t have to dig ourselves out of it this week.”