If the New England Patriots can start fast, hold onto the ball, and play up to their defensive potential, they should easily dispatch the Buffalo Bills.
The matchup between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills today is easily one of the more intriguing games on the schedule for Week 4 in the NFL. Besides being a divisional showdown (the third straight for the Patriots this year), it’s also a battle between two of the seven remaining undefeated teams in the league.
While Bills fans are understandably excited about the game – and even Patriots players are looking forward to the atmosphere at New Era Field as visitors – this contest could be a whole lot less competitive than people may think if New England as a team plays up to its capabilities. Both squads deserve to be 3-0 entering Week 4 given the paltry level of competition they’ve faced, but only one team has looked utterly dominant in dispatching that competition – and that’s the Patriots.
With all due respect to the Bills, Buffalo had to come from behind dramatically in all three of their victories this season against the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots started fast against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets, and then the Pats never looked back. At no point in any of their three games was the final outcome ever in doubt beyond halftime.
Again, both teams deserve to be undefeated, and both should be commended for it as well. A win’s a win in today’s NFL, regardless of how good or bad the competition is. But while the Patriots have the appearance of being arguably the best team in the league right now, the Bills haven’t necessarily even looked like a lock for the playoffs as of yet.
That can still change, of course. A win over the visiting Super Bowl champions is probably as good a place to start as anywhere.
It should be a difficult task to achieve for Bills Mafia, though, if the Patriots play up to their potential. A fast start by the New England offense might be enough to doom Buffalo, as Josh Allen and the Bills’ running offense isn’t built to win a track meet. Keep in mind that since 2001, New England is 175-16 when leading at the half.
Tom Brady also has yet to throw a pick this season. While he’s thrown more interceptions than touchdowns against Buffalo in the Sean McDermott era, the Patriots QB has looked especially careful and sharp in his decision-making this season. If he and the other skill-position players around him keep their hands on the ball, New England should win the game while winning the turnover margin.
Last but certainly not least, if the Patriots maintain their defensive dominance, the Bills probably don’t have a chance in this one. No team has come close to scoring a touchdown on Bill Belichick’s unit, neither through the air nor on the ground. If the Pats can push that historic streak to four games in a row, the team is virtually guaranteed to fly back home with a perfect 4-0 record in tow.