In their first meeting last season in Week 3, the Bills won 34-31 behind a strong performance by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and 17 fourth-quarter points.
It was a poor showing by the Pats secondary then, when Fitzpatrick threw for 369 yards, with wide receiver Stevie Johnson catching eight balls for 94 yards and a touchdown. How the Pats try to contain the Bills’ air attack could determine the outcome this time around.
Another important matchup for the New England defense, specifically the front seven, will be trying to contain the Buffalo rushing attack. While running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are both listed as questionable, the Bills potent running game will be a difficult one to stop, regardless of who suits up.
On the flip side, Brady could have a tough time solving the Buffalo D. Defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt‘s schemes have given TB12 trouble in the past, most notably when Wannstedt coached the Miami Dolphins. The familar foe for the Pats O could prove problematic, but then again, that familiarity could also work in New England’s favor.
Finally, the most important battle for the Patriots to win could be in the trenches, keeping Brady upright. The Bills made waves this offseason upgrading their defense by signing free-agent pass rusher Mario Williams, who will have his ears pinned back rushing the passer on Sunday.