FOXBORO, Mass. — This weekend’s New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills matchup might be of the utmost importance to Rex Ryan, but to former Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan, it’s just another game.
Hogan, who signed with the Patriots this past offseason, insisted he doesn’t have his first game back in Orchard Park circled on his calendar.
“Nope, I’m going about this just like every other week,” Hogan said Wednesday. “It’s an away game. It’s a (divisional) game for us. It’s going to be a big game. Just (with) the way the outcome of the previous game went, we’re just looking forward to getting up there and playing a solid four quarters of football.”
The Bills handed the Patriots their only loss of the season when the teams first met back in Week 4. Hogan was a non-factor in that game, finishing with zero catches on two targets and picking up a costly holding penalty that negated a Patriots touchdown on New England’s first offensive play.
“I mean, it will be the first time on the other sideline up there (at New Era Field), but I’m not really focused on that,” Hogan said. “I’m just focused on just getting through this week, studying the game plan and just going up there as prepared as I can be so that I can play fast and not have to worry about all the outside stuff.”
Hogan did compliment Buffalo’s game-day atmosphere, as many Patriots players have this week. The Bills are 6-1 in their last seven home games.
“They have a great crowd there, just like a lot of the stadiums we play in,” Hogan said. “They’re loud. They’re going to be into the game, so we’ll have to prepare for the noise and be ready to be able to communicate well throughout the whole day.”
Some additional notes from Wednesday:
— Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater and a slew of his teammates invaded Splitsville at Patriot Place on Tuesday night for “Matthew vs. Matthew,” a fundraiser hosted by Slater and his wife to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew.
“It went great,” Slater said. “We had some great support. I?m really excited about how it turned out. We?ll find out today final (donation) numbers but better than we could?ve hoped for.”
He added: “I feel like being a professional athlete in the NFL, you?re blessed, and you have a lot of resources that a lot of people don?t have. And you see lives being affected by something like Hurricane Matthew, people trying to rebuild, they?ve lost everything they?ve had, and to be able to give up your time, give up your resources to try and help them find a fresh start definitely means a lot to me and my wife and my family, so we were really excited about (Tuesday) night.”
To read Doug Kyed’s full report from the event, click here.
— The Bills are going with a throwback look this Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images