NFL Week 3 AFC Matchup Preview: Patriots (-9 ½) vs. Bills

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For the first time in a very long time, the football fans of Western New York have a lot to cheer about. The Buffalo Bills are 2-0 after blowing out the Kansas City Chiefs in week one on the road, and then coming back to beat the Oakland Raiders at home in week two. Now the Bills face the ultimate AFC test as the 2-0 New England Patriots come to town. The most impressive part of the Bills’ game is its offense. After scoring almost 80 points in the first two games of the season, the Bills have shown an unforeseen ability to adjust to an opposing defense and put up points. While some will argue that it was not the New England defense the Bills were facing in week two, there are enough similarities between the Raiders’ defense and the Patriots to make this upcoming game interesting.

The NFL betting lines on the Patriots still have New England as the favorite to win the AFC East. But there are still cracks in the New England armor that head coach Bill Belichick sees and that the Buffalo Bills can try to exploit. The Patriots just got done dismantling the San Diego Chargers’ defense and pressuring the San Diego offense into the ground. The question that this game raises is whether or not the Buffalo Bills defense can do what Miami and San Diego failed to do; stop Tom Brady. Brady has had his problems in Buffalo early in games, but he usually comes out the winner. The online sportsbooks fans in Buffalo may have to sit and watch as Brady finds a way to beat the Bills yet again.

Buffalo Bills

If you are fishing for ways to give the Bills an edge in this game it would have to be at running back. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are proving to be a potent running combination, and the Bills’ offensive line is finding all kinds of ways to give the two running backs room to operate. But, even with some new players on the defensive line, the Buffalo Bills still cannot get consistent pressure on the quarterback. The Bills got to Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell enough time to pull out the win. But if Buffalo wants to stop Tom Brady, it will need consistent pressure on the New England quarterback. That was something that not even the San Diego defensive line was able to do.

New England Patriots

The New England offense is so potent that it could strike at any moment. If Wes Welker does not catch a timely pass in the slot, then Chad Ochocinco will take you deep. If you manage to somehow catch little Danny Woodhead, then the next play you will have to deal with the power of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The only weakness on the Patriots’ team that may affect it in this game is the defensive secondary. If Buffalo quarterback can consistently get the ball past the front defensive seven, then the Bills can score points. But will the Bills be able to stop Tom Brady and the offense?

The Bottom Line

This is one of those NFL picks where you want to believe the upset could happen but you know it probably will not. It is conceivable that the Bills could hang with the Patriots for three quarters of a shoot-out. But, eventually, the Pats will pull away and put the Bills in second place in the AFC East.

Pick: New England Patriots


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