Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) congratulates tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) on a touchdown during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
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The high powered New England Patriots offense are looking to secure themselves a first round bye in the playoffs after clinching the AFC East division. The Buffalo Bills are fighting for a playoff spot and have an actual legitimate chance at making the postseason. The Bills defense has been playing well the last two weeks but now they need to be almost perfect against Tom Brady and his offense.

Coming into this game, the Pats are currently ranked as the second best offense in the entire league behind the New Orleans Saints. They are ranked number one in the passing game and Brady leads all quarterbacks in passing yards this season. The Bills defense is ranked in the higher twenties when it comes to overall defenses’.

It’s time for the Bills to tune it up and surprise the league this Sunday.

Key Factors to Stopping the Pats Offense?

1.) Bringing down Brady in the Pocket

The Bills defense usually applies pressure to opposing quarterbacks but are typically not good at coming up with sacks. Brady can do well under pressure so the Bills need to physically get to Brady and bring him down. Make them lose yards as well as get the defense in better position for stops on crucial plays.

In their last meeting, the Bills did not give a passing touchdown but when the running game for the Pats was going, it created opportunities for Brady to get the ball down the field to set up for two rushing touchdowns.

The Pats offensive line is not the greatest and they haven’t been for quite sometime. A Bills led defensive line in which Kyle Williams is the leader should take well advantage of the weaknesses on the offensive line to create plays.

2.) Don’t Let Gronk Get Open

Rob Gronkowski is Brady’s favorite receiver to go to. With his size and speed, Brady can utilize Gronk down field because very rarely is there ever a player who can lockdown Gronk. This may be the Bills biggest struggle for the Pats because they do not for sure have someone that can contain the big tight end.

Against the Bills the first time, Gronk had nine catches for 147 yards. No scores through the air, but the defense can’t afford to give up this type of yardage to one single player.

3.) Contain the Running Game

Their first meeting resulted in the running game helping put points on the board for the Patriots. Dion Lewis rushed for 92 yards and Rex Burkhead rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis had the longest run of the day that resulted in a 44 yard rush and a nasty stiff arm to Jordan Poyer.

The Bills defense is statistically in the lower end of the league, but the run defense is worse than passing defense. Burkhead is unlikely to play this Sunday so the Pats will look to Lewis as the main back. Lewis can still be a threat to the Bills defense. If the Bills can keep Lewis under control, Brady will have to throw the ball and the secondary can continue to shine if they show up and play Bills football.

 

Make sure to follow Brandon Ray on Twitter at @brandon_ray79 and @FPC_Bills for Buffalo Bills coverage. 

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