The Buffalo Bills could not have asked for a better way to earn respect around the league. They are rolling into Week 3 at 3-0, coming off their home opener with a comeback win against the Cincinnati Bengals and the team seemed to never had as much chemistry as they currently do. They now host the New England Patriots who come in at 3-0 as well and have a dominant overall football team.
This is definitely the toughest challenge the Bills will face this season. With all the hype around this game, managing editor Brandon Ray (brandon_ray79) and Buffalo Bills writer for Upstate New York, Ryan Talbot (RyanTalbotBills) take a look into the preview of this game.
1.) This is the first time Josh Allen will face Tom Brady and the Patriots in Orchard Park. Do you believe he is ready to take down the powerhouse dynasty that has been built for almost two decades?
Talbot: I think the Bills as a whole can take down the Patriots in Week 4, but they need to be flawless in their execution which is easier said than done. Josh Allen has to do his part in the game plan and be smart with the football. That means avoiding throwing up prayers with pressure in his face. If Allen protects the football, Buffalo can stay in the ball game.
Ray: I think that most teams have the ability to slow down the Patriots and some of them are even able to stop them. The Bills are a team that can definitely stop the Patriots but they have to be completely mistake-free and convert on third downs on offense. Allen has weapons around him that are reliable and his play-making decisions are slowing developing in the right direction but it still needs work.
2.) How much of an impact should the Bills’ wide receivers have in this game against a tough Patriots secondary?
Talbot: It all depends on the flow of the game. Buffalo will probably look to run a balanced offense. If New England gets a lead and builds upon it, Buffalo may need to throw more than they had originally hoped. John Brown versus Stephon Gilmore will be fun to watch. GIlmore has established himself as one of the best cornerbacks inthe NFL and Brown is a lot more than just a downfield threat. Their matchup will be intriguing. Cole Beasley is the wide receiver I’m looking forward to seeing the most on Sunday. New England has killed Buffalo with their slot receiver play over the years and I could see Buffalo trying a similar strategy in Week 4.
Ray: Whether or not Devin Singletary suits up, the Bills’ receiving core will have a deep impact and major role against the Patriots defense. I believe that Beasley will be the Bills’ x-factor for the offense seeing as how he has a low drop rate in his career and is a reliable target on third down. Brown could see his production increase from the past two weeks. He should more than likely get a couple deep balls thrown to him and the ‘smoke’ should be able to capitalize.
3.) What predictions do you have when it comes to the Bills offense?
Talbot: I think the Bills end New England’s streak of keeping offenses out of the end zone. Buffalo scores at least two touchdowns in the game.
Ray: Josh Allen has a great chance to run for over 100 yards and pass for over 250 yards and one touchdown, while adding one on the ground. To take a deeper look into the offense, both Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney are going to be exceptional blockers and get into the open field to make some plays in the pass attack.
4.) Who do you believe will win this game?
Talbot: Buffalo is 3-0 and Josh Allen has improved a lot in year two, but it’s hard to bet against New England based on Brady’s success against the Bills. New England wins in a matchup that is closer than a lot of people expect.
Ray: I understand that the Bills are on the down side of this history against Brady and New England. With this Bills’ team being more disciplined, physical and making crucial plays in crucial moments, there is definitely reason to believe that Bills shock the world by bringing down the Patriots. Are you a “billiever”? This guy is, and predicts the Bills take the lead in the AFC East with a 17-14 win over the Patriots. This game will be defensive without a doubt but Allen pulls off a miracle against arguably the best team in the league.
From Full Press Coverage, we thank Ryan for his time to participate in this roundtable.
-Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Make sure to follow Brandon on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.
-Ryan Talbot is a Buffalo Bills writer at New York Upstate and can be followed on Twitter at @RyanTalbotBills.