5 things to know about the Bills next opponent: the New England Patriots
ORCHARD PARK – Good news, guys.
Buffalo Bills (6-5) head coach Sean McDermott said on Monday that he’s “aware of the Patriots recent success.”
But in all seriousness, Bills fans are well aware of the defending Super Bowl champion and AFC rival New England Patriots (9-2) and in case you needed a little up-to-date news…
Here are five things to know about the Pats ahead of Sunday’s Bills – Patriots contest:
Tom Brady… still good: You love to hate him, and he just keeps giving you reasons to do so. Tom Brady, the five-time Super Bowl champ and recent Super Bowl MVP, at 40, is still pretty good. Brady currently leads the NFL with 3,374 yards and is second in touchdowns with 26 (Carson Wentz – 28). Brady might be looking to make up for last week, too. He only had 227 passing yards in a 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, dipping his season-long pace below 5,000 (now 4,906). Bum.
Ex-Bills: Because where else would they rather go? Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, running back Mike Gillislee and wide receiver Chris Hogan all, for one reason or another, went from the Bills to the Pats. Gilmore, after a slow start to the year, has improved. Gilmore essentially had two picks last week, but one was credited to Duron Harmon. Both pretty much came down with the ball, but it was given to Harmon. That’s where the ex-Bill good news stops. Hogan (shoulder) missed his third-straight game last week due to injury. That’s better than Gillislee. He’s been a healthy scratch for the last three.
Defensive turnaround: After a horrible start, the Patriots defense has looked promising the past few weeks. After starting the year allowing point totals of 42, 20, 33, and 33 to start the season, New England has allowed less than 20 points in their last seven-straight games. The Pats are 7-0 in that stretch. Their pass rush had a big game last week as well, notching seven sacks against Miami.
Gronk’s health: After only playing six games last season due to a hamstring injury and herniated disc, the Buffalo-native is feeling pretty good this year. Rob Gronkowski has only missed one game so far, which was all the way back in Week 5. So far this year, Gronk is third on the Patriots with 702 receiving yards and second with 46 grabs. And he pretty much always does great against the Bills, right?
Two ducks: The Patriots two losses came in the first four games of the season during their prior mentioned defensive struggles. Kansas City topped the Pats 42-27 back on opening day then the Panthers did so 33-30. I guess the Bills magic number is 430. The Patriots are 0-2 when allowing 430 yards or more (KC – 537, CAR – 444). Buffalo reached that total once this season, putting up 434 yards during their 30-27 win over Tampa.