The AFC East finished the first week of the season with a combined record of 4-0, with the most shocking victory being the Buffalo Bills' win over the Indianapolis Colts. Now, the New England Patriots and Bills will square off in Week 2 with first place on the line at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
There's been no shortage of trash talk between the teams, but the battle will ultimately be won on the field on Sunday. Tyrod Taylor is looking for his second victory in as many starts, while Tom Brady and the Patriots continue their march towards another division title.
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1. Establish the run with LeGarrette Blount
Blount missed the first game of the season due to suspension, but he'll be back on the field against the Bills. Dion Lewis did a great job filling in for Blount against the Steelers, however he'll likely be moved back to more of a pass-catching role. Blount is a physical back and can send a message to Bills defenders that the Patriots can and will run the ball.
2. Contain Taylor in the pocket
Taylor didn't run the ball for big yardage against the Colts on Sunday, but he showed some great escapability. He has the ability to extend plays and find receivers down the field from outside of the pocket. That is something the Patriots must limit, and it starts up front with Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones keeping him in the pocket.
3. Target Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman often
The Patriots have a handful of playmakers on offense, but the most dynamic and dangerous are Gronkowski and Edelman. Both have a great ability to get open for Brady and gain yardage after the catch. Gronkowski and Edelman combined for 16 catches, 191 yards, and three touchdowns against the Steelers, and that trend should continue in Week 2.
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1. Taylor must continue mistake-free football
Taylor has yet to commit a single turnover this season -- both in the preseason and regular season -- and he'll need to continue his solid play for the Bills to win this game. Bill Belichick will surely draw up a game plan to shut down Taylor, but the quarterback has yet to make a mistake. Protecting the football is priority No. 1 for Taylor.
2. Get Sammy Watkins involved
Watkins was targeted three times in Week 1 and didn't record a single catch, yet the Bill still won the game definitively. That has to change against the Patriots as Watkins is one of the team's best playmakers and is a dynamic receiving threat. The Bills have to get Watkins involved early to regain his confidence.
3. Pressure Brady with just four rushers
The Bills will need all the help they can get in coverage against the Patriots' receivers, and one way to do that is to only rush four. So long as the Bills can get pressure on Brady with four rushers, they'll be able to drop seven into coverage. Rex Ryan likes to blitz, but the less he has to do so, the more success Buffalo will have.