Why this game is intriguing: The last time the Patriots visited upstate New York, they left with a humbling defeat -- their first loss to Buffalo since 2003. Tom Brady threw four interceptions and might have been angrier about this result than any regular-season game in memory. Fast forward a year, and the Pats are (gasp) in third place in the AFC East. How mad will Brady be this year if they fall to 1-3? We may find out. Buffalo has survived scares to both running backs, and Fred Jackson could return this week. Plus, the atmosphere should be insane.
What to watch:Mario Williams, the top free agent on the market during the offseason, was lured to Buffalo for games like this. Nothing is more important than affecting Brady, and Williams will have his chance. The Patriots will try to get their offense going after some rare stagnation, as it appears offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is still trying to find his happy place. If they can block the Bills front, it could be a good day. As for the Buffalo offense, the possible return of Jackson would serve as a game-changer. He's one of the opposing players most respected by Pats coach Bill Belichick.
Patriots stats thus far in the season:
|TOTAL FIRST DOWNS||83||60|
|FIRST DOWNS (Rushing-passing-by penalty)||27 - 48 - 8||15 - 37 - 8|
|THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS||18/42||13/36|
|FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS||0/0||1/3|
|TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS||1173||1029|
|OFFENSE (Plays-Average Yards)||222 - 5.3||187 - 5.5|
|TOTAL RUSHING YARDS||329||243|
|RUSHING (Plays-Average Yards)||97 - 3.4||74 - 3.3|
|TOTAL PASSING YARDS||844||786|
|PASSING (Comp-Att-Int-Avg)||79 - 118 - 1 - 7.5||72 - 109 - 2 - 7.3|
|(Rushing-Passing-Returns-Defensive)||3 - 4 - 0 - 1||2 - 5 - 0 - 0|
|TIME OF POSSESSION||31:15||28:45|