October 13, 2002 was the last time the Pats lost three in a row falling to the Chargers, Dolphins, and then Packers. They went winless in October, and actually lost four in a row after losing a game to Denver after a bye. However, the Bills have only beaten the Pats once in the last ten years. So, the only question is, is this a Pats team we have not seen in a decade or are they going to do what they are known for best, rally.
I think that every team in the NFL, aside from the Giants, would like to forget the absolute dominance the Pats showed during their undefeated season. They didn’t just win, they blew out almost every opponent they had and broke records left and right. That season came right after Spy Gate and being called cheaters and unearned champs. Even in ’03, when they lost their season opener and started 2-2, the Pats were the underdogs-they finished 14-2. This history is why it is impossible to count the Pats out of course, but they are facing a, record wise, better team and a solidly built team.
The Bills have won their last two, although they were against KC and Clevelend, but in those two games they had no turnovers and 59 points. Ryan Fitzpatrick has 5 TD’s and no picks. He is picking his spots and playing like a pro bowler. The last thing the Pats need to be facing is a hot QB who is finding the endzone. They are having a near impossible time stopping anyone passing the ball and Fitzpatrick probably will have a huge game.
The difference in this game is on the ground because, I think, with the Patriots weak secondary, that Brady and Fitzpatrick will cancel each other out. Spiller will not be playing and he is the main contributor to the third best rushing offense in the NFL.
Without Spiller, in the long run, this is how the Bills will lose this game. The Pats do not have too shabby of a rushing defense as well, being eighth in the NFL. So even if Fred Jackson comes back fairly strong, I do not think he will have enough against the tough linebackers. On the opposite side of the ball Ridley has to be better, as well as anyone else in the redzone.
Ridley has to be able to fight for the tough yards. It was lack of redzone success that has lost the Pats their last two. They are only scoring fifty percent of the time. This is strange when fans are used to seeing them score closer to 65% of the time. Belichick says that they just need more practice and better coaching. Things happen faster in the redzone and everyone has to play perfectly on each play. Ridley has to get five instead of two and the receivers need to learn how to get open quicker to find Brady’s pass, but I think they will score plenty in the redzone in this game.
Winslow got a bit of action last week and I think, with his TE leaping ability, he will be able to grab a few balls. Also, with the edition of Brady’s favorite receiver ever in Branch, there will be more scoring. Although Branch’s age, and lack of fame, make him a nobody, Branch is still one of the top ten redzone WR scorers.
All these factors come into play when considering who the Pats will end up being this year. This game may separate this year between a wild card loose and a Super Bowl run. The last time they did lose three in a row, they did not make the playoffs. But the last time they started 2-2 they went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl. Only time will tell.
A few predictions:
The Bills rushing offense will be shut down
There will be no more than one turnover all game(perhaps zero)
Brady will score, at least, two TD’s in the redzone and three to four all day
The Pats will win 38-28
About the Author
Written by Adam Sharp
I have always loved The Pats and I have always loved writing.