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5 Reasons The New England Patriots Will Lose in Week 1

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5 Reasons The New England Patriots Will Lose in Week 1

Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

Before you scroll down to the comments section to blast the entire premise of this article, hear me out. It's true that the New England Patriots have perennially been the powerhouse of the AFC East. It's also true that they undeniably possess one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady. On top of that, the Pats have one of the best defensive coaches in football, and a 23-2 record against the Buffalo Bills since the year 2000. Oh yeah, they are also playing the Buffalo Bills.

These are all well-known facts, and definitive advantages for the Patriots to start the season. However, even the most adamant Pats fan has to concede that this team is much more vulnerable than they have been in recent memory. There are gaping question marks on the offensive side of the ball that even Tom Brady's pinpoint accuracy might not be able to correct. The Patriots are also facing a largely unknown entity. The Buffalo Bills have entirely new coaches and coordinators, and only put the most watered-down versions of their offense and defense on display in the postseason.

It's also impossible to ignore the fact that this current Bills squad was practically manufactured in response to the Patriots dominance. Mike Pettine's new defense might as well be called the 'pressure Brady' system, and the up-tempo offense, if executed correctly, should keep the Pats on their toes.

I'm not saying that the Bills will win the division, because they probably won't. I'm not saying that the Patriots won't come in first once again, because they probably will. But with the Patriots going into their season opener facing so many unknowns, while simultaneously having to deal with so much uncertainty on their own team, it's feasible to think that they may not leave Buffalo with a win. Here are five reasons why the New England Patriots will lose in Week 1.

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5. Tom Brady Has No One to Throw To

Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

Tom Brady has made a career out of taking unheralded receivers and turning them into superstars. That said, with Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker all gone, it might be a bit too much to ask for Brady to have immediate chemistry with his entirely new receiving corps. With all that uncertainty, Brady might not be so quick to pull the trigger. Rest assured, the Bills defense will pounce on any hesitation.

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4. The Bills' Defense Will Be Unrelenting

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA Today Sports

Speaking of the Bills' defense, it will look very different this season ... in a good way. Mike Pettine's 'tweeners' will bring the pressure early and often. All that pressure in the pocket, combined with uncertainty of who to target, should make for a pretty big headache for the aforementioned Mr. Brady. If the Bills D' can take advantage of any mistakes they manage to force, they'll have a great chance of coming out of this one with a win.

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3. The Patriots Have Nothing to Gameplan For

Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

As I was saying earlier, the Patriots will be facing a largely unknown entity this Sunday. Although it would be doing a disservice to Bill Belichick to assume that they will be completely unprepared, there's no way the Patriots will be able to know exactly the kind of looks they'll be seeing. Chances are the Bills will be able to catch the Pats off guard at least a couple times.

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2. EJ Manuel is Better Than You Think

Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

EJ Manuel is going to surprise a lot of people this Sunday. There's a reason the Bills made him the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL draft. Manuel is tailor made for Doug Marrone's up-tempo offense, or, rather, Marrone's no-huddle offense is tailor made for Manuel. Through the preseason, Manuel has looked poised, confident and more than capable. Look for him to tear up the Pats with his legs and arm.

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1. The Bills Want it More

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA Today Sports

For the Patriots, this game will be just another day at the office. March into Orchard Park, get booed by the Bills fans, wreck the Bills, go home. For the Bills, namely new head coach Doug Marrone and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, this game marks their first in the NFL. They will be looking to send a message, and they very well may do just that.