Buffalo Bills’ Defense Should Exploit New England Patriots’ Protection
The Buffalo Bills are coming into this Week 17 matchup against the New England Patriots with momentum on their side after winning the last two games. Not only did the team win, their defense showed up and looked like a well-oiled machine against the hated Miami Dolphins, as they only allowed only 103 yards on offense; this included a late 50-yard pass from Matt Moore to Brian Hartline, which was far too little and too late as the next pass was intercepted and the final score ended up being 19-0.
What helped the Bills seemingly dominate the Dolphins was a relentless pass rush where both Moore and starter Ryan Tannehill were sacked seven times. This pass rush could be repeated this week, as the Patriots only have three active tackles. Nate Solider, the team’s gigantic left tackle, is coming off a concussion last week, so it should be a surprise to no one if the Bills blitz early and often on that side to test his bearings. The Bills currently lead the league with 56 sacks, including three members with at least 10 sacks this year, a feat that hasn’t be done in the team’s history. Who they’ve had over the years should scream volumes in how intense and aggressive this team has became lately.
All and all, it should be interesting to see if New England can keep Tom Brady vertical and clean with a team that’s seemingly losing a starter a week at key points. Then there’s the Buffalo Bills, a team playing for pride, an opportunity to go 4-2 in the AFC East, and the possibility to force the Patriots to play during Wild Card Weekend instead of their fourth straight playoff bye.