(Timothy Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

5 Buffalo Bills questions heading into Buffalo's Week 2 matchup against the New England Patriots

Five questions leading up to Buffalo's matchup against the Patriots.

1. Will Buffalo's offensive line show improvement from Week 1 to Week 2?

The Bills offensive line got off to a average start at best in Week 1 against the Indianapolis ColtsRichie Incognito was outstanding, not allowing a quarterback hit, hurry or safety and Eric Wood was solid at center, minus one penalty. Seantrel Henderson was decent as well. However, Cordy Glenn and John Miller had their fair share of struggles. Buffalo's left tackle was flagged twice for holding, struggled in run blocking and allowed a quarterback hurry. Miller looked overwhelmed in his first NFL start. He missed some blocks and wasn't overly impressive as a run or pass blocker. Hopefully that was just a case of first game jitters.

Glenn is supposed to be Buffalo's best OL starter, so the team will need to see him rebound quickly in Week 2. As for Miller, he had a strong camp and preseason, so there's a good chance he bounces back as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to run with great success on New England in Week 1, and if the Bills want similar success on the ground, they'll need all five offensive linemen to step up.

2. Can Buffalo's defense slow down Tom BradyJulian EdelmanRob Gronkowski and company?

History has not been kind to the Bills in regards to stopping Brady. The Patriots quarterback has dominated the Bills in his career (23-3 record) and will look to continue his dominance on Sunday. Buffalo's defensive line is among the best in the NFL but they struggle to get to Brady with consistency. The veteran quarterback gets the ball out quicker than most NFL QBs and that makes it tough for the Bills to sack Brady. That said, the defensive line still needs to apply as much pressure as possible to Brady. 

Brady looked sharp in New England's season opener and he's sure to target Edelman and Gronkowski early and often. Both players are nightmare matchups and the secondary will need to be just as aggressive as they were against the Colts, recording 12 passes defensed. In addition to the trio, New England will probably try to get Scott Chandler involved against his former team. Don't be surprised to see Chandler targeted a few times in the red zone on Sunday. 

Shutting down the Patriots offense isn't likely, but Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman need to find a way to slow him down.

3. Does Karlos Williams see an increase in carries?

Buffalo's fifth round pick was very impressive on Sunday. He finished his first NFL game with 55 yards and a touchdown on six carries, a 9.2 YPC average. After showing off his talent, will the Bills throw him a few more carries going forward? He ran with aggression against the Colts and his bruising style could have an wear down the Patriots defense, especially if he sees the bulk of his carries in the second half.

LeSean McCoy is still Buffalo's workhorse running back, but Williams appears to be a terrific complement to McCoy. Against New England, the team should get Williams more involved.

4. How will Sammy Watkins perform after being kept off the stat sheet?

Watkins didn't record a catch against the Colts, but he did play a big role in helping Buffalo defeat Indianapolis. Watkins was essentially a decoy against the Colts and he took Vontae Davis down the field on go routes. This cleared the rest of the field for Charles ClayRobert Woods and Percy Harvin to make plays. New England doesn't have a cornerback like Davis, so it will be interesting to see how involved Watkins is on Sunday. Will the Bills target him early on bubble screens to let him create or will he have a similar role against the Patriots? 

While it's safe to assume that Watkins will record a few receptions on Sunday, it's unknown how involved he'll be in the offense. If New England sends safety help to Watkins' side of the field, he could once again see snaps where he clears out two players to open up the field for other playmakers. 

5. Are the Buffalo Bills ready to dethrone the New England Patriots?

On paper, yes. Buffalo is just as talented as New England, although the Patriots obviously have the edge at quarterback and tight end. That said, Buffalo's roster hasn't been this deep in a long time and they can match New England's fire power on the field if Tyrod Taylor performs as well as he did in Week 1. Defensively, Buffalo's roster is superior to New England's squad. If Buffalo's defense can slow down the 'Brady Bunch,' Buffalo has a legitimate chance of moving to 2-0 and making an early case that they're for real in terms of being a contender for winning the AFC East crown.


Buffalo Football Report Top Stories