In defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, the Bills have lit up the scoreboard for 79 points. That's the second most points through two games in club history, topped only by 87 by Buffalo's 1991 Super Bowl team.
But while last Sunday's come-from-beyond 38-35
victory over the Raiders was coined a "gut check" by coach Chan Gailey,
will this week's showdown against New England be a "reality check?"
Buffalo has lost 15 consecutive games to its chief AFC East Division
Both team enter the game 2-0.
"This is a very different team," Bills veteran
safety Bryan Scott said. "We said that during training camp when we
came together. Why can't we be the ones to turn this franchise around?"
For the Bills, who have missed the playoffs 11
consecutive years, turning skeptics into true believes means beating
the Patriots and Tom Brady.
While Buffalo's offense, led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, had the patience and poise to put together five
consecutive touchdown drives in the second half to rally from a 21-3
deficit and defeat the Raiders, the team's defense has work to do.
Oakland was missing its top three receivers yet
quarterback Jason Campbell managed to torch Buffalo's secondary for 323
yards and two scores. The Raiders averaged 4.4 yards per carry and at
one stretch scored five touchdowns in seven possessions.
What's Brady capable of? He's thrown for 940 yards
and seven touchdowns in New England's 2-0 start.
"We'll take them how we get them," Bills
linebacker Nick Barnett said, not apologizing for Buffalo's offense
needing to rescue the defense against Oakland. "We'll clean that stuff
up and we might have to win some games 13-10. It's a three-phase game
and we've got to clean things up but overall I'm happy we won, what can
Fitzpatrick is certainly playing well enough to
give Buffalo a chance if the Patriots' game deteriorates into a
shootout like the Raiders game.
He's thrown seven touchdown passes against just
one interception so far and Sunday led three 80-yard touchdown drives,
including the game-winning drive in the final minutes. He capped that
with his third touchdown pass, this one six yards on fourth down to a
wide-open David Nelson, who caught five of his 10 passes on the winning
The Bills have opened contract talks with
Fitzpatrick about a rich extension and this is why.
"The guy knows how to win," Gailey said. "I like
Said Fitzpatrick: "This is a big win for our
football team. We talked about this last week, being a young team, wins
are so important for the confidence of our guys. Chan said it after the
game, '2-0 feels good but 2-0 feels right' after all the work we've put
in. With what we feel we have in this locker room, yes, 2-0 feels
A win over New England would confirm if that
feeling is right - or wrong.
Injury leads to change at right guard
LINEUP WATCH: Chad Rinehart replaced an injured
Kraig Urbik at right guard and will likely start against the Patriots.
Urbik injured a knee and coach Gailey said he would miss a "few weeks."
BY THE NUMBERS: In addition to losing 15 straight
games to the Patriots, the Bills have also lost 20 of the last 21 games
in the series.\
--WR Roscoe Parrish suffered an ankle injury in
the second quarter against Oakland and did not return. The
often-injured veteran will be re-evaluated Monday but it appears he
could miss a stretch of playing time.
--RG Kraig Urbik went down with a knee injury
against Oakland and could miss several weeks. Urbik was settling into
the starting right guard position. He was replaced by Chad Rinehart
against the Raiders. Rinehart is expected to start next week's game
against New England.
--RB Fred Jackson finished with 117 yards rushing
against Oakland, including a 43-yard touchdown run to match the longest
of his career. It's the first time since 1991 the Bills have had a
running back open the season with consecutive 100-yard games.
--WR David Nelson, a second-year pro out of
Florida, caught a career-best 10 passes for 83 yards and the winning
touchdown in Sunday's 38-35 comeback victory over Oakland. The 6-5
Nelson took over the game down the stretch, catching half his passes on
Buffalo's winning 14-play drive in the final minutes.
--QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's three touchdown passes
against the Raiders gave him seven through two games. That's the most
by a Buffalo quarterback to open a season since Jim Kelly had eight in
Bills will be tested against Patriots
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