Three Keys: Week 3 Patriots - Bills

A look at what the Patriots need to do against an always dangerous Buffalo Bills team. Many feel the 0-2 Bills have no chance, but that's not the case as Jon Scott describes. The Patriots have much to focus on despite being over 15-point favorites. What do they have to do? Take a look inside.

[Updated 8:42 am]

Get pressure on J.P. Losman

The Patriots defense must get pressure on the Buffalo quarterback. Or Losman's great arm strength is enough to hit the long ball against a still suspect Patriots defensive secondary. Although New England leads the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game, it's their rush defense (56 yards per game), which leads the way, not their pass defense. Lee Evans has had significant success against the Patriots in the past. Teamed up with a new threat to run the ball in Marshawn Lynch, the Bills can use more play action to get the ball downfield.

Stuff The Run

In order to put the game away early, the Patriots need to snuff out any threat of a rushing attack by the Bills. Rookie sensation, Lynch has 154 yards on 37 carries (4.2 avg), and the Patriots have one of the best statistical rush defenses in the league. The concern for New England is that the two games they played the opponents were behind early in the game, so the rushing attack was less of a threat.

If Buffalo gets the rushing attack going early, it will give the Patriots trouble. In 2006, New England struggled against the run dropping into the 20's overall in league standings against the run, before they righted the ship. For New England it's more about how their linebackers and secondary and how they fill the line. New England's troubles against the run could be due in part to the absence of Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison, both of whom are out again this week.

Get The Passing Game Going

If the Patriots can get the ball to Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth, the ability for a quick strike offense is the biggest mismatch against the Bills. Buffalo suffered a rash of injuries to their secondary, which has the coaching staff scrambling for ways to keep up with opposing passing attacks. LB/S Coy Wire, CB Terrence McGee and CB Ashton Yuboty are suffering from various ailments with Wire listed as out for the game.

If the offensive line can protect Brady from Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay then the Patriots should have enough time to find their targets downfield.

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