The last time the Buffalo Bills were legitimately Super Bowl contenders, Jim Kelly was the quarterback, Bruce Smith was the top defensive end, and Marv Levy was the coach. Since then, there have been five different head coaches (plus an interim coach), 10 different starting quarterbacks, and a whole heck of a lot of losing seasons.
It’s hard to say that one game can make a season. However, if the Bills can beat the New England Patriots as four-point underdogs on the NFL odds in Week 4, they’ll definitely have taken a major step towards being contenders for football’s biggest prize.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick knows that he is going to have his work cut out for him. He enters Week 4 as one of the three starting quarterbacks that are co-leading the league in touchdown passes with eight, and he has quite the unheralded group of receivers that could be making names for themselves. The ground game is going to need to get some work done to help keep QB Tom Brady off the field, just as we saw happen last year when these teams met. Then, it was RB Fred Jackson that carried the ball for 74 yards. Jackson and RB CJ Spiller are both nursing injuries, and neither might be available for this one though, and if that’s the case, it would be up to RB Tashard Choice to carry the load.
Defensively, this secondary picked off Brady four times last year, including bringing one back to the house. This is the unit that really needs to make sure that it marks up the potent New England receivers, or it could be a long day.
There hasn’t been much success for the Bills in this series of late, save for that 34-31 win at the gun last year that we have been referencing. They are just 3-8 ATS in the last 11 in this series, and the favorite has covered 14 of the last 19 in this series. Still, if Buffalo can figure this one out, it will be a real salvo to the rest of the AFC that cannot be ignored.