Why is Everyone Predicting a Blowout?

Thomas B. Shea

Ho-hum. Just another easy win coming up against the Bills. No cause for concern.

I don't like this. Nope, I don't like it one bit.

The general consensus - pretty much everywhere - is that the Patriots are going to absolutely run away with Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. I think the closest prediction I've seen so far has the Pats winning 38-24, which is a two touchdown game. Apparently, the Bills are banged-up on defense, lost on offense, and completely backwards in their playcalling, choosing to only use their best offensive weapon sparingly as they try to establish themselves as a pass-based offense. Even I haven't given this game all that much thought, especially after watching Andrew Luck's performance last night against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I'm not nervous for this one at all.

And that absolutely terrifies me.

Do you want to know the last game I wasn't nervous for? It was right around this time last year; the team had just come off the bye after a huge win which was supposed to represent the team finally starting to run on all cylinders and a big-time turnaround for the struggling defense. They were getting healthy, playing with purpose, and starting to really open up the playbook. The pass rush looked like it was finally starting to come alive and the secondary was making plays. Plus, the Patriots just plain don't lose games after a bye, especially against teams that they have historically dominated in the past.

The result of that game? Steelers 25, Patriots 17. They would then go on to lose at home the following week to the Giants, 24-20.

Granted, there is a big difference between playing on the road against Pittsburgh and playing at home against Buffalo. But anyone who is simply assuming that this one is just going to be a cakewalk needs to remember that the Bills are an absolutely desperate team with nothing to lose, and upsetting the Patriots at home may very well be the most important thing that they have left to play for this year. I still think the Patriots win this one, but I wouldn't be surprised if the game is a lot closer than everyone is predicting.

Luckily for me, I'm usually wrong about everything, so consider this my sacrifice to the football gods.

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