Christopher Price presents his five things to watch for Monday Night.
Tom Brady said he and Matt Light cracked open a beer when Jason Taylor left the AFC East a few years ago? While it was Taylor who gets all the pub for terrorizing Brady and Light on a twice-a-year basis, Aaron Schobel actually has sacked Brady more than Taylor has. The TCU product has sacked Brady 11 times in 14 career games against the Patriots quarterback, more than Taylor (9.5 sacks) or Joey Porter (6 sacks).. Remember when
If Schobel can consistently beat Light and whatever tight end is assigned to help out on Brady’s blind side, the Bills will have a better chance at winning this game. If New England can neutralize the Buffalo pass rush — and Schobel in particular — then the Patriots shouldn’t have any problems stretching New England’s winning streak over the Bills to 13 games.
"It’s not a big trick defense," Brady said. "They line up, play hard. They have a bunch of tough guys over there. It’s a very well-coached defense. They don’t give you anything, you’ve got to earn it. You can’t be sloppy with them. They’ll make the plays. They’ll make you pay."
Ian Rapoport offers his five hot topics for tomorrow morning.
Is the secondary really improved?
Former Pats cornerbacks Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O’Neal were sent packing soon after 2008 ended, replaced by big-ticket free agents Leigh Bodden and Springs. Safety Rodney Harrison is now a broadcaster, Brandon Meriweather taking his place. The goal is to improve upon a sore spot from last season, but first impressions haven’t been overly positive. The Pats were last in the preseason in passing yards allowed, but are those stats worth anything? Bodden has been solid, yet Springs has just begun practicing. The Bills’ multi-faceted receivers will provide a stern test.
Mike Reiss (ESPN) looks at five storylines to watch for tonight.
Richard Seymour fallout creates unexpected individual matchup. Eight-year veteran Jarvis Graeen is the likely replacement for Richard Seymour at right defensive end -- whether in the 3-4 alignment or the 4-3. Meanwhile, Bills left tackle Demetrius Bell is expected to be making his first career NFL start after Buffalo released Langstoon Walker. At tiimes, Bell and Green will be locked up against each other, creatiing an individual matchup that few could have seen coming just a few weeks ago. In addition to Green, the Patriots have five-year veteran Mike Wright and rookie Ron Brace as options at end.
- Erik Scalavino says Jarvis Green still gets butterflies, Sam Aiken stays quiet, plus news and notes from the Pats locker room and Friday's practice.
- Erik Scalavino says New England’s defense faces a challenge Monday night against Buffalo's no-huddle offense. Plus, news and notes from the Pats locker room and Saturday's practice.
- Paul Perillo notes actor Matt Damon picks the Patriots to go 19-0.
- Raytheon and Patriots recognized for creation of "Science of Sports" program for members of local Boys & Girls Clubs.
- John Cockrell Friday Out-Takes: Post-preseason Awards.
- Top Ten Regular Season Games in the Patriots 50-year history.
- Christopher Price presents his ten truths about the 2009 New England Patriots.
- Mark Farinella analyzes the well-oiled Patriots machine at the start of the season, saying they can still win while rebuilding.
- Karen Guregian notes tonight the Patriots will begin answering all the questions we’ve been debating for weeks.
- Chris Gasper says tonight’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills is an opportunity for Belichick and the boys to send a message to their AFC East brethren - Tom Brady is back and we’re once again the Eastern standard.
- Jim McBride offers his Patriots-Bills pregame analysis and the keys to victory for both sides. Picks Pats to win 38-9.
- Bob Hohler reports the Patriots hope to quiet the 'eighth wonder of the world' himself, Terrell Owens, at Gillette Stadium tonight.
- Shalise Manza Young notes New England's revamped secondary faces a tough challenge against Buffalo.
- Mike Petraglia details the challenges of defending a no-huddle offense according to Belichick.
- Jim Donaldson thinks Belichick isn't being candid when he says Buffalo "will be a tough matchup, like it always is."
- Mark Farinella says it's finally time for some real Patriots football tonight.
- Christopher Price notes CB Leigh Bodden's physical style opened the eyes of Bill Belichick.
- Chris Gasper notes rookie safety Pat Chung will be facing his friend tonight, Bills defensive back Jairus Byrd. Both were teammates at the University of Oregon.
- Shalise Manza Young gets Up Close With... Bill Belichick. A feature usually reserved for players, she lands the head coach this week.
- Laura London reminds us the Patriots will honor their 50th Anniversary Team tonight during a halftime ceremony.
- Chris Gasper catches Raiders owner Al Davis detailing how the Seymour trade went down, among other things.
- Christopher Price adds the Raiders sent some ex-players to Seymour's house to try and "recruit him."
- Paul Flannery analyzes the twist of fate that took Brady out for the season and began an interesting chain of events affecting not only Brady and the Patriots but the rest of the NFL.
- Mark Farinella picks the NFL, and tries to predict how it will all play out. Not going with conventional wisdom here.
- Nate Dow says the New England Defense has lost not only its veteran direction, but its very heart.
Ron Borges points out that Tom Brady will one day be wearing Joe Montana's shoes - playing football wearing a different jersey, while young New England fans watch in dismay. Thanks for the sunshine Ronnie baby, as usual.
- Mike Reiss (ESPN) Brady is ready and able to go for Monday opener.
- The Monday Night Football crew discusses the keys to the Bills-Patriots game from Gillette Stadium.
- The NFL Total Access crew makes their predictions for the Bills-Patriots game in Week 1.
- Yahoo! Sports Bills-Patriots Preview. (5 min. video)
- Tim Graham (ESPN) One year later, Brady on verge of return.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Only seven Bills recall last win over Patriots.
- Kevin Hench (Fox Sports) Trent Edwards is in for a wake-up call.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees not the only week 1 impressive outings.
- Mike Reiss (ESPN) welcomes readers to his new blog home on ESPNBoston.com.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) Maroney gets buried on the depth chart.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) We're not buying the sudden Seymour-Raiders love affair.
- Josh Alper (Pro Football Talk) No new contract for Seymour this year.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) Raiders nearly hired Belichick in '98.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) Final 2009 NFL preseason Power Rankings.
VIEW FROM BUFFALO
- Mark Gaughan (Buffalo News) Bills have to beware of the big, bad Patriots.
- Jerry Sullivan (Buffalo News) Hard not to be pessimistic, err, optimistic about Bills' chances.
- Allen Wilson (Buffalo News) Bills-Patriots scouting report.
- Sal Maiorana (Rochester D&C) Bills huge underdogs going into New England.
- Sal Maiorana (Rochester D&C) Buffalo Bills Game Day: Are the Patriots as good as everyone seems to think they are? "Seems reasonable." A glowing endorsement.