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Bills “cut its offensive playbook in half” after week 2

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The Patriots will be facing a team with a shortened playbook on Sunday.

Rex Ryan and the Bills have received praise for how the offense has adjusted and improved once they fired their offensive coordinator after week 2. Since that game, former running backs coach Anthony Lynn has been in charge of the offense and the Bills have gone 4-1.

“One of the things Buffalo did, according to one of its officials, is cut its offensive playbook in half,” per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “giving the players less to learn, less to worry about and more of an opportunity to simply react.”

The Bills offense has been handcuffed due to injuries at wide receiver. Sammy Watkins and Greg Salas are on the injured reserve, Robert Woods is in a boot, and Marquise Goodwin has a concussion. If Woods in unable to play, TE Charles Clay and RB Mike Gillislee could be the only Bills players with 100+ yards from scrimmage in 2016 that are active on Sunday.

QB Tyrod Taylor has exceeded 200 net passing yards just once under Lynn and that 244-yard performance happened to come against the Patriots (. Only the 49ers have been less productive in the passing game since week 3 and they’ve been forced to switch their quarterbacks.

On the flip side, the Bills have averaged 183 rushing yards since week 3, a hair behind the first-place Cowboys and their 191 rushing yards per game. The Bills 5.83 yards per carry average is the best in the league over that time frame.

The Patriots will be better prepared to defend the slant routes that the Bills unleashed in week 4 and they’ll be ready to stop the run with Rob Ninkovich back on the edge. The Dolphins dominated the line of scrimmage and held the Bills to 67 rushing yards last week after RB LeSean McCoy reinjured his hamstring, and the Patriots will try to ensure the Bills ground game never gets into a rhythm.