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The Patriots likely game plan against the Buffalo Bills

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots travel to upstate New York for a rematch against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots were banged up and unprepared for the game in a 16-0 loss at Gillette. This time, the Patriots are much healthier on both sides of the ball and it's the Bills who are the team that are woefully banged up with injuries affecting their entire offense.

Keep Tyrod Taylor in the pocket, shut down running game: The game plan has to be to force Tyrod Taylor to beat them as a passer, not a runner. With LeSean McCoy's status up in the air, with early indications not being good for him playing, the Patriots have to take away the run game. The Bills top WRs could be Justin Hunter and a banged up Robert Woods. If the Patriots force the Bills to throw the ball to a receiving corps that includes a banged up Woods and Charles Clay, I think the Patriots have the edge with a healthy secondary. The score will also dictate what Buffalo does offensively, but if the Patriots can stall Buffalo's run game early and build an early lead, it's going to be ugly.

Attack the middle of the field in the passing game: With the Bills top LB Zach Brown missing practice Wednesday and Thursday with an undisclosed illness and S Aaron Williams not likely to play due to another devastating neck injury, there could be opportunities for the TEs and Julian Edelman to attack the middle of the field. I do expect Rob Gronkowski to put up his usual numbers, especially with Williams likely out. I would expect Rex Ryan to build a scheme to try to take away the middle of the field, although if the Patriots can get 1-on-1 matchups in that area, advantage Patriots.

Start fast, bury Buffalo when the opportunity is there: The Patriots can set an early tone by scoring first and put the Bills behind the 8-ball. The Bills offense is not one that can come from behind so easily despite the high number of 20+ yard TD plays. The Patriots are going to be favored in this game, so the longer Buffalo is still in it the worse it is for the Patriots. The Patriots got off to a good start last week with 2 TD on their first 3 drives, so a similar start would be ideal. After taking the lead, the Patriots need to show that killer instinct that was missing last week and pile on the Bills.

For a final score prediction, I have the Patriots winning 34-19 over the Bills. Red Zone defense will be the difference in this game, as the Patriots defense will shrine in a condensed field situation. With the Bills injury situation and facing a healthy Patriots team, there is just too much for Buffalo to overcome and too many ways the Patriots can win this game.