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Patriots played flat against the Buffalo Bills, finish 3-1 without Tom Brady

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Patriots come out flat against the Bills in first shutout in 23 years, there is no reason to panic.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots offense was very limited on Sunday and struggled to move the ball. The Patriots came into the game with injuries all over the field, including both backup QBs. With Jimmy Garoppolo unable to go and Jacoby Brissett playing through a sprained thumb, the Patriots were virtually a one-dimensional offense. While TE Martellus Bennett posted a 100-yard receiving game, the rest of the offense could not move the ball. The Bills stacked the box against LeGarrette Blount, making it difficult for him to move the ball. In addition, the offensive line committed multiple penalties that seemed to stall the offense whenever they started to pick up momentum. The offense should be getting reinforcements in the near future as Brady returns from suspension and other players returning to health.

The Patriots defense didn't fare much better, but at the end of the day they only allowed 16 points, which will win football games 90% of the time. While the Bills were able to move the ball at will in the first half and scored 13 points, the defense put on the clamps in the 2nd half, allowing only 3 points. The Patriots defense did what it could to keep the team in the game despite the offense being inept. The Patriots defense for the rest of the season should be fine, although there are adjustments the coaching staff can make moving forward.

Overall, it's too early to press the panic button. Tom Brady will be walking through the practice facility tomorrow morning and will be itching to make up for lost time. The next three opponents are all AFC North opponents, two of them being playoff teams last season. The most daunting opponents of the three will be Cincinnati and PIttsburgh on the road, but having Tom Brady back helps. The game against the Browns should be a chance for Brady and the offense to develop a rhythm as they head towards the meat of their schedule. Every team has their stinker game at least once a year, the Patriots typically only having that happen once a year. The NFL is too competitive and very difficult to go undefeated, with only two teams finishing with a perfect regular season record.

On the Buffalo side, they can toot their horn all they want as far as I'm concerned but they better be ready for the Patriots revenge in Week 8. Even though the game is at Buffalo, the Patriots offense will be much healthier at that point with Rob Gronkowski further removed from the initial hamstring injury and Tom Brady taking the snaps and still very angry with the league office.