The New England Patriots have a tough game on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and head coach Bill Belichick knows how he’s going to spin a game against a team that the Patriots have historically dominated.
“This week is about this week, so we'll have to do a great job this week against a good Buffalo team that’s in the postseason picture, has had two big wins the last two weeks,” Belichick said. “Really, pretty much controlled the Miami game. Certainly something we couldn’t come close to doing. As I said, we know that'll be a big challenge for us.”
There are three big angles for the Patriots on Sunday.
First, they’re playing a Bills team that just crushed a Miami Dolphins team that beat New England in week 14. By transitive property, the Bills certainly are capable of going toe-to-toe with the Patriots.
Second, the Patriots lost to a Dolphins team that New England had defeated just two weeks prior. So just because the Patriots defeated the Bills three weeks ago, doesn’t mean that New England will be able to replicate the effort.
“When we played Miami the second time,” Patriots free safety Duron Harmon admit, “I don’t think our energy level was all the way there just because we might’ve felt like we knew them a little bit.”
Third, it’s a divisional game and there’s so much still on the line. The Patriots can’t afford to lose or else homefield advantage and a potential first round bye is in jeopardy. There’s still so much to play for with two games left in the regular season.
“It's just as big of a game for us as it is them,” Harmon added.” It's a playoff-type game. It has playoff implications on both sides.”
The Patriots had their annual “what the heck happened and why is no one playing well” game against the Dolphins, so that should be in the past. Don’t be surprised if Belichick has his team come roaring out of the locker room to a great start in week 16.