After weeks of preseason games, regular season football is back! The New England Patriots will begin their quest to get to MetLife Stadium in February on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills. For New England, its the time to start figuring out how Tom Brady is going to get these new weapons involved in the offense as long as tight end Rob Gronkowski is out with the back injury. As for the defense, most of the 2012 unit is back, so the fans and coaching staff are expecting improvement from a defense that only gave up 20 points per game last season, but gave up a ton of yards through the air. The Patriots have defeated the Buffalo Bills 23 of the last 25 meetings, so you might say this is a good opponent for them to work out the kinks against.
That being said, the Bills have re-invented themselves over the offseason. They have a new CEO in Russ Brandon, a new GM in Doug Whaley, a new head coach in Doug Marrone, and a new starting quarterback in first round pick E.J Manuel out of Florida State. Marrone has stated that CJ Spiller will get most, if not all the carries this season as the running back looks to be a breakout player this season.
As for the defense, Buffalo was 22nd in the league last season and will likely be without cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Jairus Byrd for this game due to injuries. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will look to try to confuse Brady in the pocket as he is very familiar with the Pats considering he was the Jets' defensive coordinator last season. With a new coach, can they prevent teams from running all over them like they couldn't last season?
With that being said, here are my keys to the game for Week 1:no comments