Bills vs. Patriots: Shutting Down Run A Priority For Buffalo

Typically, when the Buffalo Bills are about to take on the New England Patriots, Bills fans lose sleep over the idea of Buffalo trying to stop Tom Brady. True, Brady has owned the Bills essentially for the entirety of his career, but if Buffalo hopes to pull an upset and beat New England this weekend, they need to do a much better job of containing the Patriots' ground attack.

In Week 3, the Patriots ran for 200 yards in a 38-30 win - the first of five teams to pull that off against Buffalo this year. The Patriots have rushed for an average of 139 yards per game in their last five games against the Bills - and in four of those games, the Patriots have thrown for 245 or fewer yards. The lone exception was the 2009 season opener; Buffalo led for most of that game, and Brady was forced to throw relentlessly to bring New England back.

Buffalo has played strong, competitive football against the Patriots in their last three matchups, not losing by more than eight points in any of those contests. It's not like the Bills are trying to climb Everest here; they just need to do the small things better, and that starts with run defense. They're not going to stop Brady, especially given the way he's played of late. Make his offense one-dimensional, however, and there's at least a chance of making things more manageable on your end - and making the league's most complicated offense slightly more predictable.

Of course, getting an early lead and, as we discussed this morning, getting the most out of Fred Jackson would go a long way toward achieving those goals, as well.

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