With only two games against divisional opponents left in the 2017 NFL regular season, the Buffalo Bills are still in the playoff picture. If the Bills lose this week to the Patriots, they won't be eliminated from the playoffs but it will make it harder for them to get in. These players will play a big part in upsetting the Patriots on Sunday and keeping their heads above water in the playoff race:
QB Tyrod Taylor
The first time Taylor faced the Pats this year, he posted similar numbers to the game that got him benched for Nathan Peterman. He went 9-for-18 with 65 yards and an interception. Another game like that and the Bills won't even have a shot of taking down the Pats. Taylor will have to be his usual self, 150-180 yard and no turnovers, to let the rest of the guys do their job to get the win.
RB LeSean McCoy
McCoy averaged 6.2 yards per carry against the Patriots the first time around and only had 15 carries. That number, along with his catches, will need to go up for the Bills to win. The Patriots are last in the NFL, giving up 4.9 yards per rush. Rick Dennison needs to dial up more plays for McCoy than he did in the first meeting.
DE Ryan Davis
Along with Shaq Lawson, who won't be on the field for the rest of the year, Davis is tied for the most sacks on the team with three. While getting considerably less snaps on defense than guys like Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander, who he is tied with, Davis is actually doing a nice job getting after the quarterback. We all know Tom Brady is afraid to get hit and just falls when someone is even in his area. However, we also know he gets the ball out of his hand quickly. Hitting Tom Brady is the best way to beat him, and Davis and the rest of the pass rushers will have to generate some sort of pressure to at least make Brady feel uncomfortable.
CB Tre’Davious White
White took an extremely dirty hit from Rob Gronkowski the first meeting between the two teams and he handled it like a professional. He also said that the best way to get revenge for the hit would be to win the game in Foxborough. White had a pretty good game the first time, picking off Brady and being a lockdown guy in coverage for most of the game. White could have another big game on Sunday. Over the last three weeks, Brady has combined for just two touchdowns and four interceptions.
S Micah Hyde
Hyde has had the best season of his career so far and he will need to play like it. Gronkowski is Brady’s favorite target by far and in the first meeting, Hyde was matched up on him quite a bit and was taken advantage of. To be fair, no one in the NFL can cover Gronkowski one-on-one and get consistent stops but he did have nine catches for 147 yards the first game. No one was really even slowing him down. Brady struggled against the Dolphins when Gronkowski was suspended. Hyde along with guys like Matt Milano will have the burden of limiting Grownkowski as much as they can.