There’s certainly no love lost between fans of the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, with members of #BillsMafia circling the annual home game vs. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on the calendar as the season’s must-see game.
Unfortunately for Bills fans, the Patriots have owned the upper hand in this rivalry for much of the last 19 years, including sweeping last year’s season series by scores of 25-6 and 24-12.
Sunday’s Week 4 clash between the Bills (3-0) and Patriots (3-0) features two of the league’s eight remaining unbeaten squads (there are only three remaining undefeated teams in the AFC).
The Bills have started off 3-0 ten times in franchise history, but Sunday’s 1 p.m. game at New Era Field represents the first time an undefeated Buffalo team will square off against a team that boasts a record of 3-0 or better since 1992.
That year, the Bills raced out to a 4-0 start before hosting Dan Marino and the 3-0 Miami Dolphins on Oct. 4 at then Rich Stadium.
Those Bills trailed 17-10 at halftime before Miami used a 103-yard interception return for a touchdown from Louis Oliver and a nine-yard TD pass from Marino to Bobby Humphrey to blank the Bills 20-0 in the second half en route to a 37-10 triumph.
Since the 1990 season, nearly 74 percent of teams (73.8) that started 3-0 qualified for the playoffs according to ESPN Stats & Info. Of the previous nine times Buffalo got off to a 3-0 start, the Bills made the playoffs seven times, including in 1992 when Buffalo advanced to its third straight Super Bowl appearance.
First place in the AFC East is also on the line Sunday—the first time the Bills and Patriots will square off with first place on the line since Week 6 of the 2014 season, when both teams brought 3-2 records into the match-up. The Patriots bested the Bills 37-22 in that Oct. 12 match-up at then Ralph Wilson Stadium.