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The Speed Option: Buffalo Bills host grudge match against New England Patriots

Round three — FIGHT!

NFL: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

For the third time this season and for the first time ever in the playoffs, the Buffalo Bills will face off against the New England Patriots. The two teams are pretty familiar with this being their third matchup in 41 days. As fan you’re likely familiar too, but in case you are not keep reading or watching for a quick overview of the Pats.

2021 Season

The Patriots finished second in the AFC East this season, one spot behind the Bills. They finished the regular season with a 10-7 record. After beating the Bills in Buffalo in a tornado the Patriots limped to the finish line going 1-3 with losses to the Indianapolis Colts, Bills, and Miami Dolphins.

Head Coach

Bill Belichick just wrapped up his 27th season regular season as an NFL head coach. His career record is now 290-143 (0.670 W-L%). Saturday will be Belichick’s 44th playoff game. He is 31-12 (0.721 W-L%) in the playoffs over his career as a head coach.

Offensive Coordinator

This is Josh McDaniels 13th season overall as OC for the Pats, and his 10th consecutive season. He left the team in 2009 to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos for two seasons and then spent one season as the St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator before returning to the Pats organization. His 2021 offense finished the regular season ranked sixth in points per game and 15th in yards per game.

Defensive Coordinator

As has been the case many times under Belichick, the Patriots have no listed defensive coordinator. It is generally accepted that outside lineabckers coach, Steve Belichick acts as the defensive play-caller. The younger Belichick’s defense is finished the regular season ranked second in points-per-game allowed and fourth in yards-per-game allowed.

Offensive Starters

  • QB: Mac Jones *
  • FB: Jakob Johnson
  • RB: Damien Harris
  • WR: Jakobi Meyers
  • WR: Nelson Agholor ^
  • TE: Hunter Henry ^
  • LT: Isaiah Wynn
  • LG: Ted Karras ^
  • C: David Andrews
  • RG: Shaq Mason
  • RT: Trent Brown ^

^ = free agent / trade addition
* = rookie

Defensive Starters

  • DL: Davon Godchaux ^
  • DL: Lawrence Guy
  • LB: Matthew Judon ^
  • LB: Kyle Van Noy ^
  • LB: Ja’Whaun Bentley
  • LB: Jamie Collins ^
  • DB: Kyle Dugger
  • LCB: J.C. Jackson
  • RCB: Jalen Mills ^
  • S: Adrian Phillips
  • S: Devin McCourty

^ = free agent / trade addition
* = rookie