December 3, 2016

Matchups Of The Week – Patriots vs. Bills

By Dan Zeigarnik, Patriots Daily Staff

Wow,what a difference a week makes!

Last week, the offense was unstoppable as a result of the new Tight Ends, a healthy Tom Brady, and a more confident Coach Bill O’Brien.

Last week, our young defense was ferocious and our anemic pass rush somehow confused a game Bengals offense.

Last week, the Jets were a walking caricature of everything that Patriots hate about the trash talking boasters who have yet to accomplish anything this side of a half-century.

Gostkowski vs the Goalposts is a Matchup Worth Watching

Last week, the Jets coach’s profanity-laden, snack-eating personality was all but discredited as a coaching style.

This Patriot-centric world view came to a crashing halt soon after a spectacular Randy Moss one-handed catch and in the long-run I’m glad it happened. For far too long Patriot victories have come too easily, and it has made the fanbase complacent with success. If Patriot fans should ever reach the pinnacle of fandom that the Packers and Eagles enjoy, we need to have a rich history that includes both the good and the bad.

Now, the Patriots need to get back on their proverbial horse and take on the Bills:

1. Patriot Third Downs vs. Bills Defense

With Kevin Faulk out for the season and Laurence Maroney traded for a case of Michelob light to Denver, the Patriots seem awfully thin at running back. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots respond to such a drastic turn of events.

2. Patriots Second Half Adjustments vs. Bills Offense

It has been pointed out repeatedly, that the Patriots have been vastly outscored in second half of games. Now is this a result of Patriots being ahead at half and playing not-to-lose instead of to win, or is it because opposing teams are making adjustments that Patriots can keep up with?

3. Patriots Secondary vs. Bills Receivers

The confidence of the young secondary clearly took a hit after the Jets loss. It is an important part of maturing for players to be able to put things behind them, good and bad, and stay in the moment. If the corners can bounce back against an easier foe, it will bode will for their development.

4. Hernandez and Gronkowski vs. Bills Safeties

Patriot fans cannot get enough of these two exciting young tight ends. As one of the real bright spots for the Patriots, it would be really nice to see them continue on their hot streak.

5. Gostkowski vs. the Goalposts

Get it in through the damn uprights! Geez, you’re one of the best kickers in the league, and the Patriots need you to return back to your stellar self.

Comments

  1. You lost me right here:

    “If Patriot fans should ever reach the pinnacle of fandom that the Packers and Eagles enjoy, we need to have a rich history that includes both the good and the bad.”

    Are you 20 years old, or are you under the impression that the Patriots were an expansion team in 2000?

    A few things to google:

    Sugar Bear Hamilton. Berry the Bears. Desmond Howard. Lisa Olsen. Rod Rust.

    oh and in case you forgot, David Tyree.

    • oldskool138 says:

      Very true. Being a Pats fan, up until 10 years ago was all about “the bad”. The ’85 and ’96 SB. The “roughing the passer” call. Years with records like 1-15 and 2-14. Owners who just didn’t care about building a fan-base.

    • Dan Zeigarni says:

      Aaron,

      Please don’t assume the worst about me. Even if I was 20 (I’m not), it doesn’t mean that my opinion does not have some validity to it. Of course everyone knows that the Pats sucked for decades, but nobody would ever put the Patriot fans in the top five in the league. Even tom brady is pissed about the ‘friendly home crowd’. Now there are many reasons for this, but one reason is that our history of ups and downs is not as rich as the browns, the packers, the eagles, the cowboys etc. And with that, our rivalries are not as deep as others. We now have two legitamite rivalries: colts and jets. And I think that in the long run, the greater the rivalries, the more fun it is to follow our team. (I know there are other teams that we hate).

      • Only 2 legit rivalries? I’m pretty sure Miami and Pittsburgh are 2 huge rivals, as they’ve been playing them head to head in important games for the last 20 years.

        The problem with your theory that we don’t have enough history is that it’s a false statement. This team has tons of history (mostly negative). It’s just that most fans didn’t care until Drew Bledsoe was drafted and Bob Kraft revamped this franchise. Also, I’ve noticed there are many fans of the Giants, Jets, and Cowboys living in New England.

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