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5175Keys to Victory - Pats at Bills

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  • Randy Z Pierce
    Oct 1, 2004
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      The Colts were a bigger challenge, albeit drastically different, and everyone should reasonably believe this with a quick league review.  The Bills are a greater threat.  Well certainly since the Colts are already vanquished this makes sense but without a smarmy trick line I stillfeel this statement is true.  They are a much more dangerous team than most realize and part of this is because of their record, a New England disrespect for Bledsoe and a slightly mysterious failure to respect a top notch  defense.  New England is likely a superior talent given allfactors yet the margin is well within strike if a quality game isn't played by New Englnad's side on Sunday.
      1)  Stop the Run.  This could be said in most games, excepting perhaps the Colts, yet is especially true for this battle.  Despite having stopped the Cardinals ground attack, New England still has shown a general weakness against the run and this matches up well with a Buffalo team which would most prefer to unleash Henry or McGahee against the Pats.  In the last meeting in Buffalo it was not Bledsoe whom was called to bring a win, it was their running attack.  With an offensive line likely inspired by the Holley Book claims (despite not referring to those players), they will be fired up against a Pats front which failed in the first battle against Indianapolis and at present is working on a proof they can hold up.  The power run will hold New England's blitz off Drew and may just be enough to attack the middle.  Good film study will show them the Colts tactic and they have an excellent center to attack the Patriots Nose.  As goes that Nose Tackle battle so will go the Bills offensive success.  Whether Traylor or Willfork get the majority of the work, their fate is directly linked to the results not only for this game but for several games and game planning to come this season.  This most significant key doesn't advocate over loading the defense against the run but demands the players step up to play the scheme.  Over loading would result in other weak points and ultimately be too costly.
      2)Preserve a Pcket for Brady.  Most specifically the battle in the three mid-points of the offensive line is the most significant.  The Bills have monstrous defensive tackles whom are quick enough to push pressure up the middle.  The Patriots line up mostly youth against this tandem with Koppen, Hochstein and Sephen Neal as three primary points.  Joe Andruzzi certainly adds some veteran status if his injuries hold up but still leaves the center of the line with a great challenge.  Add the speed and power of Takeo SPikes and it could collapse the center of Brady's pocket.  Brady needs to step into his throws for best effectiveness.  Brady moves wellwithin a pocket to buy himself time but has insufficient speed to get out of the pocket when the middle collapses.  Witht he Bills more glaring challenge at pass defense this pocket is necessary to allow Tom to be effective.  Last game at this site Brady tossed four picks and was generally woeful in part due to the nature of the pressure he received.  To change this as was done in the season finale last year, Tom will need enough pocket protection, especially in the middle of the pocket, to use his talented but slightly injury depleted group of receiving options.
      3)  Daniel Graham is my essential player of the game.  Matt Light is often challenged by speed rushers and this will be no exception this week.  Graham spends part of his time chipping on the end to ensure the extra time when fully challenging a defensive secondary.  More importantly he must challenge the safety position and specifically Coy Wire (subbing for Milloy) to stretch the middle of the field.  The loss of Watson puts more pressure on Graham to clear that middle so the smaller Patriot receivers have more success in their shorter route games.  Patten, Brown, Johnson  and even Givens are best attacking the short-mid range on a steady basis with the speed of Patten and Bethel Johnson pushing the envelope deep on occasion.  All of this is set up if Graham can occupy the safeties and steal linebacker attention with his ability to get up the middle of his Tight End position.
      A closer game than most expect with the Patriot offense having more struggles than normal and Dillon being less of a factor until late in the game.  Brady poise and pride do avenge last season and sustain the one game Divisional winning streak...at 1:
      New England Patriots 20 - Buffalo Bills - 10
      Go Pats!
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