BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots have enjoyed quite a bit of success against the Buffalo Bills over the recent years, but you can throw that out the window come Sunday afternoon in Orchard Park.
Despite the fact the Patriots have won 21 of their last 23 meetings against the Bills, there is a new feeling of hope in Buffalo with Rex Ryan now roaming the sidelines. The Bills are coming off a convincing 27-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, harassing Andrew Luck for much of the afternoon.READ MORE: Father Charged In Dorchester Shooting That Grazed His 7-Year-Old Daughter
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Patriots play-by-play man Bob Socci joined WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Adam Kaufman on Thursday to preview Sunday’s Patriots-Bills matchup, and says the AFC East showdown is no layup for New England.
“There is no doubt the Buffalo Bills are now sensing optimism, and their fan base is in a frenzy. They have been in a 15-year playoff draught, with a couple of 9-7 seasons, but by no means have they been a team that could be viewed as really relevant in the NFL. That’s the way they feel now with Rex Ryan,” said Socci.
But Socci says Buffalo’s new-found air of confidence, and their success on the field in Week 1, goes much further than just their head coach.
“It’s the personnel on the field that makes them a very talented team. The biggest question with Buffalo, like most teams, is at quarterback. But they certainly got sufficient play from Tyrod Taylor, doing exactly what they need him to do to be successful, in Week 1 against Indianapolis,” said Socci.READ MORE: Worcester Announces Indoor Mask Mandate Starting Monday
As for what the Patriots defense can expect Sunday, it will be a steady serving of Buffalo’s ground attack, and not just LeSean McCoy.
“It will be primarily ground and pound, and they won’t ask Taylor to do too much,” said Socci. “I think we’ll see some zone-read option and a little bit of wildcat; Rex always seems to bring that out for whatever reason. McCoy will be a principal part of the game plan, but I also think [they’ll feature] a guy like Karlos Williams, a big back that they like.”
On offense, Socci said the Tom Brady will have one of the most talented front four’s in the NFL to worry about.
“When you look at the Bills right now their front four is fantastic, from Mario Williams to Marcell Dareus to Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes. They have three guys with 10 or more sacks the last few years,” he said. “As much as Rex has brought to that defense, it was a very good defense last year with a much different style, a non-blitzing style under Jim Schwartz. There is a lot of talent there no matter the scheme, and the Patriots will have to spread them out, get the ball out of Brady’s hands quickly, and rely on the up-tempo style at times.”
Listen to Socci’s full preview with Kaufman:MORE NEWS: 2 Hanover Street Banks Robbed Within 10-Minute Timeframe
Kaufman also caught up with Jeremy White of WGR 550 for a Buffalo perspective of Sunday’s game: