Bills-Pats: Week 10 Preview

Garrett HirschmanContributor INovember 7, 2008

Buffalo heads into New England this week, looking to stop a two-game losing streak.

The Bills have dropped their last two to division rivals: the Jets and Dolphins.

Buffalo needs to get going early in this game and keep momentum on their side. They have struggled to score on offense the last two weeks, and the defense has been unable to deliver the clutch, late stop.

New England is coming of a loss to Indianapolis, where costly mistakes late in the game did them in. Bill Belichick has been doing a great job coaching this year and will undoubtedly have his team ready to go at home.

The Bills are going to have to get the running game going if they hope to have success against New England's defense. The Patriots have a stellar defensive front and are capable of stuffing the run and getting to the quarterback. Vince Wilfork anchors their  3-4 attack at nose tackle, while Jerod Mayo has been a solid rookie linebacker.

The Patriots' secondary has been questionable this year, and if the Bills force New England to bring an eighth man in the box to stop the run, I would look for Trent Edwards to find some open receivers down the field.

Derek Fine had a big game last week at tight end, and Bills fans are looking for him to keep it going in Foxboro. Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish should draw some attention from the Patriots, allowing Fine to find some holes in coverage.

Buffalo's defense has to get pressure on Matt Cassel. If they let him get his confidence up early, he has the potential to have a big day. I would look for the Bills to send Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluzny on blitz packages from the linebacker spot early and often. Buffalo's front four has struggled to get pressure on the quarterback, but they have been solid in run defense.

The Patriots are well coached and know how to beat the Bills. On offense they are going to throw a lot of screen passes to Kevin Faulk, and will try to get Wes Welker the ball on short routes over the middle. Randy Moss still has big-play capability, and will get a deep ball or two thrown his way.

Above all, the Bills must protect the football on Sunday. Turnovers are costly enough as it is, and against the Patriots, they seem to be even more so. 

Running the ball will be absolutely essential if the Bills want to win. They have not run the ball well the last two weeks in their defeats, and a similar trend may continue if they don't get the run going and stick with it.

Buffalo will play a strong game, but New England is tough to beat at home and coming off a loss. Bills 20, Patriots 30.