Patriots vs. Bills: 4 Keys to Buffalo's Potential Week 3 Upset

Josh TrueloveCorrespondent IIISeptember 20, 2011

Patriots vs. Bills: 4 Keys to Buffalo's Potential Week 3 Upset

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    It has been eight long years since the Buffalo Bills last defeated the New England Patriots. Bills fans remember it: Week 1 in 2003. Bills 31, Patriots 0.

    Since then, the Patriots have either completely beat down the Bills or the Bills lose an unbelievable heart-breaker.

    The Bills are 2-0, and so are the Patriots. With both teams being 2-0 and Buffalo not winning since 2003 against the Patriots, this Sunday will have a playoff-like atmosphere in Ralph Wilson Stadium. If Buffalo can pull out this upset, it will play with a whole new level of confidence for the rest of the season that we have not seen in years.

    Here are four keys to Buffalo pulling off the what would be the biggest win in years.

4. Pass Rush Has to Come Alive

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    The Bills' pass rush was non existent versus the Oakland Raiders last week. That cannot happen against Tom Brady and the Patriots. If Brady is given enough time, he will destroy any defense in his path.

    What does this mean?

    It means Shawne Merriman really has to pick up his play. He has been almost non-existent over the first two weeks, and Buffalo desperately needs him to be lights-out. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams will be enough trouble for the Patriots, but they cant rush the outsides.

3. David Nelson

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    The Patriots struggle against big wide receivers, and David Nelson is huge (6'5", 215 pounds).

    Nelson has to continue to play as well as he has over the last two weeks. He provides the Bills with a large target in the slot, and he gives Ryan Fitzpatrick a nice security blanket.

    Nelson needs to play well for Buffalo to beat New England.

2. Fred Jackson

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    Fred Jackson has been absolutely dominant so far this season. He is nearly impossible to bring down with one defender and has good enough speed to break free.

    In order to beat New England, Buffalo has to be able to take control of the clock. In order to do that, it needs to run Jackson right at the Patriots defense.

    New England's defense is solid, but not great. Jackson should be able to take over the game.

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    Ryan Fitzpatrick has done a really nice job over the last two weeks. He led a huge comeback on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and performs well in Buffalo's spread offense.

    Fitzpatrick will need to continue to play well in the spread offense in case the game against New England turns into a shootout. New England's secondary is nothing to be afraid of, so Fitzpatrick should be able to pass on them.

    Fitzpatrick holds all the cards to Buffalo's success.