New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: Expect a Shoot-out in Buffalo on Sunday

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IISeptember 23, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18:  Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills scores Buffalo's third touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 38-35.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

These aren't your grandfather's Buffalo Bills—these Bills are here to win and score a lot of points.

The 2011 version of the Buffalo Bills have been scoring points left and right and are currently ranked No. 1 in the NFL for points per game. They sit pretty atop the AFC East with a perfect 2-0 record, along with the New England Patriots and the New York Jets

On Sunday, at Ralph Wilson Stadium, it's "judgement day" for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills as they'll play host to Tom Brady and the Patriots. 

Entering Week 3, both teams are in the Top 10 for total offense and will look to score a ton of points while attempting to contain each other's explosive offensive attack. 

Over the years, the Patriots have simply dominated the Bills. It's practically been a given that New England would sweep Buffalo each and every season.

This year it's going to be a major challenge.

The Patriots are the better team—I think we can all agree on that—but Buffalo's offensive attack is just as versatile and even a bit more balanced than New England's. 

If New England wants to contain Buffalo from scoring a ton of points, they're going to have to slow down the NFL's leading rusher in Fred Jackson. However, that will not guarantee a victory. 

The Bills are extremely diverse on offense as they can run the ball out of so many formations and with several different players.

Whether Jackson receives a traditional hand-off, C.J. Spiller is in the backfield, Brad Smith is running their version of the Wildcat or Fitzpatrick decides to tuck the ball and run, Buffalo can put up points.

The Bills are a very dangerous running team as they're averaging an incredible 6.1 yards per carry and 193 yards per game, both of which are best in the league. 

Even if New England's 4-3 defensive front can contain Jackson and company, they still have to worry about Fitzpatrick's arm. 

The Harvard graduate has been effective and efficient during the first two weeks of the season as he's completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 472 total yards and a stellar seven touchdowns. 

This Sunday, you'll see Fitzpatrick spreading the ball around to wide receivers Stevie Johnson and David Nelson, as well as running backs Jackson and Spiller. 

Week 3 isn't going to be any sort of "cake-walk" like it usually is when New England travels to Ralph Wilson Stadium, it's going to be a challenge and a huge test for both clubs. 

As I previously stated, I do believe that New England is the better team, but they cannot play sloppy football and turn the ball over against the Bills, or else it will be a long and stressful day for Patriots Nation. 

If Brady continues to play the way he's been playing and completing 71.6 percent of his passes, the Patriots will have no trouble scoring points and outlasting Buffalo's offense, no matter how poorly New England's banged up secondary plays. 

Prediction: New England Patriots: 35 Buffalo Bills: 28


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