Bills Take on Patriots: A Changing of the Guard?


The Buffalo Bills are 10-4 and have a playoff spot clinched, but their work isn’t finished. After a consistent season with some impressive wins, and looking competitive in all but one of their losses, the Bills have the ultimate opportunity to stun the world ahead of them, taking on the New England Patriots at Foxborough Saturday.

The team is coming off of a great three-game stretch, with two notable wins away from home against Pittsburgh and Dallas, and a close loss against Baltimore, the hottest team in the league and the number one seed in the AFC. Those games were watched closely by the general public, with the two wins coming in nationally televised games on Thanksgiving and Sunday Night Football. Now, with all eyes on the Bills, they have a shot to establish themselves as true AFC contenders with a win in New England.

“It will be another win for us. We’ve got 10 and we’re looking to get 11,” said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. “Listen, I think our guys and the people of Buffalo, you come here and you spend time in Buffalo they understand and I understand. It’s been years since the team has been able to beat the Patriots and be in this position with the division looming in the balance at this point in the season. We understand that, I fully acknowledge that, fully acknowledge that and at the same time we’ve got to continue to take steps as a team. Again, it’s the most important game because it’s the next game on our schedule. So, we try and keep perspective all the way through the season whether it’s this game or whatever it was.”

It would be McDermott’s first win against New England since taking Buffalo’s head coach position. Not just that, but with the way the season has gone, it has the potential to mark a transition from the Patriots’ years of dominance in the AFC East to a new era where the Bills can become a prominent contender, not just in the division, but also in the conference, year-in and year-out.

“Well, I just think that we’re growing. And I’ll just talk about our team, I think that we’re growing. I think that we continue to grow each and every week,” said the head coach. “We’ve learned some hard lessons and there will be more. So, what’s important for us is that we focus on the part that we can control, and that’s playing our best football, each and every week, and what leads to that, the process and like I said before, specifically the fundamentals and taking care of the football and doing things the right way.”

Despite McDermott minimizing the long-term impact of this game, it’s pretty obvious that it’s the closest we’ve been to a change of direction in the AFC East. Tom Brady is 41 and trending downwards. He continuously has struggled against Sean McDermott’s defensive schemes, throwing for just three touchdowns alongside five interceptions, 61.4 completion percentage, 6.5 yards per pass, and a 73.9 passer rating in five games.

For a long time it has been about stopping Brady, but that`s not true anymore. A truly great Bills defense, alongside “Father Time”, have changed this. The next step is Bills QB Josh Allen figuring out Bill Belichick’s defense, something that should happen naturally, maybe even next game, as the young signal-caller continues to grow. A young core led by Allen himself, Devin Singletary, Dion Dawkins, Cody Ford, Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Ed Oliver, and Tre`Davious White should be here for a long time to come, always putting the Bills in position to compete for the division. This pivotal game could mark the beginning of this era.

“Obviously, for the time, will have to win a division. So, we gotta start this weekend and win, and then we got to get a little help after this,” said Tre’Davious White, the up-and-coming star cornerback, fresh off a Pro-Bowl selection. “I don’t feel like it’ll turn unless we win a division and win a Super Bowl because those guys been at the top of the pie chart for some time now. I feel like the only way to turn is for us to win the division first and then go on and win a Super Bowl.”