By John Pinto
Building off an impressive win last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Patriots continued showing what they are made of Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills.
In an all-out aerial attack, Tom Brady went 27 for 37, 361 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with wide receiver Brandon LaFell for two of his touchdowns. With this effort, Brady became the fifth player in NFL history to have sixty 300 yard games.
The Patriots improve to 4-2 on the season, while the Bills drop to 3-3. Brady is also now 23-2 against the Bills in his career.
The Patriots did not utilize the two tight end set that worked so well against the Bengals. Rob Gronkowski only caught seven passes for 94 yards, and Tim Wright was quiet the entire game, catching only one pass for one yard, although that one catch happened to be a touchdown.
The Patriots figured they’d have more success this week against the Bills if they targeted their cornerbacks by going to the wide receivers, instead of targeting the linebackers by passing to the tight ends.
LaFell caught four passes for 97 yards and Julian Edelman caught nine passes for 91 yards. Wide receiver Brian Tyms, who was just activated for the first time this week, caught a 43 yard bomb from Tom Brady in the third quarter. It was the third reception of his career and first touchdown.
With this win against the Bills, the Patriots also received some major losses. The team has likely lost linebacker Jerod Mayo, and has definitely lost running back Stevan Ridley, for the season due to knee injuries. Ridley tore his ACL and MCL in the third quarter. Mayo has likely torn his ACL as well. Left guard Dan Connolly also went down with a concussion in the first half.
The loss of Mayo is more significant because he is a team captain and the signal-caller of the defense. This is the second straight season in which Mayo was lost for the season, missing most of last year due to a torn pectoral muscle.
The Patriots are already thin at linebacker after losing Brandon Spikes in free agency and Dont’a Hightower out for the past two weeks with a knee injury of his own. With both starting linebackers out, undrafted rookie Deontae Skinner and special team specialist Chris White will have to fill their roles.
The Patriots come home to Foxboro to face off against Rex Ryan’s New York Jets tonight at 8:25 pm on CBS and NFL Network. That is channel 24.1 and 112.1, respectively, on the BSU campus.
The Jets are in the midst of a five-game losing streak and absolutely lost on offense. Quarterback Geno Smith has no weapons to work with whatsoever, and their fans chant for Michael Vick, who is no better an option than Smith is. Rex Ryan’s defense is still somewhat formidable, ranking sixth in the NFL for least yards allowed per game.
With all that being said, this should be another easy win for New England.
John Pinto is a Comment Columnist.