The Buffalo Bills (3-2) are back home and under the lights again to take on the New England Patriots (3-3) in week 7 of the Buffalo Fanatics Madden Sim. After an impressive victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week, the Bills are looking to improve their record to 4-3 on Sunday. Here are five keys to Sunday’s (it’s in Monday Night Football) game.
An opportunity for revenge
The Bills blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead to the Patriots in their first matchup of the season back in week 2. A series of unforced errors and tough calls led to a Bills defeat that was as brutal as they come. On Sunday the Bills have the opportunity to forget all about that rough Sunday in Foxborough in front of their home fans. It’s the first mental hurdle that this team has faced this season and we’ll see just how much that underdog mentality still brews in the locker room at One Bills Drive.
Still looking for his first win
In the pregame article for the first game against the Patriots, a wrote that Sean McDermott had never beaten the Patriots in his time as the Bills head coach. Once again he gets a chance to change that. He had a win in his hands the last time these two teams played until the Bills collapsed in the fourth quarter. Will he finally beat the Patriots or will New England continue to own the Bills?
Let Josh Allen go
Last week the Bills did and Josh Allen rewarded them with a huge game and a win. Brian Daboll needs to continue to let Josh Allen go and win games for them. This team’s offensive identity is changing and rather than suppressing that change, Daboll needs to fully embrace it. Josh Allen is the engine of the offense and the Bills need to let Allen play his game rather than protect him by running the football all the time. This is why you drafted a quarterback in the top ten of the draft, to be your franchise guy.
Stop Jarrett Stidham
It’s hard to believe but Jarrett Stidham has had a very nice start to his season. He has thrown for 1,401 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only four interceptions. He had a huge game against the Bills back in week 2 throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills cannot let that happen again. Stidham is the driving force for the Patriots offense, so the Bills have to find a way to stop him. Ultimately it’s only his seventh start, so expect the Bills to try to confuse him by showing a lot of eye candy and disguises on Sunday.
Turnovers will decide this game
Both teams do not turn the ball over very often. In a game between two very well-coached teams that don’t make many mistakes, turnovers could be the difference between who wins on Sunday. The Bills lost this battle in the first game against the Patriots and ended up losing the game. Can they force some New England turnovers? This will be the question on Sunday.
It will be a crucial game for both teams as the winner could take full control of the division. Both teams need this game desperately and will come out juiced up to win. When it comes down to it, the Bills don’t lose at home and Stidham has yet to play in an environment like Buffalo.
Prediction: Bills: 27 Patriots: 24
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitchell_broder