Are Browns a 'trap game' for Bills?

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
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The Buffalo Bills are riding high after their 35-17 drubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo also has its biggest home game of the season against the rival New England Patriots coming up Sept. 30.

Does that make Sunday’s sandwich game against the lowly Cleveland Browns (0-2) a trap for the Bills (1-1)? These are the kind of sneaky-but-dangerous matchups that can make a difference in whether Buffalo is a pretender or a contender.

"You put [the win] behind you and move on to the Browns. That is the nature of the NFL," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told reporters. "You saw when we went out there (that) we did not carry what happened the week before with us in terms of hanging our heads or being discouraged. We went out there facing a new opponent with a new week and we played well. That is what you have to do in this league."

It's easy for Buffalo to get up for a home opener. It’s also easy to gear up for a game against the reigning AFC East champs -- a New England team Buffalo has been chasing the past dozen years.

But it’s not easy to get motivated for a road game against Cleveland. As a former Browns reporter, I can firmly say this will be a test of Buffalo’s maturity level. The Browns are not very good, but they are not a soft team. They will fight hard for four quarters at home. We saw that in Cleveland’s 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1.

This is a Bills team with talent. They are my sleeper pick for 2012, but I’m still leery of what to expect week to week. This is a team still learning how to win and do it consistently.

If the Bills are legit, they will not overlook the Browns this weekend. This is a bigger game than what’s on the surface. Buffalo does not want to go into Week 4 against the Patriots with a 1-2 record.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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