FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the Patriots take the field on Sunday against the Bills, fans at Gillette Stadium will likely walk through the gates expecting another Patriots win, with good reason. The Patriots haven’t lost to Buffalo since the opening game of the 2003 season.
However, players aren’t ready to dismiss the Bills just yet. A loss on Sunday would drop the Patriots to an 0-2 record in the division heading into a road matchup with a third division opponent, the Dolphins.
“You can’t go to sleep with them,” wide receiver Wes Welker said Thursday before the team's full-pads practice in which offensive lineman Nick Kaczur (back) and cornerback Terrence Wheatley (foot) were the only players not present. “You have to play every single play and make sure that you’re staying on top of everything.”
Welker’s teammates echoed the caution the Patriots must exercise against a desperate opponent looking for its first win of the season.
“This is another big game for us,” said outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain. “This is a division rival, and they’re coming off two losses. Our focus is high.”
“It’s the NFL. It’s early,” added nose tackle Vince Wilfork. “You always have to expect the best out of the teams you’re playing, and teams generally play their best against us.”
Regardless of the opponent, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is known to build them up as one of the league's best. Things have been no different this week, and players are apparently buying it.
“He’s not blowing smoke or anything like that,” Welker said. “He’s just making sure we’re staying on top of things.”