- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Sunday's game between the visiting Patriots and Bills will be broadcast on CBS, with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf on the call. Here are some quick-hit thoughts from Dierdorf on the matchup:
Setting the stage. "The New England Patriots have been sitting on the AFC East Division throne more often than not for the past 10 years. The first thing coaches in that division say to their teams each year is, ‘We can’t do anything if we can’t compete with the Patriots.’ That is what Buffalo and everybody in that division has to do. That is job No. 1. The way you make the playoffs is to win your division. Everybody knows that if you’re going to win the AFC East, you have to beat the New England Patriots."
On the Patriots' 1-2 start. "Is this a disappointing start for New England at 1-2? Absolutely. Is there a hint of panic, doubt or desperation in that team? No way. The interesting matchup in this game is going to be in protecting Tom Brady. He has been sacked seven times in their three games. And there have been times where their pass protection has not been as stout and strong upfront as they would like. The Patriots are playing against one of the game’s best front fours. With the addition of Mario Williams, their number one draft pick Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and the free agent signing of Mark Anderson – these guys are good."
On the Bills' home-field edge. "Buffalo is one of those places where it is harder to win than others. It is not necessarily because the best team calls it home. It has always been difficult to win in Buffalo. The Bills are one of those teams that traditionally, over the past 20 years, have played better at home. It’s a tough out in Buffalo. The weather won’t be an issue, but their crowd is excited. Bills fans have a chance to watch their team go to 3-1 and at the same time make the big, bad Patriots fly back to Boston at 1-3."