- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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As divisional opponents, the Patriots and Bills are familiar with each other as foes. There are also some connections between the two franchises that include a trio of former Patriots who are now on the Bills' roster.
Defensive end Mark Anderson
Anderson had a renaissance year with the Patriots in 2011, and turned a 10-sack season into a hefty free agent deal with Buffalo this offseason. In 2011, he rediscovered the pass-rushing ability he demonstrated as a rookie back in 2006, and became an important part of the Patriots' defense on its march towards Super Bowl XLVI. He once again is counted on to rush the passer in Buffalo, where playing opposite of Mario Williams he has been able to generate one sack through three games.
Tight end/fullback Dorin Dickerson
A member of the Patriots' practice squad during part of 2011, Dickerson seems to have found a home in Buffalo in sort of a jack-of-all-trades role. He has an impressive combination of size and athleticism, and was a productive receiver during college at Pittsburgh. He's yet to catch a pass this season, but appears to be a player who continues to develop in his third pro season.
Tight end Lee Smith
Smith was drafted in the fifth round in 2011 by the Patriots, and was amongst the team's final cuts at the conclusion of training camp. Before the Patriots had the opportunity to stash him on the practice squad as a developmental asset, the Bills claimed the Marshall graduate on waivers. His 2011 was cut short due to injury, and he's totaled five catches for 16 yards in the early portion of his NFL career.