Tyrod Taylor
Bills-Patriots Preview
Tyrod Taylor

Bills-Patriots Preview

Published Nov. 18, 2015 9:33 p.m. ET

The New England Patriots are looking to remain the AFC's last unbeaten team, though they'll have to continue their best start in eight years without their No. 1 receiver.

Following an emotional win against his former team, Bills coach Rex Ryan is looking forward to seeing just how far Buffalo has come after back-to-back divisional victories.

With reliable Julian Edelman sidelined, the Patriots will try to keep finding ways to win Monday night when they host a Bills team that isn't ready to concede the AFC East.

Cornerback Malcolm Butler kept New England's chances alive last Sunday by knocking a touchdown pass out of New York star Odell Beckham Jr.'s hands moments before the Giants dropped what would have been a clinching interception. New England then narrowly escaped with a 27-26 road win on Stephen Gostkowski's 54-yard field goal with one second left.


The victory, however, proved costly with Edelman expected to miss at least six weeks after breaking his left foot in the first quarter. He had a team-high 61 catches, and his 692 yards and seven touchdowns are second only to Rob Gronkowski's 806 and eight scores.

"You wish you could just plug someone else in, but that's impossible," quarterback Tom Brady said. "Julian Edelmans just aren't sitting out on the street, or else they'd be playing for another team."

Danny Amendola is the likely candidate to fill in after finishing with a season-high 10 catches for 79 yards to help Patriots move to 9-0 for the first time since running the table in the 2007 regular season. Brandon LaFell and Aaron Dobson could also see their roles increase.

"You've just got to try to figure it out different ways to get it done," Brady told his weekly radio program earlier this week.

Dobson had his best game of the season against the Bills (5-4) on Sept. 20 with seven catches for 87 yards in a 40-32 road victory. Edelman hauled in 11 receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns, while Gronkowski contributed seven for 113 and a score.

Brady had season highs of 38 completions and 466 yards to go with three touchdown passes. He's thrown for 907 yards with seven scores in his last two-plus meetings.

The Bills were getting routed 37-13 in September before making things interesting with 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Tyrod Taylor completed 23 of 30 passes for 242 yards with three touchdowns and three picks and also ran for 43 yards and a score.

Buffalo has gone 4-1 when Taylor, running backs LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams and receiver Sammy Watkins are active, though the lone defeat came in that contest.

The Bills handed New England its most recent loss, pulling out a 17-9 road win Dec. 28. The Patriots, however, held out Edelman and Gronkowski, and Brady only played the first half as the team tried to avoid injuries after clinching the AFC's No. 1 seed.

Still, the Bills snapped a 12-game losing streak at Gillette Stadium, along with New England's 35-game run at home against AFC teams and 16-game winning streak there overall.

After wildly pumping his fists in the aftermath of a 22-17 win over the Jets, who fired him in January, Ryan hopes to celebrate another big win over an AFC East rival.

"I know we have improved as a football team," said Ryan, whose club has won three of four on the road. "How much have we improved? We are going to find out on Monday."

Despite trailing in the division by four games, the Bills believe they still can make a run at New England with seven remaining. They'll try to continue that push with their first three-game win streak since 2011 and first above-.500 record after 10 since 2000.

"(The Patriots) haven't won yet, so we have to keep fighting," linebacker Preston Brown said. "You never know what's going to happen in the NFL."

The Bills have given up a combined 34 points in their last two games after allowing 68 in the previous two, but safety Aaron Williams (neck) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (knee) could be out for this contest.

Offensively, they're likely to lean on McCoy and Williams in an effort to keep Brady and Co. off the field. The running backs have combined for 358 yards and four touchdowns over the past two games. McCoy also had 89 yards on 5.9 per carry in the first meeting with New England.

The Bills, however, have dropped 27 of their last 30 meetings with the Patriots.


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