1. Keep pouring it on The Bills surprised many when they got off to a 4-0 start, but they were feasting on weaker competition. The four wins came against teams with a combined record of 9-23. The opposition has gotten tougher in recent weeks, and Buffalo has lost three of its last four, including a blowout at Arizona and division defeats by the Dolphins and Jets the previous two weeks. Counting the victory over the struggling Chargers, all five of the Billsí wins came against teams under .500 with a combined 12-28 mark. Their three losses are against teams at .500 or better, with a combined record of 14-10.
2. Beware the air The Bills had hoped to rely on a stout defense and a tough running game behind second-year running back Marshawn Lynch this season. After running for 1,115 yards in just 13 games last year, Lynch has rushed for only 466 yards in eight games this season. The emergence of quarterback Trent Edwards has turned Buffalo into a pass-first team. He has thrown for 1,725 yards, is fourth in the AFC with a 90.8 quarterback rating, and has the fifth-best completion percentage (68 percent) in the NFL. Buffalo has the 12th-best passing attack in the NFL while ranking just 26th in rushing. Lee Evans (below) should provide the biggest test for New Englandís secondary: He is a legitimate big-play threat, with 678 yards receiving (sixth in the NFL) and 19.4 yards per catch.
3. Protect the QB The Patriots have steadily decreased their sacks allowed week by week, and that bodes well for Sunday. The Bills have had a tough time generating a pass rush, with just 13 sacks, tied for 25th in the league. Despite not getting to the quarterback, Buffalo is 10th in the NFL in yards allowed per game, 15th against the pass, and 12th against the rush. The Bills have gotten a real boost out of middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, in his second year out of Penn State. He leads the team with 57 tackles and is sixth in the AFC with 50 solo tackles.
This week's OT cover
OT beat writersMaureen Mullen brings you Red Sox information and insights.
Tom Wilcox covers the Patriots.
Scott Souza is all over the Celtics.
Danny Picard is on the ice with the Bruins.
Mike McDonald takes a look at the humorous side of Boston sports