ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — After the Bills’ season-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts, the task gets tougher for Week 2.
Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
“It’s a tough Sunday because of their skill,” coach Rex Ryan said.
“Great coach, a Hall of Fame quarterback. That’s what makes it more difficult than anything else. We don’t have to worry about getting our team ready to play. The Patriots, they’re the ones you want to beat.”
The Bills have won just three of the 28 meetings with the Patriots since Brady became New England’s quarterback in 2001.
One of those victories came in last season’s finale at New England. However, the Patriots rested several key players during that game, having already secured their playoff position.
Buffalo has not won consecutive games against the Patriots since 2000.
Despite the Patriots’ dominance in the series, the Bills are eager to face their AFC East rivals.
“This is like the Super Bowl in the regular season,” cornerback Nickell Robey said.
“They’re kind of the hunted in my eyes,” Ryan said, “because they’re the world champions.”
The Bills are a different team with Ryan replacing Doug Marrone as head coach.
They also have a new quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, who impressed in his first career start Sunday, completing 14 of 19 passes for 195 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 123.8.
Taylor outplayed the Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck in Sunday’s 27-14 victory. Much of that can be credited to Ryan’s aggressive defense pressuring Luck throughout the game.
Buffalo’s home crowd was a factor in the opening win, and Ryan hopes they will help the Bills against the Patriots.
“I can’t wait to see what our fans are going to be like when you have the hated Patriots, I mean, this kind of rival coming in,” Ryan said.
Ryan had some success against Brady and the Patriots during his time as the New York Jets coach. The Jets won four of their 13 games against the Patriots with Ryan as coach, including a divisional round playoff game in 2011.
Ryan’s defenses routinely held the Patriots offense below season averages for points and yards. Ryan’s past three losses to the Patriots have all been by three points or fewer.
Last season, the Jets lost 27-25 in New England when a 58-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds was blocked. New England won 17-16 at New York, blocking a 52-yard field-goal attempt with less than five minutes remaining.
Ryan referenced the Patriots during his introductory news conference in Buffalo.
“We’re not afraid of anybody and certainly not afraid of them,” he said.
Coach Bill Belichick had three extra days to prepare for the next game after the Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 to open the season last Thursday.
But Ryan said Monday that he has been preparing for the Patriots for a while.
“That plan’s been ready for a long time,” Ryan said.
NOTES: Ryan did not update the status of injured safety Corey Graham. “He is in that concussion protocol,” Ryan said. “Hopefully, he is ready to go, but if he is not, he is not.” The Bills players had Monday off. … All four AFC East teams are off to 1-0 starts for the first time since the NFL expanded to eight divisions in 2002. … Pro Bowl DT Marcell Dareus will rejoin the Bills on Tuesday after serving his one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. … The Bills announced they will donate 20 cans of soup for every tackle to local food banks this year. Last year, the Bills donated 19,680 cans.
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