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How the Patriots are preparing to upset the Bills and what else they might try – Boston Herald



FOXBORO — In their final game last season, the Patriots showed their remaining cards against a division opponent that played like it had stacked the deck.

The result, of course, was an infamous 47-17 blowout loss at Buffalo. Eleven months later, most of the Patriots’ and Bills’ players from that night are back. The same can be said, more or less, for the coaches.

So what cards does Bill Belichick have left to avoid a repeat embarrassment Thursday night?

Offensively, his Xs-and-Os options are fairly limited.

Buffalo has not changed its defensive structure and zone-heavy scheme since head coach Sean McDermott took over in 2017. McDermott’s defense has especially stifled the Patriots, even in the Tom Brady years. The Pats average fewer than 20 offensive points per game against McDermott’s Bills, and haven’t scored more than 25 since 2017.

“Schematically it’s pretty similar from week-to-week, year-to-year,” Belichick said this week. “I mean they obviously tweak it by game plan, do a little more of this against one team or a little more of that against somebody else. But they don’t really change what they do.”



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