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Patriots’ D faces toughest challenge yet in upstart Bills

Patriots: New England Nation

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots took the field for practice Friday as they get ready to take on the Buffalo Bills in a battle for the top spot in the AFC East.

Both teams are 3-0 going into Sunday’s 1 p.m. contest.

Patriots QB Tom Brady will look to continue his impressive track record in the city of Buffalo. According to NFL Research, he’s the winningest quarterback at New Era Field since 2001—and that includes the Bills’ starters.

The Patriots’ offense is averaging more than 35 points per game so far this season—good for second in the NFL behind the Baltimore Ravens—and they’re tied for fifth in total offense with 408.3 yards per game.

In-Depth Patriots Coverage: New England Nation »

On the other side of the ball, New England’s defense hasn’t let up an offensive touchdown since the AFC title game back in January. The Bills pose the biggest challenge to that streak so far this season, coming in at 8th in the league in total offense. (By comparison, the Patriots’ first three opponents—the Steelers, Dolphins and Jets—represent the bottom three teams in that category to date.)

So how does the meticulous Bill Belichick coach a team that’s already playing so well?

“They’ve told us we suck…Nah, I’m kidding,” LB Kyle Van Noy joked. “They’ve been really complimentary of us but at the same time, they’re always going to coach us hard and we know we can get better.”

Other members of the Patriots’ defense said they’re just trying to build upon their success so far, and they’re not taking this Bills team lightly.

“We haven’t given up any touchdowns so far, it’s great and all, but that’s in the past and we’re just looking forward to playing a tough Buffalo team,” DE Chase Winovich said.

“Only thing we can worry about is how we look week in and week out,” safety Duron Harmon said. “We’ll control our effort, our communication and execution.”

Going into Sunday, New England’s defense sits atop the league in total defense with 199 yards per game—84 less than the next closest team—and they’ve allowed just 5.7 points per game, though if you discount the Jets’ pick-six and Gunner Olszewski’s muffed punt last weekend, that number goes down to 1 point.

THE GAME’S ON 12

WPRI 12—your official Patriots station—has everything you need going into Sunday’s game starting at 11:30 a.m.

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