On Sunday when the Patriots and Jaguars face off at Gillette Stadium, one of the keys to success for New England will be stopping Jaguars rookie running back T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon is a second round pick out of Alabama and has started off his pro career as a workhorse for Jacksonville. He has carried the ball 37 times in his first two games.

The Jaguars will want to keep Tom Brady and the Patriots offense off the field and one of the best ways to do that is a steady offensive diet of Yeldon. The rookie is a strong back with good speed and vision. He is a threat out of the backfield as well and can make a defense pay for overlooking him.

When asked about Yeldon this week, Bill Belichick had high praise for the running back.

Said Belichick: “I mean he’s good. He’s definitely shown he can be a workhorse. That game last week, it was very hot. There were a lot of players who couldn’t finish the game with cramping and dehydration issues and so forth. They just kept giving him the ball. He ran hard. He’s a powerful guy. He’s got good speed, gets the ball outside, catches the ball. They use him some in the passing game, but he can carry the mail. He’s a big, strong, tough runner that has good vision, can get the ball downhill. He’s hard to tackle, and obviously, he has good stamina and conditioning levels. They gave it to him a lot and he delivered.”

The Patriots front seven will have to tackle well to prevent Yeldon from getting loose in the secondary. The defensive ends will have to work to contain similar to how they worked to contain Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, as both players will make big plays if they get outside. The first three series will be important as well. If the Patriots can prevent Yeldon from getting into a rhythm early, that can help slow him down for the rest of the game.

T.J. Yeldon is a good running back who can cause defenses problems if he is not properly accounted for. The Patriots have had some issues with run defense through the first two weeks of the season and Yeldon will be a difficult math-up for them. With young quarterbacks, Belichick has a tendency to load the box and force the quarterback to beat him and there’s a good chance that will be the strategy Sunday. Even so, Yeldon could excite the crowd on Sunday.

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Tom Brady had another tremendous performance throwing for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns in Sunday's victory over the Bills. AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Just like every year the hype starts up around the other teams in the AFC East with all the geniuses at ESPN claiming this is the year the Patriots get dethroned. With Rex Ryan taking over as head coach of the Buffalo Bills the “experts” laid on the hype thick and often. Rex did what he always does and stuck his foot in his mouth all week (of course it’s a Rex foot joke). Bill did what he always does and took the time to prepare an outstanding game plan that featured the very guy Ryan claimed he didn’t know, Dion Lewis. If you don’t know by now that Belichick will use every single thing he can to his advantage then you haven’t been paying attention for the past 15 years. Yesterday’s game can be summed up simply with Belichick took one series on offense and defense to figure out exactly what Rex’s game plan was.

– What Tom Brady is doing at 38 years old is nothing short of remarkable. Of course, to everyone in New England who has been watching all this time this is just business as usual. Remember how great he was in 2007 when it wasn’t him who was personally targeted all offseason for an absolutely ridiculous investigation? If you don’t here’s a quick reminder. In his first two games in 2007 we threw for 576 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Through two games in 2015 he has 754 yards, seven touchdowns, no interceptions and a completion percentage of %69.2. Brady has played with a chip on his shoulder his whole career and thanks to Roger Goodell and no one in the league understanding how air pressure works, he’s on pace for the best season of his incredible career. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 2: Patriots Remind Everyone Who Runs the AFC East; Defeat Bills 40-32 »

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(09/20/2015 Orchard Park, NY) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has good protection from the offensive line in the first quarter as he rolls out with the hep of tackle Sebastian Vollmer, tackle Nate Solder and guard Josh Kline against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, September 20, 2015. Staff Photo by Matt West.

Entering Sunday’s game, one match-up that the Bills had potential to take advantage of was their defensive line against the Patriots offensive line.  The Bills have an excellent front that gives many teams problems. The Patriots were rolling in with two rookies starting in the interior of the offensive line. It had the potential to be a tough day for the Patriots up front.

It ended up being just the opposite, however. Despite attempting a whopping 59 pass attempts, Tom Brady was only sacked twice. This was due in part to Brady and the Patriots making a point to get rid of the ball quickly, not allowing the Bills enough time for their rush to win. The other major reason was the play of the offensive lineman. Rookie David Andrews played every snap at center while rookies Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason rotated at guard along with Josh Kline. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer consistently won against talented Bills’ edge rushers.

Not only did the line pass block well, their run blocking was impressive. Because the game plan was to throw and throw quickly, the Patriots only ran the ball 15 times and gained 56 yards. The only goal of the run game on Sunday was a change of pace option, and it worked well when used, including a touchdown run by Dion Lewis.

The Patriots should be very pleased with the effort of their offensive line. This was likely the biggest challenge they will face until the end of October when New England takes on the Jets. With this test passed, the offensive line is looking like it could be a strength of the team instead of a question mark.

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1. Offense:

– Brady on pace for 800 passes

– Dobson best game – though could have scored on seam route but fell down

– why they go for it in 4th down – could have flipped game

– should have run some clock late

2. Defense:

– Fletcher has to go

– Chandler Jones – 3 September sacks

– Limited Mayo again

– Bend not break can be tough 29 points this year 4th quarter

3. Belichick:

– Blue wind breaker again

4. Deflategate:

– How those air pump sales going Buffalo – cheesy operation

– Patriots 2 fumbles – start the stories

– lawsuit coming – brand forever tarnished

5. Kraft sighting:

– 2nd quarter / 12 minutes left

6. Ryan’s:

– Sorry Buddy boys were 0-2

7. Buffalo:

– Fans were so loud could hardly hear the national radio team

– Buffalo overpaid Darius for one tackle

– No press complaint about Rex Ryan’s quick hand shake after game

– Team takes on coach’s persona – lot of lack of discipline-

– Bills fans now no voice, hung over and snow around the corner

8. Other NFL:

– Who will lead the Cowboys 20 to 20 now

– Peyton greatest Football pitchman since I guess OJ

9. Just a little bit outside:

Doesn’t Edelman enter the local players of warriors list with:

– Grogan

– O’Rielly

– Welker

– Cowens

– Micky Ward

– Campbell

10. Randonocity:

– Writers Guild on strike? Emmy show couldn’t have been worse

– I like the commercial where the wife calls husband at tailgate looking for part of fence

– Baby Doe was conceived at that disgrace Occupy Boston – should make mayor and police chief godfathers for facilitating the antithesis of community

– Refs got air time with over 250 yards of penalties turning the game into almost 4 hours

– Wonder what Patriots record is when underdog

– How the Patriots cheat this week – gronk used two hands, too hot for bills, they had Rex Pats had Bill

– The revenge tour shirts would be a big seller

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(WingNut Films/Universal Pictures, Getty)

The Patriots are playing the Bills this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Its a heated AFC East divisional game however since the start of the Brady and Belichick run in New England it hasn’t been much of a rivalry. Tom Brady is 23-3 against the Buffalo Bills in his career. But, to be fair, this isn’t your older brother’s Bills (I would say your father but the Jim Kelly era in Buffalo wasn’t that long ago). Buffalo has put together a talented squad with new offensive fire power in the second year player, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, newly acquired running back LeSean McCoy as well as wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Another key addition to the Buffalo Bills organization is coach Rex Ryan. Everyone in football knows the Ryan family, father and sons, come from a defensive coordinating background and have no problem vocalizing how they plan to bully the opposing teams offense. Rex Ryan has made a living being a fiery coach with a top notch defensive pedigree. Another thing that Ryan is good at is getting the fans and the media worked into a frenzy. Whether it be promising victories and playoff appearances or verbally jabbing opposing players, particularly quarterbacks named Tom Brady, it seems Rex is always good for a story, especially when playing what appears to be his arch rival, New England’s silent and stoic Bill Belichick. Nothing excites Rex Ryan more than the chance to cause Tom Brady headaches, which he has had succeeded in doing in the past, and to win against Bill Belichick who Ryan was 4-9 against as the Jets head coach, better than many have fared.

One story that has come out of Ryan’s press conferences this week is a little more fun and light in nature than the intensity that will be displayed Sunday afternoon. This is in regards to Ryan alluding to Rob Gronkowski and his freakish combination of size and talent. Ryan joked that no one can cover the Gronk one-on-one, that you’d have to put King Kong on Gronk.

If you haven’t seen the clip its worth a watch.

All jokes aside, Ryan will likely try to find a way to neutralize the Gronk in Sunday’s match up…good luck Rex. When reporters questioned Gronkowski about Ryan’s comments he responded, as all players that attend Belichick’s school of football do, he said he would be ready for anything.

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When the Patriots travel to Buffalo to face the Bills on Sunday, they will have to deal with a dominant and supremely talented defensive line that is now being coached by Rex Ryan. The Patriots, who could likely start two rookies along the offensive line again, will face a massive challenge protecting Tom Brady and opening up holes in the running game.

Marcell Dareus, the biggest star defensive lineman the Bills have, will be playing his first game of the season on Sunday after serving a one game suspension. He is dominant interior presence and was rewarded as such by the Bills with a massive contract extension last week. He can disrupt an entire offensive line on his own with his ability to stuff the run and push the pocket in the passing game.

The Bills spent big money on free age Mario Williams in 2012 and that investment has paid off handsomely. In three full seasons with the Bills, Williams has 38 sacks and five forced fumbles. He is a dominant outside player who needs to be accounted for on every snap and throughout his career has proved himself worthy of being selected number one overall in the 2006 draft.

Although Kyle Williams has no relation to Mario, his excellent inside play make them kin of offense wreckers. Coincidentally selected in the 2006 draft as well, Williams has been a very good defensive tackle his entire career. His best season was 2013 when he recorded 10.5 sacks and a forced fumble, which he followed up with 5.5 sacks and an interception in 2014. Although he has not always piled up high stat numbers, he is an invaluable space eating piece on the Bills defensive line.

Last but not least for the Bills on their defensive line is end Jerry Hughes. Entering his sixth season, Hughes has established himself as a premiere edge rusher in the NFL. His breakout year was 2013 in which he took the opposing quarterback down 10 times and followed that up with 9.5 sacks last season. His three forced fumbles in 2014 were huge for Buffalo and cemented Hughes as perhaps the most dangerous player in an already dangerous Bills’ front.

Given that the Bills have all four of these players in their primes, their defensive line has a legitimate chance to be the best in the NFL. The Patriots will have their hands full preventing the Bills defensive line from dictating the play of the game.

For the Patriots, they will be likely starting two rookies once again. Rookie center David Andrews played well in week one against Pittsburgh, but has never seen the quality of talent that will be across from him on Sunday. Tre Jackson was up and down in his debut last Thursday and will need to have a strong and complete outing in order to slow down the Bills. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer will have their hands full on the outside and they both won’t be getting help on every play. The Patriots will likely employ a quick passing game and try to catch the Bills moving too far upfield with draws and screens.

The Bills are going to have success up front. The Patriots job is to limit how much success the Bills have. If New England can get ahead early and limit the effectiveness of the Bills front four, they will have a good chance of ending the day with a win. However, if the Patriots are sluggish and the Bills defensive line gets off to a dominating start, it could be a long afternoon in Orchard Park.

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The Patriots are gearing up to play the Bills this weekend at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan has challenged the fan base and promised a roaring crowd on Sunday afternoon. As every football fan knows the louder a home crowd is when the opposing team is on offense, the harder it is to hear and communicate plays.

Tom Brady and the Patriots have played in some of the loudest places in the country where fans despise them, and Ralph Wilson Stadium will be no different. The fans will do their best Seattle Seahawks 12th man impression this weekend, trying to disrupt Brady and the model of efficiency that is the Patriots offense.

The aversion of New England for many opposing fans is likely in part due to off-the-field reports of soft footballs and spy cameras, but the true hatred really stems from the persistent winning ways of ice cold Bill Belichick and golden boy Tom Brady. Whether you are a fan of the Pats or not, you cannot deny their dominance over the AFC East going back over a decade, and with last year’s Super Bowl victory the Pats cemented their place as the most dominant team of the era. Continue reading Edelman, Patriots To Face Stout Bills Defense »

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