Buffalo at New England
Bills at Patriots: This is a game that has plenty of hype and coverage, and pretty much none of it has to do with the match up. No one really expects the Buffalo Bills to upset the New England Patriots. The Patriots have a better, offense, defense, special teams and coaching staff than their division rivals. New England is favored by double digits, and should have no problem proving Vegas right. The real story lines here are two individual players; Tom Brady and Terrell Owens.
Brady returns to returns to regular season action for the first time since last year’s week one, when he went down with a knee injury. Despite a winning record and a pretty good offense behind his replacement, Matt Cassel, most Patriot fans feel like they didn’t have the chance to follow up on their 19-0 18-1 season. Now Brady is back and New England can rejoice, they’re once again a major Super Bowl contender, and the favorite in their division. Tonight the spotlight is on number 12 tonight, if he plays like the Tom Brady of the past then the Patriots run away with this game, and possibly the division.
Owens has his own version of redemption tonight, as he looks to prove his doubters wrong. Owens was released from the Cowboys this offseason, not due to lack of production or salary issues, but because of his effect in the locker room. T.O. needs to rebuild his image, and be a good citizen in Buffalo to prove that he wasn’t the reason for Dallas’s collapse last season. Owens should help the Bills offense be more potent this year with just his presence on the field. He will allow Lee Evans to get more open on the other side of the field. With a stronger passing game the Buffalo running game should be more effective as well (once Marshawn Lynch returns from suspension). Owens will have his work cut out for him in week one against the New England defense. More likely than not, no matter what T.O. does tonight the Patriots will win the game, but if Owens can have a big game then it will show the Bills are a contender and Owens is on his way to being reborn. Look for New England to win easy at home 35-17.