FOXBORO -- The Patriots cleared a big hurdle in beating Baltimore on the road Sunday, but their work is not done yet. This weekend's regular season finale against Buffalo could give the team a first-round playoff bye. With such a prize on the line, quarterback Tom Brady wants the same kind of 60-minute effort New England put together against the Ravens.
No small thing.
"We’re playing one of the best defenses in the league, a team that’s sacked the quarterback more than anybody in the whole league," Brady noted Wednesday. "They’ve got, I think, [the] second-most interceptions, so they put a lot of pressure on you offensively, and we’re going to have to find ways to answer, because they do a really great job."
He was right about Buffalo's 22 interceptions being second-most in the NFL. And the imposing sack tally he gave a nod to is 56.0. Three different Bills players are in double-digits: Defensive linemen Mario Williams (13.0) and Kyle Williams (10.5), and outside linebacker John Hughes (10.0).
Buffalo shut out Miami, a team that beat New England two weeks ago, 19-0 last weekend.
"There’s a lot to prepare for, no question," Brady said. "It’s one of those defenses that does a lot of different things. Similar to how when we played the Jets; they’ve got a lot of calls and a lot of looks, and they try to confuse you. They’ve got a lot of coverage looks, a lot of front looks, a lot of blitzes, so they put pressure on you in a lot of areas. I think it’s just – you’ve got to study what they do, kind of like we do every week."
If you're studying Patriots-Bills history you'll discover Brady's advantage immediately. New England has gone 21-2 against Buffalo with Brady at the helm. He has a 64.39 completion percentage against the AFC East foe and has thrown 53 touchdowns to 18 interceptions.
The thing is, you don't get those kind of numbers by underestimating your opponent.
"It’s just a lot of mental preparation, and it’s the holiday season, but at the same time, it’s the most important game of the year. So I think when we’re here, we’ve really got to focus on what we need to do, which is play our best game and be on top of things right from the kickoff all the way through the fourth quarter."