Coach Chan Gailey said he talks to owner Ralph Wilson once a week. And how have those conversations gone lately?
"He is upset we are losing. Would you expect anything less?" Gailey said. "He is upset we are losing. That is made very clear, which I understand. I am, too. We have to win and our weekly conversations will go better."
The Bills (3-5), who have lost four of their last five games, travel to New England (5-3) on Sunday. Judging by their recent play, no one expects Gailey's conversations with his boss to improve, at least not this week. Buffalo has lost 16 of its last 18 games against the Patriots, including a 52-28 defeat on Sept. 30 when the defending AFC East Division champs, trailing by 14 points, rallied by scoring touchdowns on six consecutive possessions.
The Patriots wound up with two 100-yard rushers, two 100-yard receivers and quarterback Tom Brady had three touchdowns and a sizzling 120.1 rating. On the flip side, four interceptions by Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick fueled New England's record offensive day, which also included 580 total yards.
Certainly, the schedule maker hasn't done Buffalo any favors coming off a 21-9 loss at Houston, where the team played better but still showed it is far from a serious playoff contender. Buffalo's season, in fact, is teetering. New England is coming off a bye and is ready to make another playoff surge.
"We have put ourselves in a difficult spot, especially with the last slate of games that we have had," Fitzpatrick said. "We have put ourselves in a tough spot now in terms of falling behind and our record not being where it needs to be, especially if we want to be a playoff team. Every game is important. When we play New England, they have obviously had our number. We are kind of down right now. We do not think we are out. I think there is a positive vibe in the locker room. I think you have to have that otherwise you are beat before you go play."
The Bills' pattern against New England is to start well and finish poor. The team is stressing the importance of playing a complete 60-minute game this time.
"Since I have been here, it has always been a huge game for us. This week is no different," running back Fred Jackson said. "To get to where we have to be this is a must-win for us. We get a great chance to go into a great place that we haven't won (0 and 10 at Gillette Stadium) and turn this thing around. We can't lose any more games and expect to do things that we want to get done. Everybody is focused on that. We know it is going to be a huge test for us but we feel like we can play with these guys. We just need to finish games."
Buffalo's defense, remodeled with expensive free agents, ranks 31st in yards and points allowed and just hasn't shown any ability to match up with the Patriots for an entire game. New England comes into the game with the NFL's No. 1 ranked offense in yards and points scored at 32.8 per game. There couldn't be a bigger assignment.
Buffalo's defense performed better against Houston but it still wasn't good enough to win in the end.
"It's never good enough when you lose," defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. "Guys have to obviously be ready for this team and what they do offensively. And if you're not on your P's and Q's and if you're not playing fast they will take advantage of you."
New England quarterback Tom Brady, who has made a Hall of Fame career out of playing the Bills the past decade, doesn't want a repeat of this year's first meeting when he found himself trailing 21-7 until that six-possession, six TD eruption.
"I think everybody clicked. I think the defense clicked. I think the special teams clicked. I think everything does and it's complementary football and capitalizing on turnovers," Brady said. "We didn't play very well in the first half so we were down 21-7 and it was a little bit of an adverse situation for us and we found a way to dig ourselves out of it. Hopefully we don't have to dig ourselves out of it this week."
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