Bills already eyeing Patriots

When the game was switched to prime time television it was difficult for the Bills to ignore. They weren't looking past the Dolphins, but as soon as Buffalo gutted out a win over Miami they had no problem talking Patriots including head coach Dick Jauron.

"We know how good they are and everybody else does too," said Jauron of New England. "They're very, very talented and we have an opportunity in front of us, so we'll just get ready and prepare to play the best team we can play because you know what it's going to take to beat a team like that. Nobody has done it yet this year."

Buffalo's players are eager to use New England as a measuring stick to see how far they've come in the almost two months since they last faced them and lost 38-7.

They feel they've weathered the storm of adversity that surrounded the team at the beginning of the season with all the season ending injuries they had to endure along with an 0-3 start.

"I am impressed," said Donte Whitner of his team's turnaround. "Everything we dealt with early in the season. We lost a lot of guys, we lost Kevin (Everett). J.P. (Losman) gets hurt, Trent comes in. Some people wanted Trent, some people wanted J.P.. Fans wanted Trent, fans wanted J.P.. That's tough, that's a lot of adversity especially for a team that was 1-4. The locker room could have easily been divided and people could have been choosing sides, but we didn't do that."

Heading into the bye week in week 6, Jauron told his team that they had an 11-game season and that the 1-4 start was behind them.

"We started with number one and we won that and it's a roll we've been on since then with four in a row," said Whitner. "We're 5-4 now and we have an opportunity to play the Patriots on Sunday night."

Though Jauron gave his players Monday off following the win over Miami, Whitner plans to be at One Bills Drive with a host of his teammates to get started on New England film.

"They have a high-powered offense and I'm glad that they played the Colts," Whitner said. "The Colts are a similar style of defense to what we have. So we can break them down and watch that football game and take some things that they did that were good and give ourselves some opportunities in that football game. We're going to watch the Patriots early and meet Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and try to get a win against the Patriots Sunday night."

Not that New England needs any help, but much like the Dolphins the Patriots are also coming off a bye week, which no doubt afforded Bill Belichick and his staff the time to add a few wrinkles to their respective offensive and defensive game plans for Buffalo.

But regardless of all the advantages that New England might have the Bills know a prime time atmosphere at Ralph Wilson Stadium can be a significant edge.

"Everybody knows what the Patriots have been doing," said Chris Kelsay. "They've been doing it for a long time. We know we have our hands full, but we also know it's in our place and in prime time on Sunday night football. Everybody is going to be watching. We have to prepare hard this week and stay focused and watch film (Monday). Tuesday is our day off and we'll come back Wednesday with our hard hats and our lunch pails."

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