1 - What to expect from LeSean McCoy on Monday Night Football
LeSean McCoy has cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and is expected to play in Buffalo’s Week 8 matchup with the Patriots.
McCoy was injured in the first quarter of Buffalo’s Week 7 loss to the Colts. The running back was tackled awkwardly out of bounds on the team’s second offensive play and did not return.
The 30-year-old was a limited participant in practice throughout the week and was listed as “questionable” on the Bills’ final injury report.
The Week 8 contest will serve as McCoy’s third Monday night game in a Buffalo uniform, should he play as expected. He has played well in his last two Monday night outings, rushing for 82 yards against New England in 2015 and 85 yards against Seattle in 2016.
In six games this season, McCoy has rushed for 244 yards on 63 attempts. In six lifetime games against the Patriots, the playmaker has rushed for 436 yards and two touchdowns. He has also reeled in 26 receptions for 221 yards and one score.
2 - Tremaine Edmunds: It’s all about us right now
Since taking the reins of the team in the 2017 offseason, Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have built a young core in a Buffalo. The duo hopes that this will result in long-term continuity similar to what is seen in New England, who the Bills will host in a Week 8 matchup Monday.
Continuity is something that has allowed the Patriots to build a dynasty over the past 20 years. Bill Belichick has coached the team since the turn of the century, and Tom Brady has been their signal caller since 2001. Over the past two decades, key playmakers have come and gone, but New England’s core has evolved.
The Patriots have had a lot of success against the Bills in the Belichick-Brady era, as New England has a record of 31-5 over Buffalo in the 21st century.
The past, however, does not intimate Buffalo linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The rookie is confident in what the Bills are building, and while he’s aware of New England’s success, he knows that past year’s results will not impact this year’s team.
“I think this year, we set new expectations for ourselves,” Edmunds said. “I think that’s where it starts. We’re a new team. This is a new team. It’s all about us right now. We have to play together as a unit. We know they have players that have been together for a long time. We’ve just got to play together and play Buffalo football.”
3 - Tom Brady knows facing Bills will be ‘a battle’
Buffalo hasn’t played host to a Monday Night Football game since Nov. 17, 2008.
It’s only fitting that it will be a meeting with the Patriots that breaks this nearly decade-long streak.
The Bills and Patriots have a storied rivalry that dates back to the American Football League. Both teams were born in the now-defunct organization before joining the NFL via a merger in 1970. Over the past half century, Buffalo and New England have engaged in countless classic battles, creating an intense rivalry that is celebrated twice per season.
The Bills and Pats will face off for the first time of the 2018 season on Monday night. New England signal-caller Tom Brady, who has achieved a fair bit of success against Buffalo over the course of his 19-year career, feels as though playing in Orchard Park presents a challenge in and of itself.
“I’m excited for Monday night,” Brady said. “Great chance for us to go out and play our best game of the year . . . Beating a good team on the road, place that’s always a bit challenging, on a Monday night game. It’s their only night game of the year. They’ll be fired up, we’ll be fired up. It’ll be a great game.”
Brady thinks that the Bills’ 2-5 record is a bit deceiving, and despite his past success against the team, he knows that overcoming a talented Buffalo group will not be an easy task.
“They’re a good team, they always play us tough,” Brady said. “It’s always a battle up there. I know we’ve had success, but I think it’s because we’ve never thought ‘we should just win this one.’ They’re all tough. These guys play as hard as anybody we face. It always seems to come down to some momentum play at some point.
“It’s a Monday night game for them. I think it’s a huge game for us, division game on the road . . . This team, [they’re] playing really well defensively, and they’ve got some playmakers on offense.”