Do the Patriots have a path to beat the Bills in the AFC East? -Boston Herald

For two straight years, the Bills have followed a timeless football formula while passing the Patriots en route to winning a division title.

Field the better quarterback.

Build a deeper roster.

And empower one of the sharpest coaching staffs in the league.

Last season, the Bills famously did not punt in their two wins over the Pats and Bill Belichick, the greatest coach of all time and one of the game’s finest defensive minds. Their final meeting, a 47-17 rout in the Wild Card round, spotlighted the growing gap between the franchises that represent the AFC East’s past and present. Since then, Buffalo has continued to ascend by adding discount weapons like OJ Howard and Jameson Crowder, plus future Hall of Fame pass rusher Von Miller.

The Patriots?

Their offseason received mixed reviews (to be kind), while they largely sat tight and bet internal improvement can propel the franchise forward; specifically a leap from quarterback Mac Jones. The trouble is, for the Patriots to make a playoff return, Jones’ improvement will likely need to be so great that it can paper over significant roster deficiencies.

If that sounds like a lot to ask of a second-year quarterback, that’s because it is. It’s a monumental task, much like retaking the division will be for the Patriots as long as Buffalo remains the odds-on Super Bowl favorite.

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