The Buffalo Bills thrashed, embarrassed and eviscerated the Indianapolis Colts on September 13th, 2015. Andrew Luck looked like a shell of the potential Hall Of Famer so many in the media have anointed him as. Luck tried desperately to turn the tide but his last ditch efforts in the latter part of the game were to no avail. The Buffalo Bills are no longer a joke and if they have their way, the Indianapolis Colts will be just one of many to fall by their sword.
Rex Ryan is exactly the hero Buffalo needs right now. After years of being a bottom dweller in the often considered weakest division in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills have a swagger about them that some say is necessary if undeserved. With the likes of Percy Harvin, Lesean McCoy and a top rated defense, the Bills look to be a legitimate force. Rex Ryan, an outcast in his own right, is doing all he can to build his team up and allow them to echo his sentiments. Rex wants revenge for being ousted by New York and embarrassed year in and year out by not just his division, but many teams in the league. Next step on Ryan’s agenda, the decimation of his chief rival, the “hated” New England Patriots.
The New England Patriots have never particularly shown any weakness in regards to Rex Ryan or the Buffalo Bills for that matter. The Belichick/ Brady era of New England has shown that they are fully capable of taking down whatever Buffalo has thrown their way. Rex Ryan and at the time The New York Jets, showed that when a bag of tricks is used properly success can be had but ultimately the victories were few and far between. In his glory, Rex finally has the assets to combine with his defensive expertise. Are the New England Patriots truly in trouble of losing to this abomination of talent?
There is a popular television show on HBO called “Game of Thrones”. On the program, royalty often appoints a champion, someone to stand in their place in order to uphold their wishes during a fight. The royal family on “Game of Thrones” often employs a giant man known as “The Mountain” to defeat their adversaries. The New England Patriots have such a champion, a man who could be considered a mountain in his own right. His name is Rob Gronkowski, but around these parts we simply call him Gronk.
Gronk is an unstoppable pass catching tight end that excels at blocking as well, a rare beast in today’s NFL. Gronk is such a mismatch for most offensive coordinators that even when a team attempts double coverage Gronk often eludes his opposition. Future Hall of Fame Quarterback Tom Brady, as talented as he is, cannot be in two places at once, nor should he need to be in order to have success. Gronk is like a time bomb which allows Brady the opportunity to keep the defense guessing when exactly he will blow up. Such an intricate piece to the New England Patriot puzzle is Gronk, that during past seasons when he was out of action due to injury, the Patriots just were not the same dominant team.
Now, to give the devil his due, Rex Ryan has been one of the few head coaches to have slowed down the Brady/Gronk tandem. Ryan knows the Patriots like no other coach which is what makes him such a dangerous competitor when armed properly. By rushing Tom Brady often and knocking him around a bit, it causes the four-time Super Bowl Champion to feel exceedingly pressured to release the football as quick as possible. Gronk is strong, Gronk is fast but at 6-foot-6, and 265 pounds you can only get so far down the field so fast. It takes many men to make an offense run at optimal level, the young offensive line need to do their part in keeping Tom Brady safe. If Brady is kept on his feet, the Quarterback can find Gronkowski with ease.
Rex Ryan answered comically but truthfully when asked how he planned to cover Gronk. “We’re not going to ask one guy to cover him,” Ryan said “Yeah, he’d have to look like King Kong.” Rest easy though Pats fans, if Rex does in fact double team Gronkowski, New England has another Tight End that can hopefully fill in admirably in the red zone, Scott Chandler. In no uncertain terms should wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola be over looked in this offense, but let’s be realistic, without Rob Gronkowski, their jobs become that much harder to perform.
Sunday will of course be a very interesting tale of football. Will Rex Ryan finally put forth a dominant display of offensive/defensive strategy against the New England Patriots, echoing his week one victory and cementing the Buffalo Bills as a legitimate AFC rival? Or will Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots continue to ride Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to AFC domination?