FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Any team that went 13-3 last season, won a division title with ease and advanced to the Super Bowl, is going to create a buzz if it stumbles out of the gate the following season.
Add the fact that it's the New England Patriots, and it's that much more magnified.
But Patriots coach Bill Belichick is taking it all in stride. On the same day he was fined by the league for making contact with an official Sunday night, New England's leader had already moved on by Wednesday.
"I think the most important thing for us is just to focus on this week," Belichick said. "There isn't really anything we can do about any other game other than the present. Nothing in the past, nothing in the future. We're just going to focus on this one."
This one, though, won't be easy either. On Sunday, New England (1-2) will take on the resurgent Bills (2-1) in Buffalo, a team that is — gulp! — tied with the Jets atop the AFC East.
"They're very explosive offensively. They have good players at every position. Their offensive line is solid," Belichick said of Buffalo. "They have good players at every position and (Bills coach) Chan (Gailey) does an outstanding job game planning and utilizing his personnel and putting pressure on the defense. They're a very good offensive football team. It's a big challenge for us."
After a year to forget on defense, New England has improved on that side of the ball, just not enough to result in wins. The Patriots have allowed 64 points, the fewest in the division.
On offense, quarterback Tom Brady is averaging 295.7 yards passing per game. But he's been sacked seven times and the offense hasn't quite sustained drives like it planned on.