The struggling Buffalo Bills will try and win their first game of the season against their division rivals, New England Patriots on Sunday.
Buffalo [0-2] announced earlier in the week that quarterback Trent Edwards will be benched in favour of Ryan Fitzpatrick in an attempt to ignite an offence that struggled to move the ball in losses against Miami and Green Bay.
Wide receiver Lee Evans, who has four receptions for 34 yards in the first two games of the season, hopes to capture the chemistry he and Fitzpatrick shared last year, when the veteran caught four of his seven touchdowns and 341 of his 612 yards from Fitzpatrick.
“Fitz just has that different demeanor about him than Trent does. I think we have a very good rapport,” Evans told buffalobills.com. “We know who each other are and it’s just about making plays and having the opportunity to make plays.”
The last time the Bills defeated New England was on opening day 2003, before Evans was drafted by the team, but the wideout believes Buffalo is closer to winning than pundits think.
“I don’t think we’re really, really far away, we just haven’t got there yet,” Evans said. “If we expect to do anything, this is definitely a big week for us. I don’t think (we’re) really concerned about everything that has happened in the past more so (than) what we need to do to win this one.”
It’s not as if Buffalo can count on playing a sleeping giant, as the Patriots [1-1] are coming off a disappointing 28-14 loss to the New York Jets in Week 2.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has enjoyed much success against the Bills in his outstanding career, throwing for more touchdowns  against Buffalo than any other opponent, and leading the Pats to 15 regular season victories over the Bills, his highest total versus any franchise.
Brady’s two favourite targets, Randy Moss and Wes Welker, are off to good starts this season.
The two have combined for 21 receptions, 199 yards and four touchdowns early in the year, and the Bills defence will have to keep these two receivers in check if they have any chance at an upset.
The Patriots’ young secondary struggled last week against the Jets, but remain confident heading into this week’s matchup against a Bills offence unable to find a rhythm.
“You have to be confident out there and have a short memory,” Patriots cornerback Darius Butler told patriots.com. “The more plays you make, the more confident you get. Just getting back to basics, the right techniques.”
Although the Bills are the heavy underdogs versus New England, Butler insists that the Patriots do not expect an automatic bounce-back victory against Buffalo after a pair of close games last season.
“Obviously, we opened with them last year and they played us tough,” the young cornerback said.
“[Fitzpatrick] is a mobile guy, smart guy. He can put the ball up in the air let his receivers make some plays, especially Evans.”