In Week 8's loss to the Patriots, the Bills hung in for three quarters, and Tom Brady had a 85.5 quarterback rating, the third-lowest for him so far this season. What did Buffalo do well in that contest that they need to do again Sunday?
They pressured Brady on 14 of 48 drop backs (29.1 percent), slightly more than the rate at which he's been pressured this season. As is the case with every quarterback, pressure does damage to Brady's production and efficiency, but this season, he's been worse against pressure than in recent memory.
Here are Brady's under-pressure figures from that game, per Pro Football Focus:
Here are Brady's figures while not under pressure in Week 8's win against the Bills:
Brady has completed just 44.6 percent of his passes while under pressure this season. His yards-per-attempt average is 6.04 while under pressure and his quarterback rating is 72.7, the 18th-highest figure in the NFL. In last year's regular season, Brady completed 55.5 percent of his passes while under pressure at 8.22 yards per attempt with a 96.6 quarterback rating, which was the highest figure in football among qualifying quarterbacks.
In 2016, his completion percentage was 47.2 percent while under pressure, but he did average 7.52 yards per attempt and finished with an 84.9 quarterback rating under those circumstances, which was the fifth-highest figure in football that season.
Buffalo will enter this game fifth in defensive pressure rate at 36.9 percent. Brady's only been pressured on just 25.3 percent of his drop backs.
In the past, creating pressure on Brady was helpful but didn't register him ineffective necessarily. However, in the Bills' earlier meeting with the Patriots and in Brady's other outings this season, the pressure has impacted him negatively more than it has in a long time.