New England Patriots: Stopping C.J. Spiller is Key for Week 1 Victory Vs. Buffalo Bills

6, 2013 at 04:38 p.m. Updated: Sept. 6, 2013 at 07:38 p.m. Friend(s) Email New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t say Friday whether Rob Gronkowski would return to the field this week. The injury report did the talking for him.

New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to murder

Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez attends his arraignment over the murder of Odin Lloyd. Source: AP FORMER New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder at his arraignment in a Massachusetts court. Hernandez was indicted last month on the murder charge and five gun-related charges in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player whose bloodied body was found in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, less than a mile from Hernandez’s luxury home. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all six charges in his appearance in Bristol County Superior court in Fall River, Massachusetts. He is next scheduled to appear in court on October 9, and prosecutors and defence attorneys agreed that he will continue to be held without bail until then. Hernandez has been in jail since his arrest on June 26. He had already pleaded not guilty to murder in Attleboro District Court, but the case has been transferred following the grand jury indictment on August 22.

New England at Buffalo

Scooped up by the Steelers Monday, and given a second chance in the NFL, Mesko is ready for the challenge. After all, he was once a fan of the Black and Gold. Indeed, somewhere along this his amazing journey from war-torn Romania to Ohio and eventually to the NFL, Mesko fell in love with Pittsburgh’s pride and joy. “I randomly found this Steelers jacket at a Wal-Mart in Cleveland, because I needed a new winter jacket,” he said. “I really had no clue if the Steelers were a football team or baseball team.

They have guys who have a knack for causing turnovers, which is obviously a big plus. I expect the Patriots’ defense to be solid this season. The Patriots open the season on the road against the Buffalo Bills , who are welcoming in a new head coach in Doug Marrone and a new starting quarterback in first round rookie E.J. Manuel. While I do like the young offensive talent that the Bills have, especially running back C.J.

Brady eager to see new-look Pats open at Bills

And thats not including New Englands brief flirtation with Tim Tebow, who was cut last weekend. Many of Bradys familiar security blankets are gone (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez) or injured (tight end Rob Gronkowski). The four accounted for 3,548 yards receiving and 26 touchdowns last year. In their place is a group of newcomers led by free agent Danny Amendola. The Bills have a brand new look to them, too, after an offseason overhaul the latest in the teams bid to become relevant again after missing the playoffs for 13 straight years. Doug Marrone is the new coach, and hes brought in an up-tempo philosophy on offense, led by first-round pick EJ Manuel at quarterback.

5 Players Who Will Shine In Week 1 For The New England Patriots

Patriots

If and when that plan comes to fruition Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium, it will be up the Patriots defense to stop it. The last two times Spiller faced New England, he combined for 103 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards on just 23 touches. Although he wasn’t a “bell-cow” back versus the Patriots’ sixth-ranked run defense and 26th-ranked pass defense in 2012, Spiller gained an average of seven yards each time he harnessed the football. The 26-year-old’s success last season is not breaking news to the Patriots, however. Even though nearly 10 months have passed since New England and Buffalo last squared off, game film — both new and old — has provided Belichick, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and the defense a chance to reacquaint with Spiller’s versatility.

Former Patriots punter Mesko, released last week by New England, all set to go for Steelers

1378502071 Jake “The Snake” Roberts is one of the greatest pro wrestlers ever. This season, he visits CBSSports.com after challenging one of our writers to a picks contest. 1378499548 Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s opener against Buffalo. New England listed Gronkowski as doubtful in its final injury report. 1378497492 Kirwan: Julius Thomas is the first surprise of Week 1 but there will be plenty more. Some storylines to watch: How defenses dissect the read-option and how rookie coaches do against old vets.

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