Sunday's Patriots-Bills matchup has quite the different feel, and it's beyond the Patriots being 2-4 and the Bills 5-2.
For the first time since Week 2 of 2015 in Buffalo, the Patriots will not be favored in a division game, as they are currently 3.5-point underdogs. The 30-game streak as betting favorite in division games was the longest active streak by a big margin.
So, are the Patriots still the team to beat in the AFC East? Devin McCourty was asked that question Wednesday and he doesn't think so.
“They’re first in the division. We’re 2-4,” McCourty said via video conference. "So I definitely won’t call us the team to beat this year. I know me personally, I talk about it every year, it doesn’t matter what’s happened here in the past. I’ve always said that when you talk about the Super Bowls won in the early 2000s, that doesn’t have anything to do with us. Super Bowls won after 2010, that has nothing to do with us.
“I will say right now we’d be crazy to think coming into the game that we’re the team to beat, like they’re No. 1. This is going to be a huge challenge for us on the road, you know, the top team, we’ve got to really bring our A-game coming off three straight losses. So I think for us, our backs are against the wall, we’ve got to go out there and play well.”
McCourty also noted the team can respond well to the losses as well as they can, but all that doesn't matter unless they start winning games.
“I’m a big believer we’re in a results-driven league,” he said. "So, it felt like we had a good day, but it all comes down to Sunday. We can go out there and have a good week of practice, but it all has to amount to playing well on Sunday.
“I think we’re going out there and we’re competing. But in this league you’ve got to do that and carry it over to Sunday. I think that’s our challenge, to do it each day consistently and build it up and build it up and then let it all loose on Sunday. I think that’s what we’re trying, we’re building that process. So we’ve got to go out there and do it Sunday.”