Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/9/13
New England came dreadfully close to an opening season loss this Sunday to their doormat division rivals, the Bills.With few exceptions, the Patriots usually walk all over Buffalo and tack up an easy W on the record. They snuck by on a sloppy 23-21 victory chock full of fumbles, missed connections, and mediocre defensive play. Yes, a win is a win, but it previewed the struggles this team is going to face all season. Now one could argue pigskin mastermind Tom Brady has a lack of weapons compared to years past, but that excuse is getting old. Even with Rob Gronkowski coming back eventually, this won't be enough to coast through games like they used to. The NFL is a revolving door with players constantly coming and going whether it be injuries, trades, or prison.To be fair, Buffalo had two important weapons sitting on the bench with injuries in 2012 first-round cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Pro-Bowl safety Jairus Byrd. These two could've easily been game-changers. The point is, the Patriots glory days are wearing thin, and they demonstrated this on Sunday. If you are still skeptical, just take a look at a chunk of their opponents this year: the Falcons, Broncos, Saints, Texans, and Ravens. Those are the real heavy hitters, with other stiff competition sprinkled in. Let alone the young and hungry AFC East that is just salivating over the chance to knock off the kings of seasons gone by. With the injury bug biting both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen to some extent this weekend, the Pats should really be getting nervous. At least Brady found a new friend in Danny Amendola, but will he be enough? Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins is another asset that has potential, but didn't flash it this weekend. All I'm saying is watch out Bill Belichick, the rising youth in the AFC might shove you and your aging stud quarterback right out of the playoff door soon enough.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Who should perform at Super Bowl 51?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker