Has the time come for the Bills to conquer the Patriots?

It’s been a frustrating couple of decades for the Buffalo Bills against the Patriots.

It’s an NFL record that doesn’t necessarily get a lot of play, especially if you are on the wrong side of history. From 1970-79, the Buffalo Bills lost 20 consecutive games to the Miami Dolphins. That’s not something any franchise would like on its resume. But in some ways, that number dwarfs in comparison to the misery that the team from Orchard Park has suffered the past 20 seasons at the hands of the New England Patriots.

Buffalo’s current losing streak in this longtime AFC East rivalry stands at seven games. And dating back to 2000, the Bills are an astounding 5-35 vs. the six-time Super Bowl champions. The team’s last win over the Patriots came in 2016 when then-New England quarterback Tom Brady was serving the final leg of a four-game suspension.

But lo and behold, things are a little different seven weeks into 2020. The Bills sit atop the AFC East with a 5-2 record. Meanwhile, Bill Belichick’s team has lost three straight games for the first time since 2002 and is in third place in the division with a 2-4 mark. The Pats have already lost as many games as they did all of last season.

And now the teams collide in Buffalo on Sunday as Sean McDermott — 0-6 in this series as the Bills’ head coach — looks to knock off a franchise that has won the last 11 AFC East titles.

Can the Buffalo Bills snap out of it against the AFC East rival Patriots?

Meanwhile, the Bills have cooled off a bit since their 4-0 start. The team is still in first place in the AFC East but the offense that was lighting up opponents early in the season has cooled off considerably.

Josh Allen and company rolled up 123 points during the undefeated start and just 51 points in their last three contests. And Buffalo’s defense, a team strength the previous two years, hasn’t looked like its recent self this tear.

In 2019, the club was third in total defense and a respectable 10th vs. the run. This year, the Bills are a mediocre 15th in the NFL in total yards per game allowed and a disappointing 21st in rushing defense.

There’s no question that this is a depleted New England Patriots’ team, one that will now be without wide receiver Julian Edelman (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com). But there’s a lot to be said about being 5-35 vs. a team in two decades and losing seven straight to a divisional rival. And getting past the problem-plagued Pats will indeed be a challenge.