Patriots not taking Bills lightly

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“Definitely,” he said. “They expect me to know everything and I’m at that point. So I’m ready to get in there and just help out the team however I can.”

Mesko’s, a left-footed punter, hurt his left knee. Belichick said the injury caused the Patriots, leading 20-14, to try for a first down on fourth-and-4 at the Chargers 49-yard line. They failed and San Diego took over. Belichick said placekicker Stephen Gostkowski might have filled in for Mesko if a punt was essential.

“It would probably depend what the situation was,” Belichick said, “where the ball was, how far we were punting, that kind of thing.”

Based on the first two weeks of the season, punters may not have much work to do Sunday. New England is third in the NFL with 73 points, six behind Buffalo.

That’s quite an improvement for the Bills, who had losing records the past six seasons, haven’t won a playoff game since 1995, last reached the playoffs in the 1999 season and have just one winning season since then.

On Sunday, though, they can beat the Patriots for the first time since a 31-0 victory in the 2003 opener at Buffalo.

“By no means are we taking them lightly,” Barrett said.

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