- Associated Press - Saturday, September 24, 2011

There’s a meeting of undefeateds on this week’s schedule. In Buffalo, of all places.

That’s right, the Patriots, who almost always seem to start 2-0, face the spotless Bills, who rarely sniff such rarefied air. It’s one of eight games featuring division matchups, and perhaps the most enticing one.

“This is the greatest opportunity we’ll have,” Bills running back Fred Jackson said of ending a 15-game losing streak against New England that dates to 2003. “They’re a great team, but we feel like we’re a great team. … It will be a good test and a measuring stick for us.”

Everyone gets measured against the Patriots, who haven’t lost in the regular season since last Nov. 7, a span of 10 games. Their offense has been unstoppable thus far with Tom Brady throwing for 940 yards and seven TDs as New England put up 73 points _ second only to … Buffalo.

One group not quite sold on the Bills: the bookmakers, who have New England a 9-point favorite.

“I can honestly tell you I never even look at it. When the game starts it’s 0-0,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “There’s no favorite. There’s no underdog.”

Well, after 15 straight wins over a team, that’s hardly accurate.

“You hear a lot about how they’ve had our number,” Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay. “That’s fine and dandy to the outsiders. But we have a lot of confidence with guys in this room, and we’re not going to lay down for anybody. We’re preparing to win this game.”

The other divisional games have Green Bay at Chicago and Detroit at Minnesota in the NFC North; the New York Giants at Philadelphia and Washington at Dallas (Monday night) in the NFC East; Atlanta at Tampa Bay in the NFC South; Kansas City at San Diego in the AFC West; and Arizona at Seattle in the NFC West.

Also Sunday, it’s Houston at New Orleans; Pittsburgh at Indianapolis; Baltimore at St. Louis; the New York Jets at Oakland; Jacksonville at Carolina; San Francisco at Cincinnati; Denver at Tennessee; and Miami at Cleveland.


Green Bay (2-0) at Chicago (1-1)

Lest we forget, the Bears won the division a year ago and hosted the Packers for the NFC championship. Also, lest we forget, the Pack won that game and then the Super Bowl.

Green Bay keeps winning even as it loses key players, a formula that didn’t hurt in 2010. Now safety Nick Collins (neck) is gone for the year.

“It’s tough,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We’ve been through the injury stuff before, but it’s something you never get used to as a head coach.”

Story Continues →