It's been a long time since the New England Patriots have lost three games in a row. Let's put it this way: there are college freshmen walking around ghost town campuses that weren't alive the last time it happened.

But these are definitely different days, and this is a different Patriots team. Those Patriots actually lost four games in a row in 2002, something that the 2020 team could match if they don't get their act together this weekend against the Bills.

It's a big one for the Pats. If they win this game, they're only one game behind Buffalo in the loss column with one more game against Bills, with the next one at Gillette.

The Patriots travel to Orchard Park this weekend with a lot on the line. Starting (for the moment) quarterback Cam Newton is calling this a must-win for the Pats. While the Bills had a strong start and continue to lead the AFC East, ABC6 Sports Director Nick Coit believes this is a very winnable game.

"It's in the division, an opponent that you know, the Bills have looked more like they've turned into a pumpkin," Coit said. "They started out hot, but then they've taken a couple of jabs from the Titans and the Chiefs and Josh Allen looks more like the quarterback we've seen the past couple of years."

The team has also moved away from big-name running backs like LeSean McCoy; however, they did give their wide receiver corps a shot in the arm with the addition of Stefon Diggs.

To win, though, Coit believes the Patriots have to re-commit themselves to their run game.  The Pats offense is ranked fourth in the NFL for rushing yards per game, thanks in big part to the abilities of Newton. Coit thinks the Patriots have to get back to what was working for them earlier in the season.

Nick Coit is picking the Patriots to stop their slide this week in Buffalo.

"There's a sense of urgency," he said. "There's a desperation with this team. You've got the Jets next week. All of a sudden you could be 4-4 if you beat the Jets."

It's been a long time since the Patriots were scrapping to make it back to .500, but here we are.

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