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The Buffalo Bills are living and dying by LeSean McCoy in 2016

For the Buffalo Bills, their run of strong victories came to an end in Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins. After winning four-straight games against the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, all in impressive fashion, they dropped a tight one 28-25 to the Miami Dolphins. To go along with that bad news, which dropped the team to 4-3 on the season, the Bills also seem likely to be without star running back LeSean McCoy in Week 8’s huge rematch with the Patriots.

Via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

It goes without saying that McCoy not being able to suit up in Week 8 against the Patriots is a brutal blow for the Bills. After knocking off the Tom Brady-less Patriots by a score of 16-0 in Week 4, you can bet that Brady took notice of it, and is ready for some revenge. As if the Bills weren’t going to have their hands full enough before, not having McCoy, who’s rushed for 598 yards and six touchdowns in 2016, takes this to an entirely new level.

The even worse part of it for the Bills is that this season has the McCoy show. The wins and losses for the team have directly correlated with McCoy’s performances. In the first two weeks of the season, McCoy averaged 3.9 yards per carry or less, while scoring once. The Bills were 0-2 over that span.

Then in the following four games, the Bills went 4-0, McCoy topped the 110-yard mark three times and scored five total touchdowns. Finally, in Week 7 while nursing a groin injury, McCoy carried the ball just eight times for 11 yards and the Bills lost a disappointing one against the Dolphins. If there was one player directly impact the wins and losses for his team this season, it’s been McCoy.

Of course, just to top things off for the Bills, they’re getting the hungry Patriots, who are already angry about their shutout loss to this team four weeks ago. An angry duo of Bill Belichick and Brady isn’t good for anyone in the NFL, especially if you’re the reason why they’re so mad.

McCoy is the key factor for the Bills’ success in 2016, but after seeing second-year running back Jay Ajayi go off for 214 yards and a touchdown against them last week, there are multiple reasons to be concerned. It’s a tough spot for the Bills heading into Week 8 because McCoy will likely push to play. Even if he does, there’s a strong possibility that he won’t be even remotely close to healthy enough to produce against the Patriots.

On the opposite side of things, if McCoy can’t go, that puts the Bills directly behind the 8-ball with back-to-back losses looming. A second-straight loss would drop them to 4-4, and leave them just a half game ahead of the Dolphins for second place in the division. Even worse, it pushes them down further in the Wild Card race in the AFC, where they currently sit No. 7 behind the Kansas City Chiefs, but just a half game ahead of the now 4-4 Tennessee Titans.

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