The Buffalo Bills always try to up the intensity when they play the New England Patriots. As does Rex Ryan, whose tenure at the helm of the New York Jets was full of attempts to provoke New England. Now that Ryan is in charge in Buffalo, emotions were surely going to be high for Sunday’s game between the Bills and the Patriots.
This was on display before the game while both sides were going through warm-ups. Bills safety Robert Blanton appeared to approach Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett and WR Malcolm Mitchell, who looked like they were jogging along the sideline. Blanton shoved Brissett, which led to Mitchell sticking up for his quarterback by shoving Blanton and getting in his face.
Some more Bills players came over, and while a few of them tried to break things up, a handful got into Mitchell’s face. Coaches for both sides also came over to the scrum and tried to keep an all-out brawl from breaking out.
This game was always going to be really chippy for a number of reasons – conference game, Bills vs. Patriots, Ryan going against Bill Belichick, etc. – and that tone got set before the two teams even took the field.