FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots will try to avoid making their game at Buffalo on Sunday about one thing: revenge.

“I guess so,” safety Devin McCourty said when asked if he and his teammates are out to avenge a 16-0 loss at home in Week 4. “I mean, we want to win. I guess you can call it that if you want.”

New England – playing without quarterback Tom Brady, who was on suspension – showed deficiencies in all three phases of the game in that setback. One of the most glaring was its run defense, which allowed the Bills to rush for 134 yards, the most the Patriots have allowed in a game this season.

Buffalo also held the Patriots to a season-low 1 of 12 on third downs.

The Bills gave the Patriots a steady diet of running back LeSean McCoy in the first game, but his status for this week is in doubt.

He sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury.

If he can’t go, it would put more of a load on quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and running backs Mike Gillislee and Reggie Bush, who notched his first touchdown of the season last week against Miami.

McCourty said whoever is in the backfield will be a challenge.

“The things that we knew they did well, they’re continuing to do it,” McCourty said. “I think everyone knows they’re going to run but they still go out there and run the football against everybody.”

Taylor’s ability to scramble kept the Patriots off balance, opening passing lanes that led to long completions to Robert Woods.

This time New England could chase Taylor with a defensive line lacking in depth.

Tackles Alan Branch and Malcolm Brown had little rest in last week’s win at Pittsburgh, with Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder) and Vincent Valentine (back) inactive. Anthony Johnson was called up from the practice squad and could be called on again this week.

Coach Bill Belichick said he thought Branch and Brown did a good job taking on the extra workload against the Steelers, but, “ideally that’s not necessarily where you always want to be.”

Defensive end Chris Long said one goal this week is to limit the opportunities for Buffalo’s playmakers to get into the open field.

“Those guys are very capable of getting on the edge,” he said. “You’ve got to be wary of that, and you have to know what your job is … because it might not be the same thing each play.”

Also included in that equation is not getting sidetracked by any head games the Bills might try.

In the Oct. 2 pregame, a shoving match erupted near the sideline when New England quarterback Jacoby Brissett jogged past a group of Bills and was shoved by safety Robert Blanton.

Brissett didn’t stop, but New England receiver Malcolm Mitchell came to Brissett’s defense. It led to a brief scrum involving several players and assistant coaches.

After that game, tight end Martellus Bennett expressed displeasure with the Bills but said this week he wasn’t concerned.

“I’m just chilling, man,” he said. “I’m always on alert.”

NOTES: Patriots running back Dion Lewis, who has been on the reserve/physically unable to perform list since Aug. 30, returned to practice Thursday. Lewis had surgery on his left knee in November to repair an ACL injury.