Only six Bills defenders left from 2016 win over Jacoby Brissett

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- During Rex Ryan's two-year tenure as Buffalo Bills coach, he beat only two teams that would advance to the playoffs: the Brian Hoyer-led Houston Texans in 2015 and the Jacoby Brissett-led New England Patriots in 2016.

Brissett completed 17 of 27 passes for 205 yards in a 16-0 shutout loss to the Bills at Gillette Stadium that October, the final game of Tom Brady's four-game suspension. It was the second and final game Brissett started for New England after an injury to then-backup Jimmy Garoppolo.

Brissett will make his second start against the Bills this Sunday at New Era Field, but much has changed. Brissett now leads the Indianapolis Colts' offense and he will face an entirely new Bills defense under a different coaching staff.

Only six defensive players who played for the Bills in last season's win over the Patriots -- defensive linemen Kyle Williams, Adolphus Washington and Jerry Hughes, as well as linebackers Preston Brown, Lorenzo Alexander and Ramon Humber -- remain this season.

It will be a clean slate for both Brissett and the Bills defense, which has not faced the Colts since a 27-14 win in the 2015 season opener. The Bills held Colts running back Frank Gore to 31 yards on eight carries that day, but that matters little. Only three players -- Williams, Hughes and Brown -- are left from that Buffalo defense.

For a Bills defense that has allowed 176.8 rushing yards per game since Week 9 -- almost 30 yards per game more than any other team -- Gore will be the bigger problem than Brissett.

"I respect him," Bills running back LeSean McCoy said Wednesday. "There's some guys, a couple guys, that I do respect that I'll trade jerseys with. They're hanging up in my basement. He'll be one of them, for sure."

McCoy leads the NFL in rushing yards (9,805) since he entered the NFL in 2009. Gore's 9,256 yards rank second.

Time might be catching up to both Gore, 34, and McCoy, 29. Gore's 3.6 yards-per-carry average is the lowest of his career, and McCoy's 4.11 is tied with his rookie season average as his worst.

Sunday's weather could benefit both teams' running games. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20s with snow showers possible after the area received several inches of snow this week.

"[The weather] is part of where we are [and] who we are," Bills coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday. "To me, it's a mindset of embracing that mindset. This is where we are, this is who we are and we take pride in where we live and the elements that come with that."