The Bills are set to travel to Gillette Stadium this Monday night to face off against their division rivals: The New England Patriots. The Bills are looking for their 12th win, and to solidify their place alone atop the AFC East, whereas the Patriots were eliminated from playoff contention with a loss last week to the Dolphins. Nonetheless, this still has the makings of a competitive game as the Bills will be looking to play hard so that they can rest next week, and Cam Newton will be doing everything in his power to ensure that he gets a starting quarterback position on an NFL roster to begin next season. Let's get to the picks for this game.
A year ago, this Bills team was set to make the playoffs but as a team that was carried by its stellar defence and mediocre offence. With the pair of dynamic WRs of both Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley, paired with the emergence of Josh Allen as a superstar quarterback, the offense has carried the defense for most of the year. The defense though has got healthy and started to perform relatively the same as last year, making this team a serious Superbowl contender. Bills Mafia finally has something to cheer for after years of trying to find the new Jim Kelly to carry them to more Superbowls, and I think that the waiting is finally over as have they have found their guy in Josh Allen. We will have to wait and see until closer to game time as far as the injury report goes as 3 major pieces to the Bills defense in Micah Hyde, Jerry Hughes, and Matt Milano are all listed as questionable, but I would expect them to suit up for this game so that they can rest next week. The Bills have an extremely potent offense that is super diverse and almost impossible to stop regularly, so in order for this team to go far, their defense needs to continue their play of late and let Josh Allen do the rest on offense.
It seems silly to talk about Bill Belichick and the possibility of the Patriots not being in the playoffs, considering his coaching excellence throughout the 2000s. Despite this, the Patriots were officially eliminated from playoff contention last week, but that does not mean that they do not have anything to play for and are not going to want to win this game. I do not think that at any point in Bill Belichick's career he will enter a game where he hopes to lose, and Cam Newton really has two more games to do what he has not done all year - prove that he can be a viable starting quarterback in the NFL at this point in his career. I honestly expect the Patriots to throw the ball more than they have at any point this season as the Bills really do not have a second or third lockdown corner (besides White) and the fact that they will likely be fighting from behind will only increase the probability of this. If Damien Harris and Stephon Gilmore are healthy enough to suit up, I don't think that either of these difference makers will be healthy enough to make a difference in this game considering the circumstances. In a season that has been riddled by injuries and COVID opt-outs for the Pats, it would not be surprising to see them get handled by the Bills tonight.
As I have alluded to all article, I am confident that the Bills are going to come to New England and handle the Patriots without much difficulty. I have faith in Sean McDermott and Josh Allen to come up with a gameplan to score on the injured Patriots defence to the point where the Pats do not have the weapons or quarterback to form a comeback. Even if Stephon Gilmore does dress and channels his former-defensive player of the year self to lock up Stefon Diggs, expect Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley to take advantage of their matchups. I expect this game not to be extremely high-scoring, but for Buffalo to put enough points on the board to secure a convincing win.