FOXBOROUGH, MA — The Buffalo Bills take on the New England Patriots today, and this is the biggest game for the Bills since last week, and the week before that.
You can watch the game on 7 ABC as well as the pre-game show and 7 Eyewitness News following the game with reports from Foxborough.
The Bills are playing with house money and for the first time in a long time they have a realistic chance to leave New England with a win. When was the last time we could say that?
Tom Brady’s dominance over the Bills is well documented. Brady is 31-3 against the Bills, with 16 wins in Orchard Park. In New England, Brady has never lost a game to the Bills that he’s started and finished. So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Well yes, yes I am.
The Patriots offense is struggling and Brady for the first time in his career looks human. Defensively, the Pats have maybe the most talented unit in the league, which is the biggest reason why they still sit atop the AFC East with an 11-3 record. However, there are some opportunities for the Bills to take advantage of.
In the first meeting between these two teams in Week 4, Frank Gore rushed for more than 100 yards. Devin Singletary wasn’t active in that game. Expect a heavy dose of Singletary, who provides a much more dangerous threat out of the backfield. Since the Browns game, Singletary has the fourth most rushing yards in the NFL.
Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones will also miss the game with an injury. He’s usually the guy who takes care of the most dangerous option in the slot, which this week would be Cole Beasley. With Stephon Gilmore likely shadowing John Brown, Beasley could be looked to early and often.
Don’t get me wrong, the Bills offense will still struggle against the Pats but it’s all about being opportunistic. Against the Patriots you can’t settle for field goals. When you get the red zone, you need touchdowns.
Defensively, if the Bills can replicate the pressure they had in Week 4, Brady will need to make some great throws. But like the Patriots, the Bills bread and butter is on defense.
If the Bills can score 20 points, I love their chances to win this game. That’s a tall task against such a great defense but a defensive score or a big special teams play could ultimately be the difference.
I can’t believe I’m doing this.
Bills 19, Patriots 17
Bills fans should enjoy this one. Their team has already clinched a playoff spot and now has the opportunity to do something big. The Bills have nothing to lose this weekend and a lot, if not all, pressure will be on the Patriots.
Josh Allen needs to play smart football and not force the ball out of his hands. A lot of eyes will be on Cole Beasley, with Pats defender Jonathan Jones out, and this could be a really big game for him to expose that weakness. Frank Gore rushed for more than 100 yards in the last meeting and I expect Devin Singletary to do the same this time around.
The Bills defense can shut the Pats offense down, no question, they just need help from the offense and get more than a three-and-out rest period. If the run defense can do their job, it’ll force Brady to go in the air and with the way the Bills have been playing lately, I don’t think that’ll be an issue.
This one comes down to the Bills offense finding ways to score and the Bills defense doing what they’ve done all along. My gut says they can do it.
Bills 17, Patriots 13
No matter how you slice it, this season has been far beyond what was expected of the Buffalo Bills. To still have a shot at winning the AFC East on the road against the Patriots is a testament to this entire season and the work that Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have done.
If the Bills come out on top today, it might not only start to shift the momentum for this season, but the power structure in the entire AFC East. There's no doubt the Brady-Belichick era is winding down in New England.
But Brady isn't even what I'm worried about. It's their suffocating defense. They've got playmakers from top to bottom and they've carried Tom Brady in a lot of games this season. And I expect that they'll do it again.
The Bills' offense needs their best game of the season and then some to pull this one out. Josh Allen has proven that he can play on a big stage, but the defenses that he's played against on those stages just don't compare to the Patriots' unit.
Patriots 17, Bills 13