BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Bills take on the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football with a chance to win 12 games in a season for the first time since 1993. Can they pull it off? The 7 Eyewitness Sports staff makes their predictions below.
Doesn't it feel like we've watched this game so many times from the opposite side? Well, this year things are different.
What once looked like a crucial matchup for the division title is now nothing more than a chance for the Bills to improve their playoff positioning. As for the Patriots, they won't be heading to the postseason.
While the Pats have struggled, this game won't be a walk in the park. Earlier in the season, it took a huge play from Bills DT Justin Zimmer to seal the win for the Bills. Don't get me wrong, the Bills are a much better team now than they were then, but I just have a hard time imagining a Bill Belichick-led team will get blown out at home to a division opponent.
Expect the Bills to feature both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss like they did during the first matchup with the Patriots earlier in the season. New England has allowed an average of 218 rushing yards per game in their last two matchups. If there was ever a time to try and get the run game going for the playoffs, it would be now.
Bills 28, Patriots 24
Season record: 12-2
Despite winning the AFC East, the Bills still have plenty to play for and tonight, it’s securing a top 3 seed and a season sweep of the Patriots.
The Bills are better on paper and on the field but for some reason, they’ve always had issues in Foxborough. I don’t think this is going to be a cakewalk, even with the way the Pats have been playing, but I don’t think the Bills will have any issue grabbing a win.
I know the pass game has been so efficient but in this game, the Bills should be able to focus on the run more than they have been considering that’s been a weak spot for the Pats defense over the last couple of weeks.
The defense is playing some of their best ball and I think another takeaway is on the table. Cam Newton has five touchdown passes on the YEAR. I’m going to assume if the Bills jump out to a big lead early, we may see more of Jarrett Stidham who hasn’t gotten a whole lot of playing time this season - not ideal when going up against a red hot Bills unit.
Is this when we’ll see a “big guy” touchdown? We did at this time last season and I’m all for it happening again.
Bills 30, Patriots 16
Season record: 10-4
It feels a little backwards this week, doesn't it? The Bills control their own playoff fate and the Patriots are the divisional opponent looking to play spoiler.
But I think Bills Mafia can get used to this. Compared to the standard that's been set since the turn of the century, the Pats are in a tail spin.
Cam Newton has struggled all year. He hardly has any legit targets to throw to. And New England's season has been further derailed by injuries.
The last time these two teams met, the Bills were good, but not great. If they play anything close to their best football Monday night, this game shouldn't be a problem and Buffalo will be back in the 2nd seed spot.
Bills 31, Patriots 20
Season record: 9-5