Bills Can Catch Patriots This Saturday – Sort Of
The Bills will be in Foxborough this Saturday to take on the New England Patriots who lead the Buffalo Bills by one game in the AFC East. The Bills have clinched a playoff spot for the second time in three years. But they’ve got bigger things on their mind this week. New England clinched a record 11th consecutive trip to the playoffs last week. They can wrap up the division title with a win and have a chance to earn a first-round bye today.
TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network. LINE: Patriots -6.5 O/U: 37.5
Beating New England won’t be enough to put the Bills in first place. They also need things to go perfectly in Week 17. Buffalo may be catching the defending champions at just the right time. The Patriots are 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS over their past six games. QB Tom Brady keeps slipping further and further towards mediocrity at age 42.
Brady’s troubles this year began in Week 4 when he went to Buffalo and posted a 45.9 passer rating in a 16-10 victory over the Bills and their outstanding defense. As stout as it is it is not as good as New England’s.
The Patriots are Seeking their 11th AFC East crown in a row. New England has dominated the series against the Bills. They have won six in a row and 34 of 39 following a hard-fought 16-10 victory in Buffalo in Week 4. “This is the best defense that we play, and the challenge is incredible,” New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said of the Bills. “We’ve gotten to see them once this year, and now we have another opportunity to prepare and play an incredibly important game to our season this week.”
The Bills are winners of four of its last five, including road victories at Dallas and Pittsburgh. Buffalo holds a two-game edge for the fifth seed in the AFC. They still have a shot at the division title with two wins and two losses by New England. “When we came to Buffalo, one of the things we wanted to do was to challenge and to do it every year,” coach Sean McDermott said. “We have a great amount of respect for the Patriots. Very well-coached team, disciplined football team, with a lot of talent and so, it’s an opportunity for us to continue to compete and to take another step as a football team.”
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Buffalo is 10-4 on the season. The Bills defense has played as well, if not better, than any team over the past month. The squad has limited three of four opponents to 15 points or fewer. They rank second behind New England with 15.9 points allowed and third overall with 291.9 yards surrendered. Cornerback Tre’Davious White was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time. He recorded two interceptions, two passes defensed and four tackles at Pittsburgh. Josh Allen threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but was picked off three times by New England in September. Allen’s favorite target is John Brown. He went over 1,000 yards last week. Devin Singletary leads the ground game.
New England is 11-3 on the season. The Patriots eased to a 34-13 win at the woeful Bengals. Former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. He had a pick-6 among his two interceptions. The Patriots’ defense leads the league in interceptions with 25. They also lead the NFL with points per game at 12.9 and yards allowed at 268.4. The struggles on the other side of the ball can be best exemplified by the fact that not one offensive player was named to the Pro Bowl.
Tom Brady set an NFL record with his 17th straight season of at least 20 touchdown passes. He threw for just 128 yards and was limited to 150 yards and an interception in Buffalo. New England rushed for 175 yards last week but managed only 74 in Week 4.
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The Dart Throw: Patriots 20, Bills 13
New England Patriots
- Trend Under is 8-3 in Patriots last 11 games as a home favorite. Hit % 72.70% (11) O/U 3|8 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-0 in Patriots last 4 games as a home underdog. 100.00% (4) 4|0 0
- Over is 8-3 in Patriots last 11 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater. 72.70% (11) 8|3 0
- Under is 18-7 in Patriots last 25 games as a favorite. 72.00% (25) 7|18 0
- Trend Under is 4-1 in Bills last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-0 in Bills last 4 games as a road underdog of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
- Over is 10-3 in Bills last 13 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 76.90% (13) 10|3 0
- Under is 16-5 in Bills last 21 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0. 76.20% (21) 5|16 0
Bills vs Patriots H2H Meeting Trends
- Trend Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in New England. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
- Bills are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in New England. 75.00% (5) 1 3|1
- Road team is 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 meetings. 71.40% (29) 1 8|20
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