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Patriots Keys To Victory Over Bills

The New England Patriots (8-4) remain one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They beat the Tennessee Titans for their sixth straight win and are currently the second seed in the AFC behind the Baltimore Ravens (8-3.) 

They will now prepare for an AFC East division showdown with the Buffalo Bills (7-4) in Orchard Park. The Patriots lead the East by one game over the Bills. This game is for the division lead and the first game between these two teams this season. 

Last season the Bills ended the Patriot’s reign of division titles, winning their first since 1995. They were the favorites to win it again this season, but the Patriots have been a surprise. They finished 7-9 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. 

The Patriots seem to be back to their old ways of being in the playoffs conversation. Mac Jones has been one of the reasons why and their defense, which is no surprise. Let’s take a look and see what the Patriots need to do to win on Monday Night Football  

JACKSONVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 7: Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills leads his team to the field before the start of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 7, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars defeated the Bills 9 to 6. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

1. Contain Josh Allen

Allen finished second in the MVP race last season to Aaron Rodgers and remains in the race this season. Allen has thrown for 3,071 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for 383 yards and three more on the ground this season. However, the Bills are 3-3 in their last six games.

Those losses were to the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Indianapolis Colts. The Titans loss could have been a win if it wasn’t for Allen slipping and falling short of the first down on a fourth down play. Against the Jaguars and Colts, the Bills could not get going on offense.

You would figure this game would be a defensive battle. The Bills are number one in the NFL in total defense, while the Patriots are fifth. For the Patriots to win, they will have to contain Josh Allen. The Bills are fifth in total offense and are averaging 389.3 yards per game. Allen is second on the Bills in rushing behind Devin Singletary, who has rushed for 459 yards.

The Patriots need to keep him in the pocket to limit his running ability and make him pass. They are allowing 201 yards per game passing, and by keeping him from running, he will have to have a big passing game for the Bills to win. J.C. Jackson leads the team with seven interceptions, Adrian Phillips with four, and Kyle Duggar with three.      

2. Attack Bills Secondary 

The Bills lost their top corner Tre’Davious White in their Thanksgiving Night game against the New Orleans Saints. That is a massive loss for the Bills, so that it will be the next man up. Unfortunately, while still good, their defense is going to miss him.

It is no secret that New England likes to rush the ball. Damien Harris leads them in rushing with 643 yards and eight touchdowns. Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson has come on strong the last few games and is second on the team with 351 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Despite this, they will need to attack the Bills secondary with their passing attack, especially with White out. Mac Jones has been getting better each week and has thrown for 2,850 yards and 16 touchdowns while completing 70% of his passes. In addition, the Patriots spent money on free agency to boost their receiving corps, and it has worked.

Kendrick Bourne has 42 receptions for 623 yards and five touchdowns. Nelson Agholor has 32 receptions for 416 yards and three touchdowns. Hunter Henry, who has 35 receptions and seven touchdowns, has become the number one tight end over Jonnu Smith, who has struggled in his first season in Foxborough. 

I expect the Patriots to try still and establish the run and take shots in the passing game. If their running couldn’t get going earlier in the season, they might be worried about having Jones throw 30 passes or more. But, while they still want to run, they are starting to trust him more. 

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 24: Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots runs passed Jamien Sherwood #44 of the New York Jets for a touchdown in the game at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

3. Be Physical 

Both the Bills and Patriots have good defenses, so this could be a low scoring defensive game. New England allows 15.83 points per game, while the Bills are next at 16.55. However, this is the NFL, so it could just as quickly turn into a shootout. I think it will be a low-scoring defensive game.

The Patriots will have to get the run game going to set up the passing game. Look to see plenty of carries for Harris and Stevenson. Luckily their offensive line is healthy now, and they have been playing great during their winning streak. They have one of the biggest and strongest lines in the NFL. The combined weight of the their line is 1,955 pounds. That is a lot of beef up front.

The matchup in the trenches will be a good one Monday Night. I don’t expect the Patriots to dominate the Bills up front, but I think they will handle them for the most part. If that does happen, the Patriots win. 

Game Prediction

The Patriots and Bills will play each other twice in the next four weeks. These games will decide who wins the division and who is the number one seed in the AFC. The Pats are hot right now, and the Bills have struggled the past few weeks. I think they will continue their hot streak. They will find some running room to allow Mac to take some shots downfield, especially with White not available. The Bills looked good against the Saints, and Allen played well. I think New England slows him down just enough to leave Buffalo with the win.

Patriots 20 Bills 17

Thank you for reading my Patriots Keys To Victory Over Bills article. For more NFL content, follow me on Twitter @JuiceSportsGuy and OTH_Football.

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Main Image Credit

FOXBOROUGH, MA – NOVEMBER 28: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots reacts during a game against the Tennessee Titans during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

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