The New England Patriots, under head coach Bill Belichick, have won the AFC East division title for 16 of the past 17 years. On Monday Night Football (MNF) they will host the Buffalo Bills as 7-point underdogs in a game they would certainly like to win even though they’re are out of contention for a playoff berth this season.
The Pats Want To Make A Statement
Of course, the Pats lost quarterback Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this off season, and that has got to hurt the team’s overall efforts. Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has had a difficult time filling the shoes left behind by Brady. But, Newton is not really to blame for not taking the Patriots to the playoffs this year.
The Bills, on the other hand, have not made the playoffs in 18 years, and they are hungry for the chance this time around. The 11-3 Bills are one of the best balanced teams in the NFL this year and stand as good a chance as any other team in the league once the playoffs begin. It would not be a wise move to bet against them based on past performance. However, based on current performance, they’re favored tonight at -360. The Pats are getting +290, which makes a moneyline bet for the Bills a poor moneymaker.
Bills Take The AFC East
Buffalo has already won the AFC East this year and punched their ticket to the playoffs with an 11-3 record going into Foxborough on Monday evening. Anticipating the upcoming game against the Patriots, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said, right after his team had just clinched their first home playoff game since 1996, about facing the Patriots, “It’s the defending AFC East champs that have held that position for multiple, multiple years. It’s one of the greatest – if not the greatest – coaches ever to coach our game. They’re going to be prepared, they’re going to be well-coached, and they’ll be ready to go.”
There is no doubt that Brady’s departure from the Patriots squad left the team scrambling for a new identity as well as for a new quarterback. Then there was the tragic arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused even more confusion and strife on almost every NFL team in one way or another this year.
The Bills had better luck with their quarterback situation, as Josh Allen has thrown for over 4000 yards this season so far and was even honored with a spot in this years’ Pro Bowl roster, which did not include Brady for the first time in a long time. As the Bills have so much more to play for this time around, Allen is expected to shine on MNF against the rival New England squad.
Newton On The Edge For The Pats
Newton, on the other hand, might not even make it through the entire game. With Newton at quarterback, the Patriots have not scored an offensive touchdown in two weeks and Cam has not thrown for over 100 yards since beating the Chargers 45-0, way back when. Still, Newton only has five touchdowns on the year and speculation runs high that he will not be back in a Patriots uniform next year.
Cam said in a recent interview on a local Boston radio station, “I’m not going to get caught up into it or feed into that, knowing that I’m still on a job interview, to be honest with you. It’s my job to put the best version of me on film and that’s what I plan on doing.”
The Bills are on a roll going into the NFL Playoffs this year. They totaled a season high 534 yards against the Broncos last week and the offense is running like a well-oiled machine. Belichick and the Patriots are going to have a game on their hands at their home field at Foxborough on MNF this time around when they take on this year’s version of the Bills.