The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots clash on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 13 in the NFL. Buffalo is looking for its third straight win over New England after beating them in the Wild Card round of last season’s playoffs.
Bills Seek First Division Win
Buffalo is 8-3 on the season and tied for first place in the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins. They’re also the only team without a win against division opponents at 0-2, with losses against the Dolphins and New York Jets. The Bills are looking for their third straight win after beating the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions in two straight games at Ford Field.
The Bills will be without Von Miller, who is sidelined with an injury for tonight’s game. However, they will be returning four players on defense that missed the last game. Buffalo should still be able to hold the Patriots offense in check and is currently fifth in the league, giving up 18.1 points per game. They’re also seventh against the run, averaging 105.6 yards per contest.
The Bills are the second-ranked offense in the league, with 415.9 yards per game. Josh Allen is second in the NFL with 3,183 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also leads Buffalo in rushing with 561 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 6.9 yards per carry. Stefan Diggs is the top receiver for the Bills, with 84 receptions for 1,110 yards and nine touchdowns.
Patriots Defense Looks To Rebound Again
New England has the fourth-ranked defense in the NFL, allowing just 307.8 yards per game and holding opponents to 18.4 points. Since their loss in Week 4 to the Green Bay Packers, the Patriots have given up 14.6 points per game and have held their previous two opponents to three points apiece before the loss to the Vikings on the road last week.
The Patriots bring a 6-5 record into this matchup and are at the bottom of the AFC East standings. This means there isn’t much room for mistakes at this point of the season if they want to secure a berth in the postseason.
If they hope to win this game tonight, they must keep the Bills from going up and down the field at will as they did in the last contest between these two teams. Buffalo scored on all seven of its drives with no punts in last season’s Wild Card playoff game against the Patriots en route to a 33-21 victory.
Mac Jones hasn’t been exactly on fire in his second NFL season. He’s thrown for 1,768 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. His 35.2 QBR has him ranked 28th in the league.
Rhamondre Stevenson is the leading rusher for the Patriots, with 680 yards on 151 carries and four touchdowns. Jakobi Meyers is the best receiver for New England, with 47 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bills have only struggled this season when they lose the turnover battle. Allen has been able to protect the ball during their win streak, with one interception in the last two games. They must also put pressure on Jones, who has had problems with protection this season.
Center David Andrews is questionable for the Patriots but should be able to play. However, the rest of the offensive line hasn’t held up that well in front of Jones this season, giving up 24 sacks.
Buffalo wins to extend the streak to three games.