Picking the Bills to beat the Patriots is usually seen as either taking the longshot for the sake of taking the longshot or simply being foolish. But something seems different this time. The Patriots just don’t look right. Saying the Bills are good enough to capitalize on that vulnerability is probably a reach, but it’s fair to think, with Josh Allen at quarterback, the offense is in more dynamic hands than it was when the Pats won at New Era Field on Oct. 29. Let’s go the foolish route. Bills 21-17.
We’ve done this before, haven’t we? We’ve talked of the demise of the Patriots’ dynasty, only to see them represent the AFC in the Super Bowl year after year. This two-game losing streak feels the same. The Miami Miracle was just that – a miracle – and there’s no shame in losing on the road at Pittsburgh. With home games against the Bills and Jets left, the Patriots will likely go 11-5, and might get a first-round bye if Houston loses. I’m not ready to write off Tom Brady and Co. Patriots 27-17.
This shapes up as a similar challenge for the Bills' offense as last week, when they faced Bill Belichick disciple Matt Patricia. Even though the Pats play a lot of man coverage, expect them to try to keep Josh Allen in the pocket, prevent him from running and make the Bills have to work the ball down the field. One plus for the Bills: New England isn't as good against the run as Detroit. Still, the idea is to make the Bills work hard for 21 points or less and count on Tom Brady to produce more than that. I like the Bills to cover. Patriots 27-20.
The Patriots have struggled on the road this season, but they’re unbeaten at home. And here comes the rematch in Foxboro. New England is fighting for playoff seeding. Buffalo is getting a look at the back end of its roster. Tom Brady and Co. should make sure work of this one, clinching the AFC East championship for an NFL record 10th consecutive season. Patriots 31-13.
The Bills face a wounded New England Patriots squad that has lost its last two games, both on last-minute plays that have become highlight-reel moments for Miami’s offense and Pittsburgh’s defense. That could be a good thing for the Bills. They are out of playoff contention and have nothing to lose. Or it could be a bad thing for the Bills. The Patriots are no longer ripe for the picking, and they have gone from eager to antsy to clinch yet another AFC East championship. Patriots 28-10.