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Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Week 13 game preview


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Image Credit: © Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

 

It may not be what Bills Fans want to hear, but this week’s opponent shares many similarities to the Buffalo Bills. They’re the top two defenses in the league, allowing 15.8 and 16.5 points per game. The Pats have a slight edge there.

 

Offensively, both teams are in the top ten in scoring. Just 1.6 points per game separate the two, with the Bills ranking second and the Pats ranking seventh. That’s where the similarities start to fade. 

 

There were four quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Mac Jones was the last one off the board yet has soared past his fellow rookie quarterbacks thanks to an accurate arm and wise decision-making. 

 

Conversely, Josh Allen uses athleticism and a howitzer of an arm to generate big plays. Jones will meticulously work his way down the field, which Allen can do too, but Buffalo’s QB can do much more, both with his arm and legs.

 

Bill Belichick’s (Belicheat?) defense is thriving at stopping the pass, boosted by a lethal pass-rush led by Matthew Judon, who’s enjoying a career year. The Bills have been even better than the Pats have been at limiting their opponents’ passing attack, but with Tre’Davious White now sidelined with a torn ACL, we could see the secondary begin to slip in some areas. Luckily, the Patriots don’t have a true No. 1 receiver. 

 

The story this week is the same as many others. The Bills can win as long as Josh Allen limits mistakes while continuing to move the chains. If the Bills turn the ball over more than twice, the Patriots will likely win. Belichick is 173-18 when the Patriots have a positive turnover differential.

Buffalo Bills Week 13 game details, where to watch

  • Monday, December 6, 2021
  • Start time: 8:15 PM ET
  • TV channel - ESPN
  • Location - Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York

 

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© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

What happened last time the Bills played the New England Patriots?

Bills 38

Patriots 9 

 

We can hope for a similar outcome, but I can guarantee New England’s QBs won’t combine for just 56 passing yards once again. Mac Jones is already more proficient than Jarrett Stidham, or Cam Newton was for the Patriots last season. 

 

What intrigues me from this game is how picture-perfect Josh Allen was. Keep in mind this game was played in December in New England.

 

Josh Allen’s stats: 27-of-36, 320 passing yards, 4 TD, 35 rushing yards

 

If Stefon Diggs can dominate the way he did last season, going off for 145 yards and three touchdowns, the Bills can regain the AFC East division lead for good.

 

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© Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Matchups to watch

  • Josh Allen vs. Mac Jones

 

Mac Jones ranks third among all NFL passers this season with a 70.3% completion rate. He’s currently on pace to break Dak Prescott’s rookie record for best completion percentage in a player’s first season. We all remember Josh Allen’s rookie year when he completed just 52.8% of his passes. It’s time to admit, this Mac Jones kid’s legit.

 

Still, he’s more of a game-manager who is asked not to do too much in hopes of keeping the game close yet winnable. Allen is the opposite. He’s reckless with a purpose. Sure, there’s a higher tendency to make mistakes, but you’ll never catch Jones making a throw such as this.

 

That’s what makes Allen so captivating. Everyone in the NFL seeks a franchise quarterback who can make all the throws. Allen also has the added capability of being uber-athletic, which is where the NFL is headed. But it’s also hard to ignore a quarterback who can dissect a defense with accuracy as Jones can. They’re entirely different players, but you can win with both.

 

Maybe I’m biased, maybe I’m a Bills Fan, but I’ll take the fun fireworks of Josh Allen over the safe, conservative approach from Mac Jones any day of the week.

 

  • Stefon Diggs vs. Patriots secondary

 

Josh Allen will have to be extra careful when targeting Stefon Diggs downfield, as the Patriots defense leads the NFL with 19 interceptions this season. Cornerback J.C. Jackson already has seven after picking off nine passes last year. It’s no fluke. Jackson is elite. He also leads the NFL with 16 pass deflections.

 

Diggs won’t have an easy day being shadowed by Jackson, but Diggs can succeed against this secondary, as we witnessed last season. In fact, Diggs and Jackson are likely good pals as they both played for the Maryland Terrapins for a bit in college. They were also overlooked coming into the league. Diggs was a 5th round pick, and Jackson was undrafted. Now, both players are elite and among the very best at their respective positions. Grab your popcorn. This should be a heated battle on Monday Night Football.

 

  • Bills OL vs. Matthew Judon

 

One significant difference when comparing the Pats D from last season to this year is the improved efficiency of their pass rush. In 2020, the Patriots ranked 26th in the NFL, averaging 1.5 sacks per game. This year, they rank 9th in the NFL, averaging 2.5 sacks per game. (Buffalo ranks 24th)

 

The biggest reason for their elevated play is due to the signing of Matthew Judon and the drafting of Christian Barmore out of Alabama. Judon ranks third in the NFL with 11.5 sacks. Prior to last week, Barmore ranked second among all rookie defenders in pressures generated according to Pro Football Focus.

 

Judon typically lines up at the top of the screen at the outside linebacker or edge position. This means he will routinely go up against left tackle Dion Dawkins. By the way, Dawkins has been a brick wall as of late. According to PFF, Dawkins ranks as the second-best pass blocker in the entire NFL since Week 6. 

 

It appears Dawkins is hitting his stride at the perfect time with Judon coming to town. It should be another great matchup, but it’s one I don’t have as much confidence in.

 

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© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills Week 13 game prediction

  • Last season’s record: Buffalo Bills 13-3, reached AFC Conference Championship
  • New England Patriots 7-9, third place in AFC East

 

Maybe I’m a homer, but I just don’t buy that the Patriots are already destined to take back the division crown from the Bills Mafia. 

 

Playing at home, Vegas oddsmakers have the Bills favored by three points for now.

 

Mac Jones, while efficient so far, will inevitably make more rookie mistakes. There will be a game where the Patriots find themselves in a shootout where their offense simply cannot keep up in the scoring column. A lack of playmakers on offense will eventually rear its head. 

 

The Bills just took it to a technically-sound defensive unit last week against the Saints, and while they were missing players due to injury, it wasn’t even competitive. The Rumbling Herd knows they need to continue building momentum and be at their very best right now.

 

 A Monday night primetime showing can help boost their confidence before taking on Tampa Tom's Buccaneers. But it all starts with taking down Belichick one more time first. It would be a 2-0 sweep over the rivals that have irritated us for the past two decades. If completed, the Bills would no doubt be seen as heavy AFC favorites once again.

 

Game prediction: 21-20 Bills victory

 

 

Go Bills!!

 

 

BillsFans.com - Andrew Buller-Russ 

 

 

Related:

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Allen’s 4 TDs Get Bills Back on Track

THE ROCKPILE REVIEW - The Six-Game Season Begins

Buffalo Bills vs. New Orleans Saints Week 12 game preview

Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts Week 11 game preview

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets Week 10 game preview


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10 hours ago, ABR said:

 

  • Josh Allen vs. Mac Jones

Mac Jones ranks third among all NFL passers this season with a 70.3% completion rate. He’s currently on pace to break Dak Prescott’s rookie record for best completion percentage in a player’s first season. We all remember Josh Allen’s rookie year when he completed just 52.8% of his passes. It’s time to admit, this Mac Jones kid’s legit.

 

Still, he’s more of a game-manager who is asked not to do too much in hopes of keeping the game close yet winnable. Allen is the opposite. He’s reckless with a purpose. Sure, there’s a higher tendency to make mistakes, but you’ll never catch Jones making a throw such as this.

No?  Hmmmm..... Methinks you folks might (might!) be surprised by what you see on Monday from Mac.  Of course, much depends on what the Pats cook up for a game plan, but if the Bills are planning to stack the box and let Mac wobble a few ducks 18 yards down field that will be a disaster.  

 

Check out the talking heads at the beginning of this video.  They share your observations on Mac...  Yes, you need to watch it on YouTube.  It might be worth your 5 minutes.  You will be better prepared for what might (might!) be coming on Monday.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Aloyouis said:

No?  Hmmmm..... Methinks you folks might (might!) be surprised by what you see on Monday from Mac.  Of course, much depends on what the Pats cook up for a game plan, but if the Bills are planning to stack the box and let Mac wobble a few ducks 18 yards down field that will be a disaster.  

 

Check out the talking heads at the beginning of this video.  They share your observations on Mac...  Yes, you need to watch it on YouTube.  It might be worth your 5 minutes.  You will be better prepared for what might (might!) be coming on Monday.

 

 

 

Selection bias.  If you eliminate all the incompletions, of course he looks great.  So does Jalen Hurts.  So does Tua Tagovailoa.  

 

...okay, maybe not Tua, but the point still stands.  To get a real sense, you have to watch a whole game, not just five minutes of cherry-picked highlights.  And given a choice...well, my cat's coughing up a hairball right now, which is only slightly less disgusting than watching Belichick on the sidelines.

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8 minutes ago, Crap Throwing Monkey said:

 

Selection bias.  If you eliminate all the incompletions, of course he looks great.  So does Jalen Hurts.  So does Tua Tagovailoa.  

 

...okay, maybe not Tua, but the point still stands.  To get a real sense, you have to watch a whole game, not just five minutes of cherry-picked highlights.  And given a choice...well, my cat's coughing up a hairball right now, which is only slightly less disgusting than watching Belichick on the sidelines.

"Selection bias".

 

Okay.  But you're gonna have to look hard.  The kid is completing a huge % of his passes...

 

 

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12 hours ago, ABR said:

By the way, Dawkins has been a brick wall as of late

Not last week, It looked like the mortar was crumbling a bit.
Here's hoping the Jersey boy recovers this week and Brown is back and has a good game as well.

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6 hours ago, Aloyouis said:

"Selection bias".

 

Okay.  But you're gonna have to look hard.  The kid is completing a huge % of his passes...

 

 

FFYui1uWYAEovEV.jpeg

 

This does not make me happy. You guys just had 20 years of Tom Brady, with six Super Bowl trophies to show for it. For you to now have a replacement QB who's as accurate as this metric implies is too much good fortune!

 

Am I biased? Absolutely! If that series of events had happened for the Bills I'd be elated. But right now I'm looking at a division rival with a great head coach, disciplined team play, good play from both offensive and defensive lines, and apparently one of the most accurate QBs in the league. Not good news.

 

During the '70s Don Shula won 21 games against the Bills, while losing 0. By the early '90s the Bills were beating Shula's Dolphins more often than not. Belichick's past dominance of the Bills doesn't mean he can keep doing the same thing going forward.

 

But if the Bills are going to win as often against the Patriots as the early '90s Bills did against Shula's Dolphins, they have a lot of work to do. First and foremost, they need to fix the offensive line. Secondly, they've spent the last few years investing major salary cap and draft picks into the DL, while getting less-than-expected returns in exchange. That needs to stop. Third, at some point they're going to need replacements for one or more of their aging WRs. If they can get those three things handled, they should be able to beat the Patriots more often than not.

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6 hours ago, Arm of Harm said:

 

This does not make me happy. You guys just had 20 years of Tom Brady, with six Super Bowl trophies to show for it. For you to now have a replacement QB who's as accurate as this metric implies is too much good fortune!

 

Am I biased? Absolutely! If that series of events had happened for the Bills I'd be elated. But right now I'm looking at a division rival with a great head coach, disciplined team play, good play from both offensive and defensive lines, and apparently one of the most accurate QBs in the league. Not good news.

 

During the '70s Don Shula won 21 games against the Bills, while losing 0. By the early '90s the Bills were beating Shula's Dolphins more often than not. Belichick's past dominance of the Bills doesn't mean he can keep doing the same thing going forward.

 

But if the Bills are going to win as often against the Patriots as the early '90s Bills did against Shula's Dolphins, they have a lot of work to do. First and foremost, they need to fix the offensive line. Secondly, they've spent the last few years investing major salary cap and draft picks into the DL, while getting less-than-expected returns in exchange. That needs to stop. Third, at some point they're going to need replacements for one or more of their aging WRs. If they can get those three things handled, they should be able to beat the Patriots more often than not.

 

Did the Patriots just get a ridiculously lucky break with Mac Jones?  Yup. The question is:  How did the rest of the league let it happen?  How could the scouting be so wrong? The 49ers spent, what, 3 first round draft picks to get Lance?  They moved up TWICE to get to #3 and made a mind boggling stupid decision.  Word on the street is that they moved up the second time to take Jones, but were convinced to take the "athlete" instead in the weeks before the draft.  Denver needed a QB and passed.  ATL with an aging Ryan passed.  Detroit (my adopted hometown) stayed with Goff if you can believe it.  PHI passed and CHI took Fields.  The Jets had TWO chances to pick Mac before the Pats and went with Wilson who is already a major bust.

 

Yes, the Patriots were immensely lucky that the rest of the league can be stupid.

 

WRT the upcoming years, I think the games between our teams will be great.  Both are on an upward trend and battles will be epic.

 

Hopefully starting with this Monday!

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I'm glad you're here @Aloyouis

 

Mac Jones has been playing at a phenomenal level all year, and it's time the rest of the league takes note.  The analytics do not lie.  For instance, that throw against the Cowboys was amazing - he led Diggs right to the trap, and the smarts to first throw a pick six was crafty as well.  Give a little, to only then take it back.  Definitely next level play.  Plus the ability to influence the safety to take an incorrect path to the ball after it was caught - wow.  He really is ahead of the goat curve for sure.  Your team is set with him at the helm over the next 10 years.  Plus you get all that time under his rookie contract - his talent and potential will attract high level WRs in FA for sure.  I can see OBJ and a trade for Justin Jefferson in the future for your team.

 

Overall, the Patriot Way(tm) is really a detailed blueprint to absolute winning; I can't wait to hear more about this during the broadcast on Monday Night.  Maybe if we're lucky, Teddy Bruschi will find time between saving Metro Boston from street thugs and swing by to tell us more about The Way.

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4 minutes ago, Beer__League__Hockey said:

I'm glad you're here @Aloyouis

 

Mac Jones has been playing at a phenomenal level all year, and it's time the rest of the league takes note.  The analytics do not lie.  For instance, that throw against the Cowboys was amazing - he led Diggs right to the trap, and the smarts to first throw a pick six was crafty as well.  Give a little, to only then take it back.  Definitely next level play.  Plus the ability to influence the safety to take an incorrect path to the ball after it was caught - wow.  He really is ahead of the goat curve for sure.  Your team is set with him at the helm over the next 10 years.  Plus you get all that time under his rookie contract - his talent and potential will attract high level WRs in FA for sure.  I can see OBJ and a trade for Justin Jefferson in the future for your team.

 

Overall, the Patriot Way(tm) is really a detailed blueprint to absolute winning; I can't wait to hear more about this during the broadcast on Monday Night.  Maybe if we're lucky, Teddy Bruschi will find time between saving Metro Boston from street thugs and swing by to tell us more about The Way.

 

I like you

 

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13 hours ago, Aloyouis said:

Mac is #10.  Don't think #12 Jersey is going to see the field again in Foxborough.

I was going to ask you if you were really this stupid or were just missing a chromosome...but then I saw you're a M@$$h@l&.

 

Sing me your fight song, FNG.

 

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2 minutes ago, Joe said:

 

I like you

 

I like you too buddy, but I see you're a Bills fan.  That gives me the heebie-jeebies, since that franchise & city haven't won a championship since, gosh, the Vietnam war era?  I mean 2018 was eons ago, and the fair city of Boston only won 2 championships that year.  I can't imagine going more than 3 years between Ships.

 

Personally, I like to break my fandom into decades.  70s, Steelers.  80s, Niners.  90s, Bulls.  00-10s, Pats + wherever LebRon was.  

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14 hours ago, Aloyouis said:

"Selection bias".

 

Okay.  But you're gonna have to look hard.  The kid is completing a huge % of his passes...

 

 

FFYui1uWYAEovEV.jpeg

 

Yeah, quote Collinsworth.  That'll win your argument every time.

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1 hour ago, Beer__League__Hockey said:

I'm glad you're here @Aloyouis

 

Mac Jones has been playing at a phenomenal level all year, and it's time the rest of the league takes note.  The analytics do not lie.  For instance, that throw against the Cowboys was amazing - he led Diggs right to the trap, and the smarts to first throw a pick six was crafty as well.  Give a little, to only then take it back.  Definitely next level play.  Plus the ability to influence the safety to take an incorrect path to the ball after it was caught - wow.  He really is ahead of the goat curve for sure.  Your team is set with him at the helm over the next 10 years.  Plus you get all that time under his rookie contract - his talent and potential will attract high level WRs in FA for sure.  I can see OBJ and a trade for Justin Jefferson in the future for your team.

 

Overall, the Patriot Way(tm) is really a detailed blueprint to absolute winning; I can't wait to hear more about this during the broadcast on Monday Night.  Maybe if we're lucky, Teddy Bruschi will find time between saving Metro Boston from street thugs and swing by to tell us more about The Way.

 

Awesome post..  Not often I laugh out loud for real at a post, but that crafty pick 6 line did it.  

 

Nice mix of sarcasm and knowledge.  Mac will get his balls washed on Monday pre-game for sure.  It will continue until he has a disastrous 3 pick game that the Pats lose.   I kinda want it to stop on it's own before then TBH.

 

 

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I suck at typing.
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1 hour ago, Alaska Darin said:

I was going to ask you if you were really this stupid or were just missing a chromosome...but then I saw you're a M@$$h@l&.

 

Sing me your fight song, FNG.

 

Could be either...or both.  I am a proud M@$$h@l& living in the great midwest.

 

I have no idea what FNG is.

 

We have a Pats fan from Alaska on the planet as well.  

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