6. 45. 15. 31. Those are the point totals for the Buffalo Bills over the past four weeks. There’s no doubting their potency when things are clicking on offense, but Josh Allen and Co. have become one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL. The question is, which Buffalo Bills offense will show up on Monday Night Football against the Patriots?
The shitty one. That’s my prediction.
Stopping Josh Allen
The Josh Allen of the first seven weeks of the season, who looked like an MVP-candidate, is not the Josh Allen of the last four weeks. He’s thrown seven picks across that span, which coincides with the Bills’ rollercoaster ride. The Patriots have been a buzz saw on defense. Not the best game to be limping into if you’re Josh Allen.
He’s also struggled against the Pats so far in his career, completing 56% of his passes with seven passing touchdowns and six interceptions across five contests. The Bills have gone 2-3 in those games.
There’s always been a book on stopping Allen: tackle him and prevent the big downfield plays. Easier said than done, since he’s such a physical specimen and his enormous arm can take the top of the defense at any moment. But teams know what has to be done. With the way the Patriots defense has been harassing QBs and forcing turnovers in the secondary (nine INT in the last four games), this seems like an unstoppable force meeting a very movable object.
Does Mac Take Over?
The Patriots have been rolling with their three-headed monster of Stevenson, Harris, and Bolden out of the backfield. That might be a little tougher today, as the Bills have one of the better run defenses in the league. They also have a banged up secondary, which potentially paves the way for Mac Jones to light it up.
I don’t think Bill will completely abandon the run like he did against the Buccaneers earlier in the season (8 attempts for -1 yard). There’s a good chance there won’t be much room to operate tonight, though. That means they’ll have to lean on Mac to keep the offense on schedule in front of a raucous crowd in Buffalo. This is a tall task, but the rookie and his blossoming receiving core seems more than ready for the challenge.
Here’s my prediction that will likely be wrong because of how random the NFL has been from week to week this season…
Patriots 30. Bills 20.
Kickoff is at 8:15 PM ET.
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