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Check out our NFL predictions for this Monday Night Football!
|New England Patriots||+7
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The Bills should get the outright win in this one, and given how banged up the Pats are, it seems likely that they might do it by more than a touchdown, so take Buffalo in this one.
Bills -7 (-110)
|Bills vs Patriots Information|
|What||Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots|
|Where||Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA|
|When||Monday, December 28, 2020; 8:15 PM ET|
|How to watch||ESPN / ABC|
The AFC East has a new champion these days – the 11-3 Buffalo Bills now rule the roost, a team with a top-6 offense led by QB Josh Allen, the rocket-armed scrambler who gets to target receivers like Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley, and now they get to have their way with New England’s highly damaged secondary on a national MNF stage.
The 6-8 New England Patriots will not have a winning season, they are not going to win their division for the first time since 2008, and they are not going to the playoffs either for the first time in a long time and now HC Bill Belichick has to face the fact that without the GOAT Tom Brady, winning in New England isn’t such a given anymore.
These two AFC East rivals have played each other 121 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the New England Patriots winning 76 of those games and the Buffalo Bills winning 44 of the games, plus they have also tied once.
The Buffalo Bills have been to the playoffs twice in the four years HC Sean McDermott has been in charge, but both times they have exited early from the Wild Card round, first to the Jaguars in 2017 and then to the Texans last year.
This Week 16 matchup against the talented but banged-up Patriots defense will be the perfect chance for QB Josh Allen and OC Brian Daboll to start getting their rhythm perfected to battle whatever it is that causes them to come up short so prematurely in the postseason.
This Bills team has a top-6 offense but their defense is middle of the pack (ranked 16th) so it would also behoove DC Leslie Frazier and his squad to work out whatever wrinkles still remain on their side of the ball.
Right now, there are twenty players on the Patriots roster who are listed as questionable, plus they have a dozen players or more on injured reserve, so it will be a lot of next-man-upping in this Week 16 matchup at home.
Some key playmakers who will be game-time decisions – LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (arm), K Nick Folk (back), RB Damien Harris (ankle), and now CB Stephon Gilmore is on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury and most likely will sit out the rest of the season.
The Patriots will not play in the postseason this year, so the motivation to push past injuries might understandably be absent, so make sure to check on who is actually suiting up for this one before placing any major bets on the Pats.
It has been great fun watching young QB Josh Allen enter the NFL and develop so rapidly with the Buffalo Bills, his journey made even smoother with the addition of WR Stefon Diggs in the offseason.
Many questioned Allen’s ability to throw accurately, and he has shut them up with his 2020 numbers, including completing 68.7 percent of his passes, with 351 total completions and 4,000 yards with 30 TDs and just 9 INTs, the same number he had all season last year, plus he’s carried the ball 96 times for 383 yards and 8 more TDs.
Against the injured Patriots, Allen gets the chance to flex his arm and test them deeply, something that he will no doubt rely on in the postseason if he hopes to finally bring his Bills deeper than just the first round.
Time for Cam Newton to get busy if he expects to have a future in the NFL – a big upset win with an injured Pats crew would be a good start to establishing his reputation as a dependable finisher.
Newton has been productive this season despite all the losses – he has posted 216 completions for 2,381 yards and 5 touchdowns with 10 interceptions on top of carrying the ball 122 times for 489 yards and 11 more touchdowns.
He has stayed relatively healthy and has played in 13 games, so that part of his game seems steady enough, but he must somehow prove that his ability to pass accurately on the run and remain a viable threat to escape from the pocket and gain yards still applies to him despite being 31-years old now.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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