The Patriots lost their first game since week six on Saturday in an embarrassing showing against Indianapolis. It was so embarrassing, that I asked the question this week: “Are the Patriots Frauds?” You can read that here:
Overreaction Tuesday: Are the Patriots Frauds? | BetOnline.ag
The Patriots luckily had an extra day off this week to hopefully help them right their wrongs. The Bills will visit Foxborough this Sunday for their second matchup this month.
The game will kick off from Gillette Stadium at 1pm with Ian Eagle and Charles Davis on the call for CBS.
Here are the odds for Sunday’s divisional matchup, powered by BetOnline.ag:
Odds – Week 16
Spread: Patriots -2.5
Moneyline: Patriots -135/Bills +115
The last time these two teams played earlier this month, I called it the de facto AFC East Championship game.
That couldn’t have been further from the truth.
It wasn’t the truth because this Sunday is that game. The Bills are now just one game back from the Patriots, and would hold the tiebreaker with a win. Whoever comes out victorious on Sunday wouldn’t win the division yet (hence “de facto”), but they would control their own destiny with just two weeks left to play in the regular season.
New England is rather banged up on the offensive side of the football. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne is questionable due to a positive COVID test, and Nelson Agholor is all but out for Sunday with a concussion. That leaves the Patriots with the motley crew of Jakobi Meyers, N’Keal Harry, Gunner Olszewski, Kristian Wilkerson, and Tre Nixon to catch passes from Mac Jones on Sunday.
On top of this, both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are banged up and sick. It’s time to see what Mac Jones can do with the JV team.
Buffalo is coming off of their first December win last week against Carolina after a failed come-from-behind win against Tampa Bay two weeks ago. Josh Allen seems to have the offensive back in a groove. He is responsible for a combined six touchdowns over the last two weeks.
Something we saw from Buffalo last week that we haven’t seen in some time? A semblance of a run game. Running back Devin Singletary carried the ball 22 times against Carolina for 86 yards and a score. The team had 27 total attempts, their most since week 11.
Can the Patriots beat Buffalo again? Check out CLNS Media Patriots beat reporter Evan Lazar and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Alex Barth’s Patriots vs. Bills preview HERE:
As mentioned above, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne hasn’t practiced this week as he tested positive for COVID. Since he is vaccinated, he has the opportunity to test out of protocol and suit up on Sunday.
The #Patriots removed Matthew Slater (illness) from Thursday's injury report:
– DNP: Agholor (concussion), Stevenson (illness)
– Limited: Andrews (shoulder), Barmore (knee), Bentley (ribs/ankle), Bolden (knee), Folk (left knee), Harris (hammy), Harry (hip), Phillips (knee)
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) December 23, 2021
Nelson Agholor (concussion) and Rhamondre Stevenson (illness) did not practice for New England on Thursday. David Andrews, Christian Barmore, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Brandon Bolden, Nick Folk, Damien Harris, N’Keal Harry, and Adrian Phillips were all limited participants.
Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley also tested positive for COVID, however, he will not suit up on Sunday as he is unvaccinated and is required to sit out a minimum of ten days.
Cornerback Cam Lewis and defensive tackle Star Lotuleilei did not practice on Thursday, while safety Micah Hyde and running back Taiwan Jones were limited.
Quarterback Josh Allen, defensive end Jerry Hughes, and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders all popped up on the injury list – but were full participants in practice.
Both of these teams are most likely going to completely flip their game plans from last time, and I think it will be another dog fight. Mac Jones is going to have to show that he can throw the ball consistently in a virtual must-win, and Buffalo is going to have to show they can win with a run game against a top defense. This one’s for all the marbles, and I’m fired up to see it play out.
Let’s try this again: the Patriots get the win at home and we all cash o9.5 wins together.
Prediction: Patriots 21 – Bills 17
Side: Patriots -2.5
Total: UNDER 43
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