The Buffalo Bills are coming off an ugly 14-9 win over the Giants last Sunday, but power rankings mean nothing compared to putting dubs up in the standings. Now they get to try and do that against arguably Bills Mafia’s least favorite team, the New England Patriots. 4-2 Buffalo enters this game against 1-5 New England as a 7.5-point favorite after opening up as seven-point road favorites. To go into Foxborough expected to win by over a touchdown is notable, but this is after a week with a two touchdown spread against the G-men. Enough of the Vegas talk, I know you want info on how the Bills will win on Sunday, so here are my five keys to a Buffalo victory in Massachusetts Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
At the beginning of the season, this looked like an obvious advantage for the Bills. They averaged 10.3 points per game in the first quarter in their three wins. However, those numbers have plummeted over their last three games, scoring just 4.7 points per game in the first quarter. On the other bench, the Pats score just one point per game in the first quarter. So, getting out to an early lead would be advantageous for the Bills.
Let The Pats Be The Pats
This sounds counterintuitive to what we are used to from the Patriots, but Tom Brady isn’t walking through that door. (If you don’t know that reference, it’s a famous line from Rick Pitino when he coached the Boston Celtics.) Through six games, New England is next to last in points per game at just 12. As for defense, New England is allowed 25.3 points per game, the 24th-worst mark in the league. I know it sounds simple, but I think many would take a 25-12 win.
Not So Big MAC
I’ve stayed away from the analytic numbers to this point, but they are so bad for Mac Jones that it feels appropriate to share some of Pro Football Focus’ stats on him. They currently grade him at 53.7 or 31st worst of QBs who have taken 20% or more of their team snaps. Sticking with that demarcation, he is 32nd in passing grade at 54.4. His adjusted completion percentage is 71.7 which may sound good at first, but that ranks 28th. Lastly, his passer rating of 74.4 is 38th best.
No Diggsity, No Doubt
A lot was made about how much Josh Allen should throw to Stefon Diggs this offseason. I’m pretty sure everyone said he should target him on every drop-back. He tried to do that last week, throwing to #14 16 times for ten catches and 100 yards. If you think I am going to say that Allen shouldn’t target him so much against New England, you would be wrong. Heading into this game, the Patriots cornerbacks are set to be Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson. Like I said, target Diggs.
Take Me Away
The Bills are tied for third in the NFL in takeaways with 2.2 per game. That number could improve on Sunday thanks to the Patriots being tied for 29th in giveaways at 1.1 per game or 11 on the season. Those two tendencies combine for a very favorable outcome for Buffalo.