One of the best rivalries in football takes place Monday night as Rex Ryan and his Buffalo Bills squad travel to Foxboro to take on Bill Belechick and the still undefeated New England Patriots. Much is always made when Ryan squares off against Belechick due to their history and the fact that they openly don’t like one another. The legendary Pats coach always makes it a point to try to run up the score when facing a Rex Ryan-coached team, and if the situation presents itself Monday night, this time around will be no different. Buffalo has clawed back into the AFC playoff race with a good run of form, but taking on the Pats is a different animal, as they saw first-hand early in the year. This week will be a tad different though with no Julian Edelman for Tom Brady, but the Patriots machine will keep on rolling. Read on below for a more detailed game breakdown and the official selection to end your Week 11 off on a winning note.
Bills vs. Patriots Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +7.5 (-115)
@ New England Patriots -7.5 (-105)
Over 48 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Patriots Pick:
The injury bug has arrived in New England and it’s left the Patriots with a major hole to fill on offense. After losing key wide receiver Julian Edelman for what looks like the duration of the regular season, keeping that flawless undefeated record intact becomes much more difficult. Add in the fact that they’ve also recently lost Dion Lewis and Sebastian Vollmer, and there are a bunch of new Pats players playing in roles unfamiliar to them. You’ve got to wonder how that will disrupt the flow and chemistry they’ve worked to build in the early stages of the 2015 season. On offense, all Brady really has left is the uber-talented Rob Gronkowski. Unfortunately for New England, the Bills do an excellent job of defending the tight end position and have held Gronk in check before. It’s also no secret that the Bills have an amazingly talented defense, and in recent weeks their pass rush is finally living up to the hype. It’s better compared to what Brady saw back at the start of the season, and it should be able to disrupt Terrific Tom in the pocket. If New England is going to be successful in this one, they’re going to really need to rely on LeGarrette Blount to move the chains.
On the other side of the football, Tyrod Taylor is back from injury and looking to improve on an already solid season as a first-time starter. New England dominated Taylor in the first meeting between these two teams, but after seeing what other quarterbacks have done to this Pats secondary, it’s clear that it does have holes and it can be beaten. Buffalo has a wealth of speedy receivers and with many of them getting back to full strength, expect Taylor to have more luck through the air on Monday night. Where they should focus most of their efforts however is with the ground game and LeSean McCoy. The Pats are stingy on the ground, but the Bills will need to keep Taylor from making mistakes and will need a solid running game to open up the potential of a downfield throw. Expect a better offensive showing from Buffalo this time around.
I don’t think either team will have all that much success moving the ball. Ever since that game in London, the Bills defense has responded and now see the potential of an AFC playoff spot. Rex Ryan will have his team rightfully pumped up for this huge clash and kudos to him as throughout his career he often keeps games vs. Belechick quite close, despite his vastly inferior lineups. When you consider the fact that New England has had to replace a bunch of new players in a short period of time, there’s undoubtedly going to be some growing pains. I expect the Bills improvement to continue in Week 11, and foresee them keeping this one tight throughout.
PICK = Bills +7.5 (-115)