An AFC East showdown helps get the 1:00 slate of games started as the undefeated New England Patriots welcome the rival Bills to Foxborough. There are no secrets between the head coaches in this one. Both Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick aren’t all that fond of one another, and that always adds an extra layer of intrigue to these match-ups.
The season did not start well at all for the Bills. They’ve had to deal with some tough injuries, and have already had to part ways with their offensive coordinator, Greg Roman. They bounced back in a huge way in Week 3, beating the Arizona Cardinals. Now they’ll face another stiff test as they take their act to the road to deal with an undefeated New England Patriots squad. We’ll continue to learn a lot more about Buffalo this week.
For the Patriots there really isn’t all that much to say, aside from the fact that this group really is amazing. With all of the injuries – especially at the quarterback position, it is remarkable their team has just stayed afloat. Entering Week 4 with a perfect record is no small task, and the fact that they get Tom Brady back next week makes them that much scarier. QB Jimmy Garoppolo has looked excellent, and even though he supposedly enters this contest banged-up, he’s expected to suit up. Belichick has done a great job with his Pats again this year, and if he has the Pats unbeaten on the eve of Brady’s return, it’ll only add to his already strong legacy.
These divisional showdowns are always fun, and with Rex Ryan and the Bills desperate to knock New England down a peg or two, it should make for yet another great match-up between these teams. Read on below for a full game breakdown and prediction.
Bills vs. Patriots Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +7 (-110)
@ New England Patriots -7 (-110)
Over 43 (-110)
Under 43 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Patriots Pick:
Though it is uncertain just how injured Jimmy Garoppolo is, he basically needs to play with no Jacoby Brissett. Garoppolo’s initial diagnosis was 3-4 weeks so expect him to be a tad limited in what he can and can’t do. As a result of that, look for the Patriots to focus on establishing a solid ground game early and often against the Bills. Buffalo, like New England is very badly banged up – especially within their front seven. What was once considered to be a strong point for Rex Ryan’s side is now a glaring weakness, and look for Belichick to realize this and jam the ball down Buffalo’s throats all game long. Expect a lot of power running from LeGarrette Blount and some lofty fantasy scores as a result.
Additionally, don’t be surprised to see Julian Edelman pick up some reps at quarterback as well. Edelman was of course a QB at Kent State, and is more than capable of filling in. Right now the Bills have no viable pass rush that can get to him, so if this does happen for a few snaps, the Pats are still in a good spot. Rex Ryan has inherited a solid defense, and the injuries combined with his own incompetence, has turned this group into a liability. Look for New England to be able to move the ball freely, regardless of personnel on Sunday.
Buffalo’s injury concerns are not just limited to their stop unit. They also have some banged-up along their offensive line, something the Patriots will be well-suited to take full advantage of. Without Sammy Watkins as a downfield threat, the Bills’ offense thins out rather quickly. New England’s defense, and their entire secondary have been great all year, and it’s doubtful that the Bills will manage to do anything to change that narrative. Expect the Bills to be fairly one-dimensional on Sunday and hope and pray LeSean McCoy can work some manage to move the ball. That said, Belichick is a master at erasing a team’s one single strength, and he’ll do just that to limit McCoy’s effectiveness.
The Pats have had extra time to prepare for this divisional clash and there is real pride on the line to go 4-0 without Tom Brady. What a staredown that’d be to the NFL. With nine or more days of rest, Belichick is 16-8 against the number, so expect a well-prepared Patriots squad to plow through a depleted side from Buffalo.
PICK = Patriots -7 (-110)