A calendar week subsequently both teams played on Thanksgiving, the New England Patriots are set to host the division rival Buffalo Bills for the Week 13 edition of "Thursday Night Football."
Buffalo secured a closer-than-expected victory over the Detroit Lions last Thursday afternoon, while New England dropped a shut 1 to the Minnesota Vikings in the nightcap. Both of these teams are jockeying for position in the surprisingly-competitive AFC East, as well as the AFC playoff film at big. Buffalo enters the matchup with a leg upwardly on the competition, and is accordingly favored -- even on the road.
Will the Bills go far three wins in a row, or will the Patriots get dorsum on track and pull off an upset? We'll detect out soon enough. Before we pause down the matchup, hither's a look at how y'all tin watch the game.
How to sentry
Date:Thursday, Dec. 1 |Fourth dimension: eight:20 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
Stream: Amazon Prime Video
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Bills -three.5, O/U 43.5
When the Bills take the brawl
Like about immature quarterbacks, Josh Allen got off to a rough starting time to his career against Neb Belichick-coached teams. In fact, beyond his first two seasons, Allen failed to complete more than half his passes in any of his three starts confronting the Patriots. Combined, he went just 46 of 95 (48.4%) for 578 yards (half dozen.1 per endeavour), iii touchdowns and five interceptions in those three games. That's "adept" for a 56.four passer rating, or the rough equivalent of a operation in the range of someone similar DeShone Kizer or Heath Shuler.
Since then, though, Allen has torn the Patriots autonomously in iii of five starts (despite that stretch including the ridiculous wind game last year), and he put together arguably the best playoff performance of all-fourth dimension in one of them.
|First Two||All||0-three||46||95||48.four%||578||half dozen.1||3||5|
|2021||WC||Due west 47-17||21||25||84.0%||308||12.three||5||0|
New England's defense ranks an first-class third in the NFL in Football Outsiders' DVOA and beginning in TruMedia'southward version of EPA per dropback, but in games confronting quarterbacks not named Zach Wilson or Sam Ehlinger, information technology has merely been very good, rather than incommunicable to throw against. (Other quarterbacks have completed 167 of 269 passes for 1,761 yards, 13 touchdowns and viii interceptions against the Pats, while that dreadful duo went a combined 44 of 92 of 423 yards, two touchdowns and four picks -- and iii additional dropped picks.)
In a matchup like this, one would expect Belichick to deploy his famous "1-Double" coverage, wherein he uses his No. 1 corner to shadow the opponent's No. 2 receiver while double-teaming the No. ane threat on the opposition. But with Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson each having moved on, there'due south not necessarily a logical fit for this matchup. Does Belichick trust rookie Jack Jones enough to use him on Gabe Davis all night while doubling Stefon Diggs? If not, would he use the bigger-bodied Jalen Mills on Davis and use Jones as part of the double on Diggs? Or would he rather sit in zone and strength Allen to repeatedly march his way down the field with underneath throws? Doing so would invite Allen to target Diggs all night, as the latter tends to work the brusque and intermediate areas of the field more often.
New England has been almost equally effective overall against the run equally it has against the laissez passer, but that doesn't much matter against Buffalo, which throws at i of the highest rates in the league. If the Bills have a selection in the matter, everything will run through Allen, Diggs, and Co. and not the likes of Devin Singletary and James Cook. Allen is also a threat in the run game, though, and his ability to modify the math inside the box tin can prove challenging. Belichick's defense have had issues with running quarterbacks on occasion, as we saw with Justin Fields earlier this season and Lamar Jackson in the by. Buffalo doesn't like to apply Allen on equally many designed runs anymore, but he's always a scramble threat and a dangerous weapon around the goal line.
Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you lot would like to subscribe.
Thanks for signing up!
Continue an eye on your inbox.
There was an fault processing your subscription.
When the Patriots have the brawl
Coming off past far his best game of the season, Mac Jones is in for a much stiffer test than the one he faced concluding Thursday. Jones completed 28 of 39 passes (71.8%) for 382 yards (nine.8 per attempt) and 2 touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings -- his first multi-touchdown game of the year. But where Minnesota sports a pass defense that ranks 27th in both DVOA and EPA per dropback, Buffalo's checks in seventh in DVOA and 14th in EPA to date.
The Bills are also getting healthier. Tre'Davious White is dorsum in the fold, and will presumably play more than than the sixteen snaps he did a calendar week ago. Buffalo is also set to get both Gregory Rousseau and Tremaine Edmunds back on the field, which should help alleviate the loss of Von Miller. Rousseau was in the midst of a breakout flavor prior to his injury, and even without Miller the Bills take plenty of complementary rushers to assist him out up front. New England'southward offensive line has non been up to its usual standard this season, and there accept been games where Jones has been under constant siege. He's taken at least 3 sacks in each of the past iv games, getting dropped nineteen total times in that span. That's bad news against Buffalo'south defensive forepart.
The Patriots will be without Damien Harris on Thursday nighttime, and they could be without Jakobi Meyers as well. Harris' absence puts even more on Rhamondre Stevenson's plate, but given the way Belichick has talked him upward (apparently telling NBC'southward Jason Garrett that Stevenson's development reminds him of that of Tom Brady and Lawrence Taylor), the Pats are likely fine with that. Buffalo encourages underneath throws with its zone defense, then Stevenson figures to exist a very decorated man in this matchup. (And he'll be fifty-fifty more so if Meyers, the Patriots' primary brusque-area threat on the outside, tin can't suit up.)
Attempting to move the ball down the field through the run and the short pass has its drawbacks, though, in that information technology makes explosive plays far less likely. Against an opponent like the Bills, that's a recipe for failure. Unless the offensive line can dominate upward front and allow the Pats to command the ball for the pregnant majority of the night, this matchup is going to favor Buffalo pretty heavily.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Prediction: Bills 27, Patriots 17