Tomorrow night, the 5-2 Patriots will go to Buffalo to take on the 2-5 Buffalo Bills. The Bills have had a good defense all season long, ranking 11th in yards allowed, fourth in yards per game, and sixteenth in points per game. The offense for the Bills has struggled to say the least. Rookie Josh Allen was okay when he started for Buffalo, but he has already been ruled out with an arm injury. Nathan Peterman has been awful when given a chance, so the Bills will start journeyman Derek Anderson under center. Last Sunday against the Colts, Anderson was 20/31 for just 175 yards, three interceptions, and a 39.8 quarterback rating. The Bills have relied on LeSean McCoy to carry the offense in recent years, but he has battled injuries and has struggled even when healthy.
McCoy suffered a concussion against the Colts after only getting one rushing yard and is questionable for Monday. Chris Ivory is McCoy’s backup and if McCoy does not play on Monday, Ivory will assume a bulk of the workload as he did on Sunday. Ivory accumulated 106 total yards against the Colts but he is the type of back the Patriots can do well against. McCoy and Ivory is a lesser version of last week when New England faced Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. Ivory is most like Jordan Howard of the two because he is a power runner and McCoy is most like Cohen because he is a good pass catcher.
Buffalo does not have any real threats at the receiving position, with Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones being the best ones. Charles Clay has not been good this year, but the Patriots are prone to allowing big games to tight ends.
On the flip side, New England’s offense is just heating up. The Patriots obviously have the advantage at quarterback as they do every game, but especially this one. Also, Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman are getting more and more involved each week. Gordon caught four passes for 100 yards last week and Edelman has already racked up 147 receiving yards. Chris Hogan has gotten more favorable matchups in recent weeks and he has seen improved numbers lately. Cordarrelle Patterson has broken off some big plays in the kick return game but is not featured much on offense.
Rob Gronkowski is questionable to play and Jacob Hollister is out. This means the Patriots will not feature the tight end position at all. Sony Michel returned to practice on Saturday but is still listed as doubtful. James White will take on an increased workload and Kenjon Barner will be more than a garbage time back. The Patriots offense could definitely struggle. They are going up against a decent Bills defense, they are banged up, and they are on the road.
I think the Patriots will pull out a 27-14 win over the Bills. The Patriots’ offense will struggle to move the ball. However, Buffalo has zero firepower offensively, especially if McCoy is out.