The Buffalo Bills travel to New England to play the Patriots in the battle for the AFC East on Sunday. We all know the last game was not a real test to see which team was better. The poor weather conditions affected that game a lot. This time, it is going to be warmer and a lot less windy. This should be an advantage for the Bills.
McKenzie and Stevenson
With Davis and Beasley out with Covid, expect to see a lot more Isaiah McKenzie and Marquez Stevenson for the Bills. Both players don’t have a lot of in-game reps at wide receiver this year, but it’s the next men up. They will have to be effective in the short passing game and will likely be used as an extension of the run game. Both of these players have great speed and can be used in jet sweep or shovel pass type plays. They will also be asked to stretch the field on deep routes. They will be used, at some points, to run off cornerbacks to create space for other receivers to get open. Both of these guys are going to have to step up big time this week in order to keep our passing game going.
The Buffalo Bills offensive line, especially the tackles, are going to have a huge assignment this week. Dion Dawkins (if he plays) and Spencer Brown will be responsible for blocking Mathew Judon. Judon has 12.5 sacks and has created a ton of pressure this year. With his rushing off the edge, Dawkins and Brown will need to keep him in check. They will need to not get beat inside. This means they can’t let Judon get in the gap between them and the guard. They must make him rush outside and work his way around them in order to be successful this week.
The last time the Bills played the Patriots they got run all over. The main reason for this, in my opinion, was that Star Lotulelei wasn’t playing. He is a huge part on our defensive line and while you might not see it in the stats, he is extremely productive. On almost every play he is getting double teamed and creating better match ups for the rest of the Bills defensive line. With Star expected to play this week, that should help the defensive line in the run game quite a bit. Don’t expect to see too much on Star in the stat sheet, but expect him to have a large impact on this game.
I still don’t expect the Patriots to pass the ball much. They are going to keep the ball on the ground for the most part and the Bills need to toughen up and stop the run. On offense, it’s going to be an uphill battle, having multiple receivers on the Covid list isn’t going to make this game easy. The Buffalo Bills can win this game they just need to play like they were earlier in the year.