This Monday night will be a battle for the AFC East as the New England Patriots travel to Highmark Stadium for a great game against the Buffalo Bills. It’s going to be cold with some sort of precipitation (snow or rain). As of right now, there is a 30% chance of snow, and this fairs well for the Bills. Mac Jones hasn’t had much experience playing in weather like this, being from Florida and playing college ball in Alabama. This should make it tough for him throughout the night even with the loss of Tre White.
As stated above, last week the Buffalo Bills lost All-Pro cornerback Tre White to an ACL tear. This is a huge blow to the Bills secondary. White is one of the only corners to not allow a touchdown all year, shutting down a whole half of the field. Teams aren’t targeting the player he is guarding because of the coverage he plays. He has also played over 70% of snaps in every game this year, other than the one he got hurt. That’s a high snap count and a lot of production to fill.
This job will need to be done by Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson. Levi Wallace is having a good year but likely won’t be expected to do much more for this team. Now he will be responsible for the best wide receiver in man coverage. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are still there and will do most of the heavy lifting controlling the secondary. However, Wallace will need to step up and become a leader in the absence of White.
This week, Wallace will be most likely playing man on Jakobi Meyers. Meyers has been having a good season, catching 59 balls for 620 yards. Wallace and the secondary should have an advantage in this game because of the weather. Additionally, the Patriots’ wide receivers haven’t been having the best season. They have no receivers over 650 yards and none with over 60 catches. The Bills secondary should be able to hold the Patriots’ passing game in check this week.
With the weather being a factor and a struggling run game, the Bills will have to turn to the passing game. To beat the Patriots, Josh Allen will need to have a big week. He will need to be accurate. The play calls will have to consist of short passes to get Allen’s confidence up early. Once Allen feels comfortable throwing in the elements, Daboll can open up the playbook.
Expect Allen to throw the ball between 30 and 40 times and pass for over 300 yards. He will also probably end up leading the team in rushing attempts as well. He has been successful on the ground this year, putting up similar stats to last year (when he was the MVP runner-up). The Bills will need to win time of possession in this game to be successful. If they can do that and get Allen going and feeling comfortable early this should be a great game for the Bills.