Buffalo fans celebrate their favorite day of the year. That is,of course, Patriots game day. Bills fans will tailgate like there’s no tomorrow and turn New Era Field into the rowdiest place to be Monday night. That the game occurs so close to Halloween will only add to the revelry in New York.
New England swaggers in after taking control of the AFC East as expected, if a little later than predicted. Miami still sits just a game behind, but they are trending in the wrong direction to challenge the perennial division leaders from Massachusetts.
The return of wide receiver Julian Edelman in Week 5 seems to have settled the offensive shakiness that marked the Patriots early season. That is despite injuries to their veteran rushers, a situation helped by the emergence of rookie Sony Michel.
Now that Michel will miss some time with a sprained knee, James White will watch his fourth backfield mate, Kenjon Barner, share rushing duties. As of Wednesday morning, the Patriots have not made a move to add a third running back to their roster.
That could mean a lot of passing, which plays into the Bills strength. Buffalo’s defense has kept their team in ball games they had no business winning. With the worst assemblage of offensive talent in the league, the defense almost has to score to win games.
Their highly ranked pass rush and secondary will look forward to getting after Brady.
Injuries and notes:
As mentioned, rookie Sony Michel is out. He appears to have avoided serious damage after twisting his knee last week. That could have made him the third New England running back on injured reserve this season.
It’s not easy to make much out of the New England injury reports. As usual, tight end Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable, as are several defenders. But until Sunday morning, it is difficult to know who will play or not.
What passes for an offense in Buffalo could be a shadow of itself Monday night. LeSean McCoy has an extra day to clear concussion protocol but is no sure thing.
Fellow running backs Chris Ivory and Taiwan Jones are also listed as questionable with undisclosed injuries. Quarterback Josh Allen (elbow) will yield the field to Derek Anderson again and wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud is also questionable.
Buffalo fans wax nostalgic about games past when their heroes gave some very good Patriots teams all they could handle. None of those games happened under current coach Sean McDermott.
New England outscored the Bills 60-19 in their two games last year, and that was when McDermott had the Bills playing like a playoff team.
Bill Belichick’s experience and football brains won’t be challenged much by this week’s opponent.
How to watch the Bills vs Patriots game
ESPN broadcasts Monday Night Football across the nation and around the world. If you’re in the United States, you can watch live stream Monday Night Football action on Sling TV.
Sling TV provides live stream NFL action directly to your internet-connected device. It costs barely a fraction of what cable and satellite cost to provide you with all your live stream NFL action as well as tons of other entertainment options.
Sling, DirecTV Now, and Fubo TV include most NFL-contracted networks among their live offerings and don’t require a lengthy contract or expensive equipment. Check out their websites to see what they offer in your neighborhood.
Who will win the Bills-Patriots game?
On paper, this is an unfair mismatch. Buffalo is struggling to get any kind of offense flowing, turning to career backup Derek Anderson behind center. Anderson signed on just a few weeks ago to be more of a coach to rookie Josh Allen than a player.
Reality seems pretty well reflected on paper. Buffalo’s defense might slow the Patriots, but not much.
Final score: Patriots 28, Bills 10