It’s Patriots week as the Buffalo Bills (5-2) prepare to welcome the New England Patriots (2-4) to Bills Stadium for a 1 p.m. showdown Sunday. On the latest episode of the Billieve Podcast, hosts John Boccacino and Jamie D’Amico have everything you need to know for the Week 8 clash.
Buffalo has a chance to make a statement win and deliver a punishing blow to the depleted Patriots, who are reeling thanks to their first three-game losing streak since 2002. The Bills can both bury the Patriots and cement their status as AFC East favorites with a big win Sunday.
Unlike most of the last 20 years, the Patriots have a quarterback not named Tom Brady under center. Cam Newton showed flashes of his old self in guiding New England to a 2-1 start, but the offense has floundered during this skid. Newton rarely passes to his right, and his arm doesn’t have the strength for the deep passing game any more. Plus, with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry sidelined, the Patriots are missing two of their top three wideouts. The Patriots do have a strong offensive line. Can defensive end Jerry Hughes and defensive tackle Ed Oliver continue their strong play and help Buffalo generate pressure on Newton?
The Patriots are sure to turn to the run game and test Buffalo’s run defense. Can the Bills build upon last week’s win, when they limited the New York Jets to four yards of total offense in the second half, and shut down New England’s rushing attack? Will Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds be able to contain the Patriots’ screen passing game?
Offensively, quarterback Josh Allen is sure to see plenty of looks in dime coverage from Bill Belichick. Can Allen handle the pressure and quickly identify his open receiver? With a depleted linebacking corps and the loss of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, look for Allen to get wide receivers Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley involved early and often.
With the wind and the weather expected to be a major factor, and with the return of guard Jon Feliciano, is this finally the week that running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss get on track?
Check out the latest Billieve Podcast for our thoughts on these topics and hear score predictions as the Bills face their rivals, then join the conversation by leaving your thoughts on how the game will play out in the comments section below.
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