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Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: First-half open thread

The first Bills-Pats game of 2020 has serious implications about the fate of the AFC East

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots square off today for the 41st time in head coach Bill Belichick’s tenure with the team. In the previous 40 head-to-head meetings between Buffalo and New England with Belichick at the helm, the Patriots have lost just five times—in November 2000 (16-13 Bills), September 2003 (31-0 Buffalo), September 2011 (34-31 Buffalo), December 2014 (17-9 Buffalo), and October 2016 (16-0 Buffalo).

For the Patriots, it’s been a dominant two decades against the entire AFC East Division, but especially against the Bills. For two decades, the Bills have been the Patriots’ doormat. However, in 2020, there are signs that, finally, the times they are a changin’.

The Bills enter today’s matchup at 5-2, sitting in first place in the AFC East, a full two games ahead of the second-place Miami Dolphins. The Patriots are 2-4 and in third place. With a win, the Bills will move to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the division. The Patriots would be 2-5 with a 1-1 divisional record. It wouldn’t quite bury Bill Belichick’s crew, but it would put them in a deep hole.

Can Josh Allen overcome his struggles against New England? Cumulatively, the young quarterback has completed less than 50% of his passes against the Pats, and he’s thrown more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (3) in his three career games against them. Can Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who surpassed Wade Phillips as the fourth-winningest coach in franchise history last week, earn his first win against New England? McDermott is 0-6 in his career versus Belichick.

Your first-half thread is here, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s hope the Bills can ring in November with a big win against their longtime tormentors. Enjoy the game, and go Bills!