Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Matchup Preview (12/26/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Matchup Preview (12/26/21)

The AFC East’s most decisive game of the season goes down on Sunday between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. The Patriots currently have the upperhand, sitting in first in the division – if they win this game and the Miami Dolphins lose to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, the Patriots will win the division outright. If the Bills win out their schedule, which includes this game, the Falcons and the Jets, then the AFC East is theirs. Both teams have seen the ups and downs of a football season – the Patriots had a rocky 2-4 start to the season, but quickly changed gears and found themselves in a seven-game winning streak that catapulted them to the top of their division. The Colts snapped this streak last week and the Patriots now sit at 9-5. The 8-6 Bills tell the opposite tale; they headed into a week 7 bye week at 4-2 at the top of their division, only to finish .500 in their last 8 games, which includes a loss to the Jaguars. These teams faced off in week 13 in what amounted to be an anticlimactic, low-scoring game where each team secured just one touchdown and the Patriots, who threw the ball just three times, came out on top 14-10. With a hot Patriots team coming off of a loss and a recuperating Bills team coming off of a win, this should be a very entertaining game to watch.

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds

The Patriots are a mere 1-point favorite in this matchup and the point total is set at 44. Both teams are 3-1 in divisional play, having both beaten the Jets, but where the Patriots beat the Bills, they lost to the Dolphins in week one, who the Bills put away in week 2 and week 8. The 9-5 Patriots have a better track record for betters this year – having gone 7-2 as the favorite this year and 9-5 against the spread, one of the best ATS records in the league. They’ve covered three out of four times in divisional games but are 1-3 on hitting the over in those four games. As are the Bills, whose defense held AFC East teams to a combined 42 points over those four games. They are 7-6-1 against the spread this year and 2-1-1 at covering in the AFC East. 

The narrow win margin for this game seems on par with the talent level of these two teams, but the underdog seems more promising to me. The Patriots have shown that they don’t have much trust in their quarterback and against a brutal Bills defense, their three-pass game plan likely won’t work again. I think it’ll be a battle, and the Bills will capitalize on the Patriots passing game, or lack thereof. 

My prediction: Bills win 20-17, Bills Cover, under 44

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, December, 26th
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, MA
TV Coverage: CBS

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Live Stream

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Buffalo Bills Analysis

Last week the Bills snapped their two-game losing streak (one of which was against the Patriots) by beating the Carolina Panthers. Gabriel Davis was instrumental in this win last week as he saw more action now that Emmanuel Sanders is hurt. Davis caught for 85 yards over five catches and two touchdowns. He proved that when he’s a piece of their offense, it works for them. Devin Singletary also proved effective, with a touchdown and 86 yards to contribute to their victory. 

 

Though Josh Allen has had his struggles this season, he threw for three touchdowns against a Carolina defense that can defend the pass well, which is promising. But against the Patriots in week 13, Allen completed 50% of his passes and threw for just 145 yards, a season low. It will be interesting to see which Allen shows up this week.

 

The defense has been an iron curtain for this team all year and has surrendered the least amount of yards against them and the second-least points against them, behind none other than the New England Patriots. As we saw against the Colts last week, when a defense forces Mac Jones to throw the ball, it isn’t pretty. The Bills run defense will surely need to make improvements from their last game against the Patriots, where they allowed the run game to dominate their defense. If they don’t lock this down, Jones will hand the ball off like he did all last game and they can kiss the AFC East title goodbye. If they can get the run defense figured out and force Jones to throw the ball, they will be in good shape to win this game, as right now, they have the best pass defense in the league. 

Buffalo Bills Depth Chart

QB: Josh Allen
RB1: Matt Breida
RB2: Devin Singletary
RB3: Taiwan Jones
WR1: Emmanuel Sanders
WR2: Cole Beasley
WR3: Stefon Diggs
TE1: Dawson Knox

New England Patriots Analysis

The good news for Bill Belichick and the Patriots is that they are still in position to win the AFC East. The bad news is that the Bills are hot on their heels and they have to execute their game plan perfectly, assuming that the Bills will come out firing, to win this game. Their seven-game winning streak was snapped last week against the Colts who shut down their highly-acclaimed running game that has been winning them games. This loss took them out of the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 

While the Colts did a good job on their own, this team also shot themselves in the foot to lose this game. Special teams had issues, they gave up stupid penalties, and Jones threw two intereptions. Last week’s game broke an 89-game streak of scoring in the first half so Belichick will likely come out with something to prove.

Damien Harris, who leads the team in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns was out last week against the Colts with a hamstring injury. He rushed for a season-high 111 yards and a touchdown when these two teams faced off in week 13. Rhamondre Stevenson tallied on another 78 rushing yards that game. It is unclear whether Harris will be back this week or not, but he is definitely the catalyst in their offense. This team averages 26.2 points per game but are 0-4 when the ball is thrown over 39 times in a game and last week is an example of that.

It’s ironic that their very strength on offense has been the crux of their problems on defense. They can’t stop the run. They gave up 170 yards to Jonathon Taylor last week and 226 total rushing yards on 5.8 yards per carry. The Bills don’t have Taylor-like talent, but they do have a quarterback who can run and a strong running back that together, could cause problems for this defense. They are however phenomenal in defending the pass and are third in the league in passing yards against and first in points against.

New England Patriots Depth Chart

QB: Mac Jones
RB1: Damien Harris
RB2: Rhamondre Stevenson
RB3: Brandon Bolden
WR1: Jakobi Meyers
WR2: Kendrick Bourne
WR3: Nelson Agholor
TE1: Hunter Henry

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Daily Fantasy Picks

Gabriel Davis finally got his long-deserved recognition after last week’s performance. With Sanders out, he has emerged as a strong second option. He has scored at least one touchdown in their last three games despite being targeted less than 20 times. He certainly deserves credit for his performance, and is a good up and coming receiving option, but this game will likely be driven by run-heavy performances, so Devin Singletary would be a good fantasy choice for this matchup if that ends up being the case.

Hunter Henry might be a solid pick this week considering the ball will likely have to make its way into the air on Sunday. He leads the team in touchdowns with 9 and had the only two touchdowns of the day against the Colts last week.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. Her favorite sport to watch and write about is football but she also enjoys soccer, baseball, and basketball.

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