‘We all know who’s up subsequent:’ Payments centered on likelihood at AFC East lead in opposition to Patriots – Buffalo Payments Weblog

ORCHARD PARK, NY – Some players were still wearing uniforms, their faces red from the cold. Only minutes had passed after the Buffalo Bills’ 31:14 win over the Carolina Panthers and it felt like the team had already turned the page.

The key to winning is something the Bills should do – that’s why they were favored in the double digits. Right in front of them, Buffalo (8-6) has a chance to decide his own fate when it comes to AFC East when they travel to the New England Patriots (9-5) on Sunday (1pm ET, CBS).

“One down. We know who’s next,” said coach Sean McDermott in a team video of the Dressing room after the game. “We know who’s next. It’s all about us, right? Be humble. “

With a win against the Patriots, the Bills would have to win the rest of the season – at home against the Atlanta Falcons (6-8) and the New York Jets (3-11) – to claim the AFC East crown. thanks to a better division balance (Bills 4-1 vs. Patriots 3-2). Beating the Patriots would give the Bills the lead in the division for the first time in over a month.

However, if the Bills lose, the Patriots could win the division this weekend. All they’d need is a loss for the Miami Dolphins (7-7) to the New Orleans Saints (7-7) on Monday night, according to ESPN Stats & Info. For the Bills, winning the last two games would be the best way to secure a playoff spot, but a 10-7 record would run out of place due to the team’s poor conference record (5-6) with a loss to New England to guarantee.

Buffalo is keen to claim a second straight league crown for the first time since winning four straight league titles from 1988 to 1991. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Bills have an 82.7% chance of making the playoffs and a 45.7% chance of winning the division.

According to the FPI, the team’s highest rate is to finish third (24.5%) or seventh (20.8%). The Colts, Chargers, and four AFC North teams will have the biggest impact on Buffalo’s odds.

“We have to keep it up,” said McDermott. “And this will be a game [the Patriots] came in here and hit us two weeks ago. … So of course we have to adapt and have a good week of preparation. “

The preparations started a little earlier this time. The night before the Bills played the Panthers, McDermott watched the Patriots lose to the Indianapolis Colts, live with the rest of the country.

Quarterback Josh Allen also watched the game, but not everything. A little too far after bedtime.

“I think a lot of the guys had the game … watching the Colts get up early, forcing them to go one-dimensional and throw the ball that way,” said Bill’s defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. “If you have a good movie to break out of, you know what they did against us. If they want to emulate that again, we’ll try to be better prepared. And then we also see the advantage of getting up early, that really forces them. “

The Patriots dominated the division for two decades, winning it 11 straight times until the Bills won last year. The Bills seemed ready to win it again, but the team stumbled in close games (0-5) this year, including the home loss to New England two weeks ago.

In this game, the Patriots were able to control the flow of the game, they finished with just three attempts to pass and kept the bills at 10 points. But the Colts found a way to stop the Patriots, keeping them on the ground at 81 yards, forcing rookie quarterback Mac Jones to throw 45 times. New England is 0-4 if Jones throws the ball 39 or more.

The lesson from the Patriots’ loss to the Colts is obvious – force Jones to try to win the game.

What can the Bills take away from defeating the Panthers?

  • The Bills succeeded by flashing quarterback Cam Newton at 65% of the dropbacks, the second highest rate of any game that season (# 1 was Ravens vs. Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater). Buffalo also sent a defensive back as a pass rusher on 21 dropbacks, the third most in the NFL. Newton was sacked by two of his former Carolina teammates – Efe Obada (twice) and Star Lotulelei.

  • Wide receiver Gabriel Davis had a larger presence on offense that began with the loss to the Patriots – that game started a touchdown streak of three games for the receiver. With receiver Emmanuel Sanders sustaining a knee injury, Davis had by far his highest snap counts of the season (83% and 90%) in the last two games. That should go on.

  • Getting creative with the offense has been positives, including greater involvement from seldom-used receiver Isaiah McKenzie and confidence that Devin Singletary will run back with a career high of 22 carries despite the team having two offensive linemans on the COVID-19 list miss.

Ultimately, there is only a limited amount that can be taken from wins against fighting teams on their second or third quarterback. It’s the big games that were an issue for the Bills.

The real test is to get into the postseason and a home game by the easiest way.

“For us every game is a playoff game from now on and we have to treat it that way,” said Allen.

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