To put it mildly, the Bills embarrassed the Patriots in their final two meetings last year. In their 33-21 win at Gillette Stadium and 47-17 win in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, Buffalo didn’t have to punt the ball a single time on offense. Not once. This will be the first matchup between the AFC East rivals this season and if we know anything about Bill Belichick and his coaching staff by now, it’s that we shouldn’t write them off. Ever. Scroll down to take a look at our model’s best bets and see the surprising stat that Buffalo should worry about heading into this Thursday Night Football battle.
Headlined by NFL sack leader Matthew Judon (13.0), this Patriots defense has pressured opposing quarterbacks 27.3% of the time, the 2nd-best rate in the NFL. Their 13.4% hurry rate is the best in the NFL and they’ve been able to accomplish those two numbers with a 25.3% blitz rate (14th-most).
Therefore, this team is finding creative ways to get to the quarterback and is consistently getting pressure on them.
Will this be enough to make Josh Allen uncomfortable, though?
The answer isn’t clear-cut.
Buffalo’s offensive line has protected Allen at an elite level this year, as their 13.9% pressure rate against mark shows. That’s the 2nd-best mark in the NFL despite facing the 6th-most amount of blitzes.
Buffalo’s offense could be hurt in the play-action passing game, though. They have passed for the 4th-most play-action yards in the league this season, but might not have enough time to let those plays develop downfield against this opponent that routinely prevents chunk plays.
Most shockingly, just 64.1% of Allen’s throws have been considered on-target this season. That’s the worst mark in the entire NFL and he’s accumulated 11 interceptions so far. Will the extra pressure deflate that number even more and lead to a costly INT or two?
Keep scrolling down to see our model’s final score projection and team grades.
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