Well, this team is finally starting to get on the roll they usually get on at this point in the season. The Bills seem like they’re starting to hit the complete opposite. I’m not saying Tyrod Taylor was their new Jim Kelly but forcing him out is starting to look like a huge mistake. And they traded AJ McCarron because…?
As soon as Josh Allen started to get confident he got hurt, Nathan Peterman made it very clear he isn’t capable of being a backup QB in the XFL, much less the NFL. So they are down to Derek Anderson who they picked up last week. So this should be fun.
The Pats offense has hit full stride now and is taking over defenses, even a good team like the Bears. Julian Edelman has made a huge impact on whether he gets the ball or not. He draws defenders in the short game and has opened up more opportunity for guys like James White, Chris Hogan, and Josh Gordon.
A guy who does not seem to have benefited too much is Gronk. Even when he plays he does not see a huge volume of passes, and he has barely had any red zone targets. He’s still such a force that he has to find his game at some point this season.
The big variable this week will be Kenjon Barner. He has a chance to make himself a part of this offense for weeks to come with Sony Michel most likely out. If he can fill in and do it effectively, the Pats will be able to go back to throwing out 3 different backs like they did when Rex Burkhead was healthy and have even more weapons to throw at teams. Overall they should not have any amount of struggles against this defense. And on top of that, look for Chris Hogan to find some space in this game too.
The defense has been scary up to this point. They haven’t been able to hold on through a full game.
Against both the Chiefs and the Bears they looked great and held each team in check. The second half of each game though, they were almost let back into both games. The pass rush and majority of the secondary just starts to lose it.
This Bills team has almost no legit weapons, and LeSean McCoy might not even play because of a concussion. This is the type of game where the secondary can cause some turnovers and gain some confidence.
In particular, the guys at the safety position have looked weak. Chung does his thing in the run game, but Devin McCourty has not looked as good, and maybe he is just found at the wrong place at the wrong time, but tight ends have eaten him alive.
Duron Harmon has really looked exposed, and both Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe are very hot and cold opposite of Stephon Gilmore. Jonathan Jones has done a very solid job on slot receivers and seems to have found himself a home, and the run defense has not been spectacular but not a giant weakness. With this teams knack to make mistakes, they should capitalize on that and dominate.
This is not looking like the most competitive Monday Night Football matchup this season, but the Bills have surprised us in the past. I don’t foresee any crazy surprises here though. This should be a 38-13 typical game between these two.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)
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