If the New England Patriots hope to keep their AFC East division aspirations alive, the Week 8 showdown against the Buffalo Bills is a must-win. The Patriots simply cannot afford to drop to 2-5 while Buffalo jumps to 6-2. To win, the Patriots are going to have to perform in a way we haven’t seen them perform in multiple weeks. In many ways, this matchup is the turning point of the season. With a loss, not only will the division hopes feel like a stretch, but it will also be time to move on from some key players before the November 3rd trade deadline. However, if the Patriots can pull off a win they’re right back in the division race.
Without further ado, let’s get into our Pats Buzz staff predictions for this pivotal Patriots vs. Bills Week 8 clash.
Luke Ervin: @PatsBuzz
On paper, the Patriots have a favorable matchup against the Bills. For starters, the Bills run defense is one of their biggest weaknesses, while the Patriots rushing attack is their biggest strength on offense. Buffalo has given up 126.9 yards per game thus far. I expect the Bills to stack the box against the Patriots all afternoon long.
Meanwhile, the New England passing attack has been abysmal as of late, and I expect those struggles to continue. Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry are both out in this one. It’s not ideal, but the reality is the wide receiver group was struggling even with Edelman and Harry. Additionally, the forecasted heavy winds in Buffalo on Sunday will make it even less conducive to throwing the ball. Even so, bad weather is actually good news for the Patriots. The Patriots want a grind it out ugly low scoring football game.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots defense will be going up against a pass-happy Josh Allen-led offense. Keep in mind, the Patriots will be without Stephon Gilmore. Fortunately for New England, the weather, as previously discussed, should at the very least limit a dynamic passing attack that consists of Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and John Brown. A lot of responsibility will fall on the Patriots struggling run defense to get consistent stops.
Sunday’s game will likely be ugly and low-scoring, but ultimately, I hope I’m wrong, but I have the Bills coming away with a victory. However, because of the weather and the personnel matchup, I would not be surprised if the Patriots pull this one out.
Bills 17 Patriots 13
Andrew Doherty: @Patriots_Andrew
Early weather reports suggest the wind will play a big factor in this one. This probably favors the Patriots as the focal point of their offense is the ground game. Josh Allen and the Bills have seemingly cooled off after a hot start to the season. Last weekend Buffallo struggled to beat the lowly Jets.
Although the Patriots have done nothing over the last two games that would suggest they can win this one, I simply can’t bet against a Bill Belichick coached team with their season truly on the line this early in the year. Buffalo is an all too familiar foe facing some recent struggles of their own and it’s a perfect “get right” game for New England. The Patriots will need to play with much more energy and effort than they have the last two weeks in order to win this one. I don’t expect it to be pretty, but with their backs against the wall, I’m picking the Patriots to win.
Patriots 20 Bills 17
Cameron Ciano: @thehookcam
Do the Patriots have enough firepower to get back into the divisional hunt? Will the receiving core wake up? How will Josh McDaniels get the offense going? Can the New England defense respond after being shredded by the 49ers offense? These questions all loom large ahead of the Patriots and Bills Week 8 battle.
If New England wants to win this game, they have to approach this like playoffs, win or go home. New England needs to get their quick game going to help Cam Newton out with pressure. Smart play-calling to set up easy 2nd and 3rd downs is crucial to help out this struggling offense. The New England offense runs through Newton, and ever since he missed practice time due to COVID, he has had a ton of struggles out on the football field.
Hopefully, Newton, as well as the entire Patriots team play much improved this weekend, but it will be tough against this tough Bills team. If the New England team that has shown up for the last two weeks comes to play, then it will be a two-score game in favor of Buffalo. If the Patriots come out with the mentality and energy of a playoff game it will be much closer.
Either way, I, unfortunately, have Buffalo winning this one.
Bills 28 Patriots 14
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