It feels like it’s been forever since the Buffalo Bills have played, but they’re back in action later tonight against the New England Patriots. In Week 2, the Bills fell to New England at home by the score of 40-32. Fast forward nine weeks later and some things have changed. Bills quarterback has more in-game experience, the Bills have a relatively healthy roster and New England will be missing some significant players. Can Buffalo go on the road, take advantage of a beat up Patriots team and pull off the upset? We’ll find out later tonight. Until then, here are five predictions for Monday’s game.
Karlos Williams makes history
If Buffalo’s rookie running back can find the end zone on Monday Night Football, he’ll set an NFL rookie record for most consecutive games with a touchdown (seven). The Patriots are well aware that Williams is on the cusp of the record and they’ll be very focused on where Williams is at all times. That said, with so many weapons on offense, the Patriots won’t be able to focus on keeping Williams out of the end zone. By the end of the game, Williams has at least one score and an NFL rookie record.
Charles Clay has big night
No player has been targeted more by Tyrod Taylor than Charles Clay this season. On Monday Night Football, that trend continues with Clay leading the Bills in receptions. Bill Belichick will focus on taking Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy out of the game, so Taylor will need to find someone else to get the ball to. Clay should be at the top of the list. The tight end can create nightmare mismatches against the Patriots. If he’s successful in doing so, Belichick may have to revisit how he uses his safeties on Monday Night Football. Clay’s success could eventually open things up for Watkins and McCoy.
LeSean McCoy finishes with over 100 total yards
Speaking of McCoy, the back has been on a tear for the Bills. In the last two weeks, McCoy has rushed for 224 yards, 42 percent of his total rushing yards his season. On Monday night, McCoy will most likely deal with an extra man in the box, so yards could be hard to come by on the ground. That said, McCoy will still break a few big runs on Monday night.
That said, McCoy may be in line to pick up the majority of his yards in the receiving game. In Week 2, McCoy was covered in the passing game by linebacker Jamie Collins. Unfortunately for New England, the athletic linebacker has been ruled out for Monday Night Football. That could lead to more designed pass plays to McCoy. By the end of Monday night, McCoy will have over 100 total yards for the Bills.
Bills defense gets aggressive
In Week 2, Buffalo outthought themselves and tried to drop extra players into coverage against Tom Brady. The results were disastrous with Brady passing for 466 yards and three touchdowns.
On Monday Night Football, the Bills will get aggressive and send blitzes at Brady and the Patriots throughout the evening. Without Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman to worry about, the Bills can take more risks defensively and they will do everything in their power to frustrate Brady. If the Bills can get to Brady early and often, they’ll have a chance to pull off the upset on Monday.
Final score prediction
See the Wochit video above for my Week 11 Monday Night Football final score prediction.