Category Archives: Buffalo Bills

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Monday Night Football Preview

Tom Brady will try to improve his 28-3 career record against the Buffalo Bills when the New England Patriots travel to New Era Field on Monday Night Football.

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots made everyone forget their 1-2 start by winning their last four games, including a hard-fought 38-31 road victory against the Chicago Bears last Sunday. Tom Brady completed 25 of 36 passes for 277 yards, three touchdowns and one interception to help rally the Patriots from an early 10-point deficit and their special teams had two touchdowns via a blocked punt by Kyle Van Noy and a kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson.

The New England defense preserved the win in dramatic fashion, allowing a Hail Mary completion from Mitch Trubisky to Kevin White before tackling him one yard shy of the goal line. Rookie running back Sony Michel left the game in the first half after twisting his left knee but an MRI revealed no structural damage he’s listed as day-to-day. James White and Kenjon Barner stepped up on the running game, combining for 76 rushing yards on 21 carries and Josh Gordon caught four passes for 100 receiving yards.

The Patriots are averaging 260.3 passing yards (14th in the NFL) and 120.9 rushing yards (14th). New England ranks 4th with 30.6 points per game and 19th with 25.6 points against. Tom Brady has passed for 1,876 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions, Sony Michel has 422 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 95 carries and Rob Gronkowski has 26 receptions for 405 yards and one touchdown. Devin McCourty has 41 tackles and Deatrich Wise Jr. has 3.5 sacks.

Buffalo Bills

The quarterback situation for the Buffalo Bills has become a mess and they were completely manhandled on Sunday’s 37-5 road loss against the Indianapolis Colts. Derek Anderson became the team’s third different player to start at quarterback this season after a 12-day stretch in which he signed a contract and took over the starting job because head coach Sean McDermott doesn’t trust Nathan Peterman to replace injured rookie Josh Allen.

The results were as expected, Derek Anderson had just 12 days to learn the playbook and he lost star running back LeSean McCoy during the game. Anderson completed 20 of 31 passes for 175 yards, no touchdowns, four turnovers (three interceptions) and he was sacked twice. The Bills totaled 175 of their 303 total yards in the second half, when the outcome of the game was already decided and they failed to score a touchdown for the third time in seven games.

Derek Anderson will start under center once again while Josh Allen continues to recover from a sprained ligament in his throwing elbow and running back LeSean McCoy is in concussion protocol, so his status for this game is still up in the air.

The Bills are averaging 129.4 passing yards (32nd in the NFL) and 104.6 rushing yards (19th). Buffalo ranks 32nd with 11.3 points per game and 16th with 25.0 points against. Derek Anderson has passed for 175 yards and three interceptions, LeSean McCoy has 244 rushing yards on 63 carries and Zay Jones has 19 receptions for 226 yards and one touchdown. Tremaine Edmunds has 54 tackles and Jerry Hughes has 4.5 sacks.

NFL Trends:

The Under is:

8-3 in New England’s last 11 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game

5-2 in New England’s last seven road games

9-4 in New England’s last 13 games against a team with a losing record

5-0 in Buffalo’s last five games overall

4-0 in Buffalo’s last four games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game

6-1 in Buffalo’s last seven games following a straight up loss

5-1 in Buffalo’s last six games following an ATS loss

4-1 in Buffalo’s last five games a team with a winning record

New England has scored 38 or more points in four straight games but I just can’t trust this weak Buffalo offense to put up enough points to make this a high-scoring contest. This game could get out of control quickly, so the Patriots might be content with scoring just enough to secure the win and rest their starters.

NFL Pick: Under 44 (-110)Odds via Jazz Sports

Jake Walker runs OddsandNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@Walker_J23)

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

The NFL season is a quarter way finished, and we are down to only two unbeaten teams: the Rams and the Chiefs. Those teams were 1-2 in last week’s rankings, and there isn’t any good reason to change that this week. But as for positions 3-10, a little shakeup this week as per usual, and some surprising entrants into the top five and top ten. Will the Patriots or Packers re-enter the list after dominant performances against AFC East competitors? Which teams crack the top ten for the first time in 2018? Full list:

1) The Los Angeles Rams          2018 Record: 4-0          Previous Week: 1 ( – )

The Rams took down the Vikings last Thursday to move to 4-0 this year. Jared Goff racked up over 450 yards and five TDs, finishing the game with a perfect passer rating. The Rams defense was finally tested, but their high powered offense proved too much for Minnesota to overcome. The Rams rank 2nd in the league in points per game (35.0) and also have the most 1st downs (105) through the first four weeks. The Rams are tied for 3rd in the NFL with a +4 turnover margin, and are also T-2nd best in the league at converting on 3rd down (48.8%).

2) The Kansas City Chiefs         2018 Record: 4-0          Previous Week: 2 ( – )

The Chiefs appeared to be on their way to their first loss this week at Mile High. That was before Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field for two fourth-quarter TD drives, the second of which was the game-winner capped off by a Kareem Hunt four-yard rushing score. In the process, the Chiefs broke the Broncos‘ streak of 65 straight wins when leading by at least ten points in the 4th quarter. It was also the first time in 37 games that the Broncos had surrendered over 300 net passing yards; which had been the longest streak in football. A full quarter into the 2018 season, it is hard to argue that Patrick Mahomes isn’t the front-runner for NFL MVP.

3) The Chicago Bears           2018 Record: 3-1            Previous Week: 6 ( +3 )

For most of the year, the buzz surrounding the Bears has been focused on their new look defense. This past Sunday, the defense again was dominant, as they held the fiery Buccaneers offense to only ten points. But the bigger story was Mitchell Trubisky’s six TD passes en route to putting up a near 50 burger on the Bucs. The Bears currently rank T-3rd in scoring defense (16.3 PPG) and 8th in scoring offense (27.8 PPG). Perhaps more impressive, the Bears have forced 11 turnovers already on defense while only coughing the ball up five times. That +6 turnover ratio ranks 2nd in the NFL to the Browns.

4) The Jacksonville Jaguars           2018 Record: 3-1          Previous Week: 4 ( – )

The Jags dominated the Jets this past Sunday, nearly doubling them up in time of possession. Blake Bortles was able to connect with Dede Westbrook nine times for 130 yards. Bortles also found Donte Moncrief five times for 109 yards, most of which came from a big 67 yard TD pass late in the 3rd quarter. I don’t think we learned a whole ton about the Jags this week that we didn’t already know. Four games in, the Jags have the best scoring defense in the league (14.0 PPG). They also commit too many penalties and have turned the ball over seven times already. Their -4 turnover margin is tied for worst in the NFL.

5) The Cincinnati Bengals          2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: 8 ( +3 )

The Bengals beat the Falcons this last week in a shootout 37-36. Andy Dalton led a 75 yard game winning TD drive that was capped by a 13 yard score to AJ Green. This Bengals offense has been electric thus far, ranking 4th in the league in scoring (31.5 PPG). They are also the most efficient team inside the 20 yard line, scoring on 11/13 attempts (84.6%). The Bengals are also T-3rd in first downs (98) and are the 5th best team converting 3rd downs (46.5%). The upcoming schedule for this red hot offense looks promising. They play a Miami team next week that was just routed by the Patriots. After that, their next four opponents all are among the bottom eight teams in points allowed (PIT, KC, TB, and NO).

6) The Baltimore Ravens            2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: 9 ( +3 )

The Ravens secured a huge win Sunday night in Pittsburgh, downing the Steelers and holding them to only 47 second-half yards. The Ravens defense stepped up huge down the stretch, and Joe Flacco was able to handle the not so elite Steelers defense for 363 yards and two TDs. He also connected with the speedy John Brown three times for 116 yards and a score, including a 71 yard catch and run in the 2nd quarter. The Ravens are one of two teams, the other being the LA Rams, to rank within the top five for both scoring offense (5th; 30.8 PPG) and scoring defense (T-3rd; 16.3 PPG). The Ravens defense is also 2nd best in the NFL at getting off the field on 3rd down, allowing conversions on just 27.8% of attempts.

7) The Philadelphia Eagles          2018 Record: 2-2          Previous Week: 3 ( -4 )

I do not see a three-point OT loss to a better than expected Titans team as a dagger to this Eagles season. And most weeks, it wouldn’t cause them to slip this far at all. What does worry me slightly is the Eagles rank T-26th in scoring (20.5 PPG) through the first four weeks. Another troubling stat about this Eagles team is they have put the ball on the ground 11 times so far, losing five of those fumbles. Their -3 turnover ratio is T-2nd worst in the league. Defensively, Philly has been solid. They rank 3rd in the league in defensive 3rd down conversions allowed (28.3%) and have only allowed seven scores on 16 red zone attempts. Their 43.8% defensive red zone percent ranks 6th best in the NFL thus far.

8) The Tennessee Titans          2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: NR

Last week, I mentioned the Titans were tied with the Jags stout defense for best red zone percentage and best at keeping teams out of the red zone entirely. This past Sunday, they found themselves backed up in the red zone at the end of regulation, but held tough forcing a FG to take the game into OT. Again in OT, the Eagles had a 1st and 10 inside the Tennessee 20, but had to settle for a FG. The Titans defense has come up big inside the 20, allowing a league-best 20% of drives inside the red zone to result in a score. They also rank 6th best in the NFL in overall scoring defense (18.3 PPG). Marcus Mariota led the Titans from 14 points down midway through the 3rd quarter. Mariota finished with 344 yards and three total TDs (1 rushing). He also found his #1 target, the 5th overall pick of 2017’s draft Corey Davis, nine times for 161 yards that included the ten yard score in OT.

9) The New Orleans Saints         2018 Record: 3-1          Previous Week: NR

The Saints took down the Giants this week to move to 3-1. Drew Brees leads this offense that ranks 3rd best in the NFL at 34.3 PPG. Brees has been extremely solid to begin 2018, he has 1295 yards, eight TDs, and zero INTs through the first quarter of 2018. The Saints have also added seven rushing TDs so far, five of those by the 2nd year man Alvin Kamara. Defensively, the Saints haven’t gotten off to as hot of a start this year. They rank 29th in the NFL in points allowed (30.3 PPG) and have surrendered the 3rd most yards through the air through four games.

10) The Green Bay Packers          2018 Record: 2-1-1          Previous Week: NR

The Packers rebounded from a tough loss to the Washington Redskins by blanking the Bills 22-0. That shutout was the Packers’ first in eight years, and included a total of seven sacks of Buffalo rookie QB Josh Allen. The Pack defense also forced three turnovers and held the Bills to just 3/16 on 3rd down. Aaron Rodgers, still suffering the lingering effects from a Week 1 knee sprain, wasn’t his normal self. However, RB Aaron Jones was effective on the ground, running 11 times for 65 yards and a score. He could prove to be a real difference maker going forward for this Packers offense. At the least, he could take some pressure off of Green Bay’s all-pro QB until his knee is 100%. This Packers defense is playing better than last year’s team that ranked 26th in scoring. So far in 2018, they rank 11th in scoring defense (20.8 PPG), are T-9th with five takeaways, and also rank T-4th in the league in sacks (13.0).

Fantasy Football Notes: Lions, Eagles, Bills, Bengals

Kerryon Johnson became the first Lions players to rush for 100 yards in a game last week since Reggie Bush did it in 2013. The rookie carried the rock 16 times for 101 yards, making a bevy of explosive plays.

While Johnson’s national televised coming out party may make it harder to obtain him in a trade, a favorable matchup with the Cowboys awaits, meaning it won’t get any easier to trade for him next Monday. Dallas star linebacker Sean Lee won’t play this week. The Cowboys allowed 1.7 more yards per carry with him on the sideline, compared to when he played last season. Jerry’s team spent a first-round pick on Leighton Vander Esch to prepare for Lee-less battles, having gone just 1-8 over the past three seasons when the former Penn Stater sits. Vander Esch should help to mitigate the loss, but it’s still a plus matchup for Lions rushers.

LeGarrette Blount could be a sneaky, low-cost play in daily fantasy. He saw 18 touches last week, producing 65 yards.

Player Snaps Percent Touches
Kerryon Johnson 33 44.60% 18
LeGarrette Blount 26 35.10% 18
Theo Riddick 21 28.40% 3

Johnson will eat into his volume after the big game, though Blount should still have a nice on role in week 4. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Alshon Jeffery was cleared for contact on Wednesday, though he was not on the field for practice on Thursday. For fantasy purposes, Jeffrey is a stay-away even if he suits up. With only two teams (Panthers and Redskins) on bye, there should be plenty of other WR options available to start this week.
  • Josh Allen may be a viable fill-in this week for those that lost Jimmy Garoppolo. He was the sixth-ranked QB on ESPN during week 3 and he faces a Green Bay squad that ranks 27th in defensive DVOA this season.
  • The Tyler Boyd breakout is for real. He was on the field for 38 of the team’s 47 pass plays and saw seven targets. He’s a WR3 with upside if A.J. Green suits up (he’s expected to as of this writing) and if Green can’t make it onto the field, Boyd becomes a must-start WR2.