The Patriots will put their six-game winning streak to the test on Monday vs. the Bills, who are looking to retake control of the AFC East.
There’s no question, the Buffalo defense will be a tough challenge for Jones. We haven’t exactly seen a quarterback figure this defense out quite yet. But I hesitate to put too much stock in that since that group has been up and down all season.
Not that Jones hasn’t experienced his share of struggles. But one thing we’ve seen from him consistently throughout his rookie campaign is accuracy. New England’s QB has posted a completion percentage under 60% only twice this season, bottoming out at 51.43% while completing at least two-thirds of his passes in each of his other 10 contests. So, all he needs are the opportunities. With this game expected to be a back-and-forth contest, Jones should throw plenty on Monday.
As much as Jones will have to throw quite often, the Patriots, like always, will need significant contributions from Harris. And even though the Bills haven’t allowed a ton of touchdowns to running backs this season, we’ve seen them give up quite a few recently. Of course, one of those games was Jonathan Taylor’s five-score day. But Michael Carter also found the end zone the game before in Week 10.
Furthermore, Harris gets as much work in the zone as any running back — after Taylor, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette. Harris is tied for fifth in red zone rushing attempts this season, scoring five times in the process. All told, Harris has eight touchdowns in 11 games played this season. Had it not been for a goose egg in Week 11, he’d be riding a seven-game touchdown streak heading into Monday Night Football.
As much as Allen is someone you’ll probably want to roster in DFS Monday, he’s likely to make a mistake or two vs. New England. Buffalo’s QB has thrown seven picks in the last four games, with Week 10 vs. the Jets being the lone contest in the stretch he didn’t throw two interceptions. On the season, he’s logged at least one interception in seven of Buffalo’s 11 games. On a night where he’s likely to try and do extra, I have a hard time imagining he doesn’t give it away at least once.
As for the New England defense’s part in this, Week 5 was the last time the Patriots failed to log at least one interception. That game vs. Houston marked the end of a three-game stretch in which the Patriots failed to log an interception — the only three games that’s happened this season.
Prime-time football can get to a rookie, but Jones has dealt with that already. He got a taste of it in the biggest way Week 4 vs. Tampa Bay, then took advantage of his second opportunity in Week 11 vs. Atlanta. The Patriots are also scorching hot at the moment, but they’ve played some cupcake teams during their season-changing stretch.
Still, that’s not the only reason New England caught up to Buffalo in the standings. Three of the Bills’ wins have come against the rest of the AFC East — two teams that haven’t been all that great this year. They’re 4-4 against everyone else — one of those losses coming in that ugly showing vs. the Jaguars. Point is, the Bills have had some bright spots this season, but they’re a flawed team, thus the situation they’re in.
Lastly, Josh Allen and company have covered 55% of the time they’ve been favored this season. The Patriots have covered 66.7% of the time as underdogs. Given the spread is three points on DraftKings Sportsbook, I’d rather take the chance on New England solidifying their spot atop the division and maximize on value.
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