The Patriots take on the Bills in a win or go home scenario for playoff contention. Tommy Burch previews the game and predicts the winner.
Patriots Week 18 Preview – Win or Go Home
The Patriots are absolutely do-or-die this week with a game against the Bills, but the stakes do not look too great. Buffalo is looking for a monumental win against a scrappy, defensive-minded New England team in a battle for first place. The game will be intense, and I’m here to give a preview and prediction for the game.
Before I begin this article, I must say a word about the Damar Hamlin situation. As a fan and player of the game, it pains me to see this happen. We love him and pray for him, and the entire Knup Sports staff is hoping for the absolute best.
The team is looking much better this week with their depth healing and the injury report completely void of players who did not practice. Most importantly, DeVante Parker and Marcus Jones fully practiced on Friday, with Jalen Mills, Jakobi Meyers, and Jonnu Smith being among the players who were limited.
However, it does seem like the Bills are in a much better physical state. Although the situation was terrible, they were provided with a day off. Stefon Diggs was on veteran rest. However, the mental toll on the players must be taken into account. However, this should drive them to want the win even more, and having a perfectly healthy roster always helps with that.
The last time the two teams played, the Patriots were blown out by a score of 24-10. However, both teams were capable on the offensive end of the ball. Neither team threw an interception throughout the game, and the quarterback play was sufficient. Josh Allen had 223 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 66% completion percentage, while Mac Jones went 22/36 for 196 yards and a single score.
One of those scores happened to be a long receiving touchdown from Marcus Jones, who is finally active this week. His impact on the offense, defense, and special teams has made this team what it is due to his versatility. He has 4 touchdowns, with at least one in each facet of the game.
It would be against the laws of football for the Patriots to win this game. The Bills have something to win for, and rightfully so. The Patriots are already underdogs with an 8-8 record and well below the Bills in the AFC East.
However, the game should be close. An end-of-season divisional rivalry where two teams are fighting for either a playoff spot or playoff seeding will bring out the best in either team, and we should see a more impressive offensive performance from the two squads.
What puts Buffalo ahead here is not only their superior team success and what they have to play for, but the team is coming off of what can be considered somewhat of a by-week. They are rested, prepared to fight for their teammate, and this game may knock the Pats out of playoff contention completely.