New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Time: NOON (EST)
Spread: BUF -4.5
Odds ? 5dimes
The New England Patriots are struggling in the aftermath of losing franchise QB Tom Brady. With a few key injuries and mediocre play overall so far, it finds itself underdogs to the Buffalo Bills. That, certainly, is new ground for the Pats. The Bills host as 4.5-point favorites Sunday on CBS at Noon.
The over/under is set at 40 points according to oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
The Patriots enter as losers of its last three games, as it fell to Kansas City, Denver, and San Francisco the last three games. The Pats were outscored 77 to 28 over that stretch, so finding areas to improve upon is hardly difficult. The pass offense probably is going to be even worse this week with top receiver Julian Edleman just paced in IR. The Patriots are the fourth-worst pass offense even healthy. Meanwhile, the Patriots are a dangerous team on the ground, at least, ranking No. 4 in the NFL, but it just isnot enough to produce a healthy offense, as the Patriots average just 192. Points per game (While Surrendering 4.4 more per game).
Newton, thus far, has been something of a mixed bag. Then again, he was just that in Carolina before coming to fill Tom Brady’s shoes, and Patriots fans cannot help but mourn the loss of Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because the writing is very much on the wall that the Patriots dynasty has at long last come to its end.
Newton has thrown 67.2 percent for completion, but that is where the good stats end. Last week he attempted just 15 passes, his low for the season and the first time under 20 since Week 1. The big problem for Newton has been his picks. He has thrown seven already while astounding the Patriots have just two passing touchdowns. To say Newton has done little else would be quite wrong. He leads the Pats in rushing yards with 244 and has five rushing touchdowns to his credit, as well as 22 first downs.
No. 2 and No. 3 receivers Damien Harris and Sony Mitchel have 177 and 173 yards each respectively, but just one touchdown (From Michel) between them. The Patriots have a five yard-per-carry average as a team this season, and rushing the ball has been the motor behind the offense. It just cannot be the sole ticket. Without Edleman this week the Patriots will turn to its backfield likely to pick up the missing plays. Two of the top three receivers (after Edleman) are running backs, in N’Keal Harry and James White. Damiere Byrd is the top remaining receiver left, and he has 233 yards and the second-most first downs (11).
The Buffalo Bills are a surprise 5-2 and are the biggest turnaround story this season. The Team leads the AFC while fewer pundits had expected anything of the sort. The Bills won its last outing against the New York Jets to snap its two-game skid heading into that affair. The Bills have won 3 of 4 on the road this season and are a formidable team away from Buffalo. Buffalo gets it done mostly with the pass, which leaves its rush attack lingering at No./ 29 (just 97 yards per game).
Quarterback Josh Allen has really blossomed this season, in a major way. His 67.6 percent completion ratio on 2,018 yards is bolstered by his 4:1 TD : INT ratio and his passer rating is a strong 105.0. If that was not enough, Allen is the No. 2 rushing threat with 204 yards on 48 carries and a team-leading three touchdowns. Devin Singletary heads the backfield with 79 attempts (team-leading), 299 yards (team-best), and a team-tying-best 21 first downs.
Allen’s favorite passing target has been Stefon Diggs, who has caught 48 passes on the year with three being TD catches and 28 of 48 resulting in first downs. Cole Beasley is the No. 2 receiver with 470 yards, with 176 of those picked up after the catch. He has two touchdowns and 24 first downs. The Bills are just a different team with a quality quarterback, and in the future receivers will flock to Allen, and the Bills hope–to Buffalo, as well.