When the Bills pass the ball
The Bills are 22nd in total offense (336.1 yards per game) and 22nd in points as well, averaging 20.8 points per game (all statistics from Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise noted). They are 28th in passing yards (201.2 yards per game) and second-year quarterback Josh Allen has completed just 59.3% of his pass attempts with 18 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a 84.6 quarterback rating.
The Patriots are second in passing defense allowing just an average of 170.3 yards passing per game. They have allowed just 10 passing touchdowns (No. 1 in the NFL) and intercepted 25 passes (also tops in the NFL). The secondary has been the key for New England, as Stephon Gilmore (six interceptions and 18 passes defended) continues to audition for the best cornerback in the league.
Week 4 seems like a million years ago, but Josh Allen struggled mightily that day, completing just 13 of 28 passes for 153 yards and three interceptions before being knocked out of the game by a hit to the head from Jonathan Jones. Buffalo’s offense actually looked a little more cohesive when Matt Barkley stepped in and passed for 127 yards in the fourth quarter.
Buffalo had success throwing to the tight ends and running backs (seven receptions on seven targets for 126 yards) and less so to the wide receivers (15 for 33 for 154 yards). Zay Jones and T.J. Yeldon had large roles in that game and both are long gone. Devin Singletary and Isaiah McKenzie are the primary receiving backs and the Bills offense rarely includes a third wide receiver.
The Patriots will have to be aware of Allen getting outside the pocket and making plays with his legs or big plays in the scramble drill. New England will have to be disciplined in the pass rush in order to keep Allen in the pocket. Containment is the key with the pass rush on Saturday.
Look for Buffalo to try and incorporate slot receiver Cole Beasley as the top target with Jones out for the Patriots. Tight end Dawson Knox should be given a large role in the game plan as well. Look for back-up tight end Tyler Kroft (five receptions for the season) as a surprise contributor in the passing game.