This is by no means an easy match-up for New England. The Patriots–if they can commit to the running game as they did at the end of 2018–should be able to grind out yards on the ground and extend drives against a strong defense. The passing game has struggled against Buffalo at its best of times.
On defense, the Patriots have faced Allen and multiple mobile quarterbacks in 2019. They should be able to slow the weak Buffalo offense without devoting extra defenders to the back end. Loading up in the front seven with big bodies should help slow the Bills’ running game.
New England at least will have a loud and raucous crowd on hand at home to help boost their energy. This team is only going to go as far as the running game, defense, and special teams will take it. Saturday should be a good test of that philosophy.
Expect a close, low-scoring game against two almost evenly matched teams who are intimately familiar with each other. This is a vintage 2001 Bill Belichick type of game. One turnover could be the difference.
Final Score: New England 15 – Buffalo 13
–Hal Bent has been a Contributor for MusketFire since 2012, and covers and analyzes the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @halbent01