The final game of Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season is a battle for first place in the AFC East. The New England Patriots, back atop their rightful perch, travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills on “Monday Night Football.”
New England has won six straight games after opening the season at just 2-4, while Buffalo has alternated wins and losses over its last six after beginning the season on a 4-1 hot streak. Each team needs a victory to keep pace with the Ravens and Titans at the top of the AFC playoff race, and along with the actual players on the field, that should make this an interesting matchup.
So, can the Bills reclaim first place in the division, or will the Patriots solidify their hold on the top spot? We’ll find out soon enough. But first, let’s break down the matchup.
How to watch
Date: Monday, Dec. 6 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Highmark Stadium (Orchard Park, New York)
TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Bills -3, O/U 41
When the Patriots have the ball
The Bills have been arguably the NFL’s best defense in 2021. Entering Week 13, Buffalo ranks first in yards allowed per game, second in points allowed per game (more on the team that ranks first later in this post), first in EPA per play, and first in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, with the fourth-ranked unit against the run and first-ranked unit against the pass.
The two teams to experience the most offensive success against the Bills, though, are two of the most physical, run-based teams in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts dropped 41 points on Buffalo and the Tennessee Titans hung 34 on the Bills. Those two teams are the only ones to score more than 23 against Sean McDermott’s unit this year. Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry combined for 54 carries for 328 yards (6.1 per carry) and seven touchdowns on the ground in those two games. By way of perspective, consider that all other players…