Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: 6 players to watch in Week 16

Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports)
Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Matt Milano

In Week 13, Matt Milano made two key plays in the fourth quarter that kept the game in reach. The Patriots were driving down the field and had reached the red zone. However, Milano would make back-to-back plays by making tackles behind the line of scrimmage and forcing the Patriots to kick a field goal.

The Bills ultimately didn’t win the game but wouldn’t have had a chance to get the win if the Patriots had scored a touchdown there. This week, the Bills are going to need those same big plays from Milano in the run game but also in pass protection.

The Patriots have two good tight ends in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry that a big part of what the Patriots do on offense. Henry, in particular, is a key threat in the red zone with all nine of his receiving touchdowns, which leads tight ends, has come inside the 20-yard line.

In this part of the field, the Bills will likely look to Milano to cover Henry and try to keep the tight end out of the end zone. Opposing defenses haven’t had much success this year but Milano is one of the better linebackers in pass coverage and this will be a key matchup in Week 16.