Get to Know Buffalo Bills Week 13 Opponent: New England Patriots

Matthew Judon, New England Patriots (Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)
Matthew Judon, New England Patriots (Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Buffalo Bills are back to their winning ways, having prevailed over the Detroit Lions 28-25 on Thanksgiving day. It was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams trading leads until Tyler Bass kicked the game-winning field goal with two seconds left in the game.

It was the Bills’ second victory in Detroit after their game versus the Browns was moved to the Motor City due to a massive snowstorm in Buffalo. (More interestingly, the Bills are the first team to win back-to-back in Ford Field for the first time since 2016, according to Ari Meirov.)

Now the Bills are set to play yet another Thursday game, as they meet with the divisional rival New England Patriots for the first time this season. The Patriots lead the all-time series with the Bills by a wide margin, owning a 77-47-1 record over Buffalo.

While New England’s offense is ranked 21st in the league, their defense is a much better unit, being ranked fourth in the NFL. Despite their 6-5 record, the Patriots are 4th in the AFC East, which is only a testament to how surprisingly competitive the division has been this year

Injuries are mounting to key players for the Buffalo Bills

So far this year, the injury bug has hit the Bills hard. Tre’Davious White was out for most of the first half of the season while recovering from an ACL injury. Micah Hyde was lost for the year with a neck injury. Several players on the Bills’ defense have been in and out on the injury report, with the secondary being hit the hardest.

Another injury blow was delivered to the Bills versus the Lions, with Von Miller having to leave the game due to a lateral meniscus tear. Miller has been the Bills’ prized possession in free agency, and he has lived up to his $120 million contract by recording eight sacks in eleven games. His pass-rush ability has remained intact even at the age of 33 years old, and he also has an 85.8 rating on Pro Football Focus to boot.

Miller is obviously the leader of the Buffalo Bills’ defense, so losing him for a foreseeable future could be a huge blow for Buffalo. If that isn’t bad enough, several other defensive players – Tremaine Edmunds, AJ Epenesa, and Greg Rosseau – have been on the injury report, all three players having missed one game or more. Hopefully, Miller won’t be out for long – he recently gave an update on the VonCast saying that he hopes to be back in time before the Jets game on December 11.

It will be interesting to see how well the Bills perform with Miller sidelined until his return to the field. The Buffalo Bills have already fallen to their two other division rivals on their home turf, so they should look to avoid doing the same when they come to face the Patriots in New England. However, with the accumulating injuries, beating the Patriots may be a harder task than expected.