BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are coming off consecutive losses on the road, but lucky for them, they find themselves coming home to close out the year with two divisional games.
The first of which kicks off on Sunday afternoon at Gillette, when the Buffalo Bills will be coming to town. The Patriots will get their first look at rookie quarterback Josh Allen, and we’ll all get a look at the Patriots’ offense without Josh Gordon.
It ought to be an interesting one, because, let’s face it — the Patriots are always interesting.
Here’s how the WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports teams see this one playing out.
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
These games are always a grind for the Patriots and this year should be no different for a team still trying to find its identity.
On the optimistic side, the Pats are relatively healthy, so perhaps something will kick in. The Bills feature a quarterback in Josh Allen who will run and run, so that will be a focus of the Patriots D.
Patriots 27, Bills 20
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
So in light of all the news on Josh Gordon, despite all thoughts that the Pats and Tom Brady are on their last legs, I think the Pats are in good shape to win on Sunday.
They are playing at home and its time to clinch. With a little help, they could also secure the No. 2 seed. The Pats need to win, and they will against the Bills.
Patriots 24, Bills 10
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
It’s tough. I keep waiting for the Patriots to become THE PATRIOTS, and for Tom Brady to once again rise to dominance, and for the team to start playing the way we’ve grown to expect them to play over the past 15-20 years. Yet, given great opportunities the past two weeks, the Patriots have just not been able to put it all together.
That’s not to say that I think they’ll lose to the Bills, but with the offense losing Josh Gordon mid-week, and with the No. 2 defense coming to town, I don’t think this victory will come easily. Fortunately for the Patriots’ sake, they’re facing a rookie quarterback in Foxboro. Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have never lost in that scenario.
Patriots 20, Bills 10
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
The Patriots are favored by nearly two touchdowns, which seems a bit extreme given the last two weeks. Add in the departure of Josh Gordon, and this one could be a whole lot closer than anyone ever anticipated.
The Patriots won’t be seeing Derek Anderson under center again, and though Josh Allen still hasn’t proven himself as a passer, the kid can run circles around a defense. That’s bad news considering how poorly the Patriots have been against the run over the last three weeks.
But this is the Bills, and they haven’t have much fun in their trips to Gillette over the last two decades. It may be a much tougher battle, but the Patriots should finally clinch the AFC East on Sunday. Hopefully, this is the weekend that the Patriots start to use James White again.
Patriots 27, Bills 17
Tune in to Patriots-Bills on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m., and pregame coverage begins Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Pats and the Bills kick off at 1 p.m., and after the game tune in to Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!