Believe it or not, week 11 in the 2015 NFL season comes to a close tonight as the 9-0 New England Patriots play host to the 5-4 Buffalo Bills. We are fresh off of another 5-2 week and now have our overally record up to 59-24 on the season. The major headline for the Patriots is going to see how they adjust to the loss of wide receiver Julian Edleman. Whereas the headline for the Buffalo Bills is going to be can they open up a bit of distance for themselves in the wildcard race that has 1 game separating 7 teams currently. Of course this is also Rex Ryan’s return to Foxboro as the coach of the Buffalo Bills which adds a little extra pizzazz to the matchup for sure.
Yes Rex Ryan has won in Foxboro before, and has even done so in the postseason, but that was a long time ago. Rex Ryan actually doesn’t have a particularly good record against the Patriots (4-10) despite his insistance that he isn’t there to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings. Ryan has also long 8 of the last 9 matchups against the Patriots including an 8 point loss to the Pats earlier this season in Buffalo. The Bills are coming off a big win last week against the Jets but, like I said in my preview for that game, it was Rex Ryan’s Superbowl. Also, let’s be honest, the Bills won that game moreso due to the Jets’ ineptitude on the offensive side of the ball which included costly turnovers. The Bills offense looked better by finally getting Shady McCo involved in the offense but I’m still generally unimpressed with Tyrod Taylor who threw for only 158 yards last week and who, despite an 11-4 TD-INT ratio is ranked 31st in passing yards amongst qualifying quarterbacks.
Flipping the dime on the Patriots side of things, I’m not going to say that the loss of Julian Edleman is going to be easy but, let’s face it, one of the best things the Patriots do is adjust. I mean let’s not forget that Bill Belichick once won 11 games with Matt Cassell and we saw how good hes been ever since. The story before the season was how the Pats would adjust with losing Darrell Revis and they may go 16-0! They’re all about the next man up and I can see Danny Amedola playing a larger role in the offense for the Pats, sliding into the role once occupied by Edleman.
A rare night as a Jets fan when I’ll actually be rooting hard for the evil empire and sporting some blue. At the end of the day if you ask me to choose, I’d go Brady over Taylor, Belichick over Ryan and the New England Patriots over the Buffalo Bills any day of the week.
The Pick: Patriots (-7)