Yahoo Sports' Scott Pianowski and Frank Schwab discuss this week's matchup between the Bills and Patriots.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Bills and Patriots played recently. Wind game, I think we all remember that. Belichick and company only threw three passes. Buffalo did move the ball and had some chances, but they-- New England's special sauce has always been they do not allow as many points as they're supposed to allow when you-- yards per point and all that stuff. You know, they bend. They don't break. That's been their-- and if it was easy to do, everybody would do it. But Belichick has pretty much mastered that for 20 years.
And, man, is the Patriots defense different this year now that they have all those players back they didn't have last year. JC Jackson has turned into a shutdown corner. New England off a terrible loss at Indianapolis. Man, they did nothing right in that game. They're 2 and 1/2 point favorites over Buffalo. The total is 43.5. What do you make of the rematch for AFC East supremacy?
FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, what a great game, right? I mean, this is really a fun one. And real quick, just to lay out the scenario in case people haven't paid much attention, if the Bills win this, they're tied with the Patriots. They have the tiebreaker because the Patriots lost to Miami in week one, so the Bills would have a better division record. And the Bills finish with home games against the Falcons and Jets. This is the AFC East championship game.
If the Bills win this, I do not-- look, crazy things are happening this season, right? But the Bills are not losing those last three games at home if they have a chance to win the AFC East. This comes down to this is the AFC East championship game. I don't know what to make of it. Since we're know Clyde Frazier and Pearl Monroe, I'm just going to pass it back to you and see if you have a take. Because this first game is kind of throwing me off here that we can't take anything out of it. It was such a weird game that I don't know that you could necessarily say, oh, the Patriots are going to do this or the Bills can't do this. I almost throw it out in my analysis, which is weird for a rematch.
But I'm kind of leaning on Patriots because I think they've been the better team all year. The Bills have disappointed me over and over again. But I'm really interested to see what you have to say because I really could go either way here.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: It's funny. Buffalo was one of my picks last week, and I hate giving double-digit points in the NFL. But when Buffalo has-- they've been one of those bully teams. We talked about the Rams a few weeks ago. You made that point that when they are up against an inferior opponent, it's like wiffle ball, OK? I mean, you bet your rent money on the Buffalo Bills. They've covered all those games. All of their wins, they've covered double-digit points. And they've lost their close games against good teams. The only time they've broken that cycle was the win against the Chiefs.
We know Buffalo is generally not a balanced offense. I want to see if Devin Singletary gets a bigger role in this game. Because I think Buffalo, they need to be more balanced. I thought Josh Allen's running could have been the X-factor in the first matchup. Now he's dinged up. He did run very proactively, aggressively, and just no concern for his well-being. That's how important that Tampa Bay game was.
But he came out of that game dinged up. I think he had three rushing attempts. He had one long scramble but three rushing attempts in the Carolina game. I don't think they want to expose Josh Allen. Obviously, if he's hurt, the whole season goes kablooey.
I think they need to find something with Singletary. You would think that Belichick and Jackson and that secondary, they've been outstanding against number one receivers. You would think they're not going to let Diggs crush them. So can Gabe Davis keep doing what he's doing? Can Singletary be a factor? I'm going to have to lean New England.
And it's funny, when Buffalo lost that first game, my first thought was like, oh, I'll be on Buffalo the next game. I think the narrative became that New England like crushed Buffalo 27 to 0 or something like that. That game came down to a couple of plays. I know live betting, the way that works with algorithms and stuff, it's not perfect. But at one point, Buffalo was favored late in that game. If you were going to live bet that game on that final Buffalo drive, at one point, they got deep enough that they were the favorite.
Again, that's not a perfect metric. And some people might say, well, I don't trust that algorithm. I'll abuse it with my betting. If you can do that, God love you. I'm going to lean New England. I reserve the right to change my mind. I would not be surprised if either team won this game.
Because is Buffalo flawed? Yes. But New England's a flawed team, too, and we saw what they looked like when they fell behind and they needed Mac Jones to air it out. I mean, they didn't look that great against Indianapolis. We know New England does not have the best wide receiver group. So I think it's going to be a great game. I'm going to watch every snap of it. I think either team could win. I'm leaning New England.