NFL: a big test for the Bills against the Patriots

NFL: A big test for the Bills against the Patriots


The Bills hit the road to Foxborough, where they'll look for a first victory in their division on Thursday night. It is without their defensive terror Von Miller that they will have to win.

The Eastern Division of the American Conference is very competitive, as its four clubs have a winning record. The Bills were outplayed by the Jets and Dolphins this fall and they can ill afford to miss a third division game.

What is reassuring in their case is that they have exorcised their old demons in New England in recent years. Their last two games in the once impenetrable lair of the Patriots were won in sweeping fashion by 33 21 and 38 9.

In fact, the only duel the Bills have lost against the Patriots in the last five clashes between the two teams dates back to December 6 in Buffalo, in ridiculous weather conditions.

Heavy loss

< p>Despite their recent successes, Sean McDermott's troops are covered in a huge black cloud with the loss of Von Miller. There are no words for how positively he has influenced this team since his arrival in March.

Sean McDermott

Miller's leadership, even though he has to be away for a few weeks, won't go away. The loss will hurt the most on the pitch.

To cite just one example, Miller is talking about him for his eight sacks in the quarter, but it is especially the 25 pressures applied on the opposing quarterbacks that must be remembered. That's twice as many as the second player in that column for the Bills, tackle Ed Oliver, according to stats compiled by Pro Football Reference.

The same site says Miller forced the quarterback- back to get rid of the ball earlier than expected 15 times. Boogie Basham is next, far behind, with only three similar situations.

Another test

In short, Von Miller is much more than quarterback sacks. He has an innate knack for destroying an offensive game plan.

The Bills defense obviously isn't dead without him. Except that last year, what finally sank the team in the playoffs was its inability to apply pressure consistently. It might not be a problem against a pocket quarterback like Mac Jones, but if Miller leaves for a long time, it will be difficult.

Miller is the kind of player, like a Josh Allen on offense, who makes everyone around him perform better and demands the best from everyone.

It's another test in a season littered with there are pitfalls, but so far the Bills know how to attack obstacles with gusto.


  • Bills 31 Patriots 20


Greg Rousseau

Defensive End, Bills

Greg Rousseau

With Von Miller injured, the spotlight will be on second-year defensive end Greg Rousseau. He is expected to return Thursday night, having missed the last three games with an ankle injury. In eight games, he had five quarterback sacks and he absolutely must produce if Miller is out for more than a week or two. Rousseau can be considered a good player for the Bills so far, but now is the time to take the next step by becoming an excellent player.

The forces present

< p>Josh Allen

23T, 11 INT, 3183 yards

Josh Allen

Devin Singletary

3 T, 552 yards

Devin Singletary

Stefon Diggs

9 T, 1110 yards

Stefon Diggs

Mac Jones

6 T, 7 INT, 1768 yards

Mac Jones

< /p>

Rhamondre Stevenson

4 T, 680 yards

Rhamondre Stevenson

Jakobi Meyers

3T, 571 yards

Jakobi Meyers

The State of Forces in the NFL

1 ) Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)

Last week: 1 (=)

Even playing an erratic game on offense (a hit in six appearances in the paying zone), the Chiefs have never been threatened against the Rams. Rookies George Karlaftis (1 sack), Trent McDuffie (2 knockdowns), Isiah Pacheco (69 rushing yards) and Skyy Moore (5 receptions) contributed.

2) Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Last Week: 2 (=)

The Eagles rushed for 363 yards against the Packers. It's the biggest harvest for the franchise since 1948. The offensive line is simply formidable in both phases of the game. Buffalo (8-3)

Last week: 3 (=)

Von Miller suffered a sprained knee on Thursday and will have to miss a few games. This is bad news, but it is not the catastrophe anticipated. Upon his return to action, cornerback Tre'Davious White appeared in 16 games. The Bills gently bring him back into the bath.

4) Dallas Cowboys (8-3)

Last week: 4 (=)

The Cowboys will host visiting receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Dec. 5. It wouldn't be surprising if the team locked him in until he signed a contract. The ground game is working at full speed, as is the defensive front. A great recipe for January…

5) Miami Dolphins (8-3)

Last week: 5 (=)

The Dolphins lived the perfect scenario by taking a crushing 30-0 lead over the Texans. They were then able to afford to rest starters, including Tua Tagovailoa. However, the injury of blocker Terron Armstead is cause for concern.

6) San Francisco 49ers (7-4)

Last week: 6 (=)

The Niners posted their fourth straight victory and first by shutout since October 2019. However, they will not be able to afford an offensive performance also unconvincing Sunday against the Dolphins. This duel promises to be exciting.

7) Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

Last week: 8 (+1)< /p>

Justin Jefferson was facing the Patriots defense, which was giving up the fourth-lowest yardage going into the game. He had to thwart the plans of master Bill Belichick, who excels at stopping the best opposing offensive element. Still, Jefferson destroyed it all.

Justin Jefferson

8) Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

Last week: 10 (+2)

Sign that things are improving in a critical department for the Bengals: in the playoffs in January against the Titans, Joe Burrow found himself under pressure on 32% of his passes according to NextGen Stats. On Sunday, this rate fell significantly, to 18.4%. The offensive line is progressing.

9) Baltimore Ravens (7-4)

Last week: 7 (-2)

For a team run as meticulously as the Ravens, it's inconceivable that a third loss has come despite a lead of more than eight points in the fourth quarter. This is the highest total of similar losses in NFL history in one season.

10) Tennessee Titans (7-4)

Last Week: 9 (-1)

The Titans' problems in the second half this season are known . Against the Bengals, they scored just six points in the last two quarters. The amazing thing is that the Titans lost at their own game, in the physical battle, which is usually up their alley.

11) New York Jets (7-4)

Last week: 14 (+3)

Mike White was starting his fourth career game, and in two of them he threw three CadoretteCadorette touchdown passes. Zach Wilson has never achieved the feat in 20 starts. Garrett Wilson has four touchdowns this season. Two with Joe Falcco, two with White and none with Wilson.

12) Washington Commanders (7-5)

Last Week: 15 (+3)

What an inspiring story of rookie porter Brian Robinson! Before the season, he was shot and his future was uncertain. On Sunday, he had his first career game of 100+ rushing yards. The Commanders have won six of their last seven games.

13) Los Angeles Chargers (6-5)

Last week: 17 (+4)

Pretty hard to follow, those Chargers! For the sixth time this season, they dug themselves a hole more than 10 points behind, this time against the Cardinals. In this unfavorable context, they still get away with a 4-2 record! A roller coaster of emotions, this club!

14) New England Patriots (6-5)

Last week: 12 (-2)< /strong>

In the loss, Mac Jones played well against the Vikings. On the other hand, its presence in the cover continues to leave something to be desired. The few times he found himself under pressure, he took bad sacks. Late in the game, the aerial offense didn't lift when it mattered most.

15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)

Last week: 11 (-4)

The Bucs offense continues to struggle to put points on the board and the loss of tackle Tristan Wirfs, the best player on the offensive line, n won't help. Luckily, the Bucs are playing in the worst division there is. A gift of life…

16) Seattle Seahawks (6-5)

Last week: 13 (-3)

Two weeks ago, the Seahawks were the flavor of the month with their 6-3 record. Two losses later, they wouldn't be playoffs if the big dance started today. The defense is too porous against the run and doesn't apply enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

17) New York Giants (7-4)

Week last: 16 (-1)

For the second week in a row, rusher Saquon Barkley was limited to a handful of rushing yards and the Giants offense did not recover. The Giants never knew how to take advantage of the Cowboys' two turnovers and 13 penalties. The task is complicated for them.

Saquon Barkley

18) Cleveland Browns (4-7)

Last week: 27 (+9)

The overtime win over the Buccaneers gave Jacoby Brissett a quality goodbye. Despite his limited talent, he's a much-loved veteran who filled a somewhat thankless role in warming up the spot for Deshaun Watson, who returns this week. Kudos to Brissett.

19) Detroit Lions (4-7)

Last week: 19 (=)

The Lions came close to surprising the Bills, but they have only themselves to blame. Runner Jamaal Williams fumbled, Jared Goff collected a sack for a safety touchdown and Dan Campbell ran the peewee clock late in the game. Against the Bills, it does not forgive.

20) Las Vegas Raiders (4-7)

Last week: 28 (+8)< /p>

Josh Jacobs had 303 yards (rushing and receiving) against the Seahawks, a franchise record. He currently sits 1st in the league in winnings on the ground. The Raiders had declined his 5th year option. Can they mend the broken pots this winter?

21) Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

Last week: 18 (-3)

The Falcons have lost three of their last four games, but since no one seems interested in taking the lead in the poor South Division, they are still alive and well, half a game behind the No. 1 spot held by Tampa. Imagine the Falcons in the playoffs…

22) Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7)

Last week: 26 (+4)< /p>

Not to mention a big hatch, Kenny Pickett is showing promising signs. When the chemistry works with his rookie receiver George Pickens, we think that their future together is bright. This connection now needs to work at more than three passes per game.

23) Green Bay Packers (4-8)

Last week: 20 (-3)

Aaron Rodgers says he would like to play until until the Packers are mathematically eliminated, but injuries could decide for him. There's no more hope in Green Bay and it's time to assess Jordan Love for good. He looked good on Sunday.

24) Arizona Cardinals (4-7)

Last Week: 23 (-1)

The Cardinals finally got a glimpse of what their offense could look like with Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown all together. The victory was not with go in spite of everything and the posterior of Kliff Kingsbury heats more than a steak on the grill.

25) Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)

Last week: 30 (+5)

The Jaguars were 0-11 going into Sunday's win over the Ravens, beating clubs at least four games above .500 in the past five seasons. It's the kind of victory that can bring confidence to an organization desperately looking for it.

26) Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1)

Week last: 21 (-5)

Too bad for the Colts that the attack is clearly not at the level of the defense. Offensive line play continues to create headaches and even though Matt Ryan is a better temporary solution as a quarterback than Sam Ehligner, it will soon be necessary to find better.

27) New Orleans Saints (4-8)

Last week: 22 (-5)

The Saints were shut out, ending a streak of 332 games without suffering this fate. It was the longest active streak, according to NFL Research. The last time, in 2001, was also against the 49ers. When Andy Dalton is the rushing leader with 21 yards, something is wrong.

Andy Dalton

28) Los Angeles Rams (3-8)

Last Week: 24 (-4)

Matthew Stafford is on the sidelines, as is Cooper Kupp. And now Allen Robinson saw his season come to an end. The Rams, on the offensive line, are down to 11 different combinations in 11 games. Don't look into why they went from heroes to zeros.

29) Carolina Panthers (4-8)

Last week: 29 (=)

The Panthers have continued playing musical chairs at quarterback and this time, Sam Darnold appears to be making the job his own until the end of the season. He wasn't great on Sunday, but he wasn't terrible either. For the Panthers, it's already a big plus.

30) Chicago Bears (3-9)

Last week: 25 (-5)

The Bears have to deal well with Justin Fields' end of the season in a lost cause. It is important not to send him into the fray if his left shoulder injury sows the slightest doubt. Even less so with receiver Darnell Mooney's season being screwed up anyway.

31) Denver Broncos (3-8)

Last week: 31 (=)

The Broncos' abysmal performance continues on offense with an average that slips to 14.3 points per game. It's the lowest production in the league since the Browns averaged 10.1 points in 2000. Even the defense is starting to drop ship.

32) Houston Texans (1-9 -1)

Last week: 32 (=)

Texans keep falling from plane without parachute. If the team ends the season with one or two wins, will Lovie Smith be let go after just one season at the helm? Like David Culley before him last year? That would be unusual to say the least…

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