Josh Allen and the newly crowned champions of the AFC East (Buffalo Bills) pay a trip to the new look New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in Foxborough. For the first time since 2008, the AFC Playoff Picture will not include the Robert Kraft owned, Bill Belichick coached organization. QB play, a suspect defense and ultimately, the absence of Tom Brady, led to the Bills taking advantage of Patriots’ mishaps and winning their first AFC East title since 1995!
In the first meeting of the season between these two rivals, Josh Allen and the Bills took out the Patriots at home with a 24-21 win back in Week 8. A heavy ground attack led by Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and Allen attributed to a collective 190 yards rushing and 3 rushing scores. With Allen only attempting 18 passes in the first meeting, there are reasons to believe the Patriots will be able to hold down the third-year quarterback yet again.
However, looking back at Josh Allen’s last four away games, he has finished with over 23.5 completions in all of them (28,32,32,30). In fact, Allen has yet to record a game this season on the road where he has not completed at least 24 passes. Week 12 (vs. LAC), Week 8 (vs. BUF) and Week 6 (vs. KC) have been the only times all season that Allen has yet to go over the number of 23.5 completions.
Yet, the Patriots have been statistically one of the better pass defenses in the NFL and the box score shows no different. After facing the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Jared Goff, Justin Herbert, and Kyler Murray in recent weeks, only one of the four (Herbert) has eclipsed the 23.5 completions mark while the others were held in check.
One of the major factors that may swing the results of this AFC East clash will be the absence of All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore has been one of the best cover corners in recent memory and was in line for a phenomenal matchup with Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs. While Diggs did get the best of him back in Week 8, pulling in six catches for 92 yards on nine targets, this was considered a quiet game for Diggs who has been absolutely ripping up defensive backfields all season long. With Gilmore on the sidelines, Allen will seemingly look Diggs’ way every opportunity that he can, knowing that Gilmore will be nowhere in sight. It remains to be seen what New England defense will show up but either way Josh Allen will have something to say about it.