The Bills still have plenty to play for with the No. 2 seed in the AFC available, not to mention another benchmark, prime-time game for Josh Allen. Bill Belichick has been Allen's kryptonite throughout his career, with the Patriots holding Allen to 154 yards with a pick and a fumble back in Week 8. (Allen has three TDs, six INTs and just over a 50% completion rate against the Patriots in his career.) The Bills are a much different team and Allen is a much different quarterback these days, with Monday night likely to provide the latest proof.
Buffalo Bills 33, New England Patriots 20
MDS's take: There's been a changing of the guard in the AFC East, with the Bills winning the division and the Patriots mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Bills take this one comfortably.
MDS's pick: Bills 30, Patriots 20.
Florio's take: If given the chance to destroy the Patriots, the Bills gladly and happily will.
Florio's pick: Bills 30, Patriots 20.
How you feel about this game probably comes down to how petty you believe the Bills (11-3) are. After years of abuse at the hands of the Patriots (6-8), Buffalo has clinched its first A.F.C. East title since 1995. The team has a 1 percent shot at overtaking Kansas City for a first-round bye, so there's little reason for the Bills to go all out. But Coach Bill Belichick will be standing on the opposite sideline, and watching him squirm might be reason enough for Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and the rest of Buffalo's stars to try to put on a show in Foxborough, Mass.
A season-ending injury to New England's best defender, Stephon Gilmore, complicates things further and pushes a full touchdown spread into reasonable territory. Pick: Bills
The Patriots are officially eliminated from the playoffs while the Bills, the new AFC East champions, know they can get the No. 2 seed in the AFC with the Steelers stumbling. They beat the Patriots once and want to do it again to put a stamp on the transition of power in prime time. The disparity at quarterback from Josh Allen to Cam Newton shows up here.
Pick: Bills win 24-14