GAME PREDICTIONS

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NFL analysts' game predictions | Bills at Patriots in Week 16

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Can the Bills win at Foxboro, where they are 2-16 since 2000? Yes, they can. The Patriots offense is limited, and that's never a good thing against a good defense. The concern is the Bills offense against that Patriots defense. Even so, look for Josh Allen to play well as the Bills pull off the upset.

Pick: Bills 20, Patriots 17

Tom Brady and the New England offense are down to doing one thing well: Not turning the ball over. That's helped the Patriots build up a silly +24 turnover differential, including +3 when they snuck past the Bills in Buffalo back in Week 4. In a chilly game where I don't trust either offense to move the ball, the Patriots will need Josh Allen to provide extra possessions and good field position again. Brady won a Super Bowl in 2001 with a familiar recipe: limited offensive mistakes, a fantasy defense, a playoff bye and good fortune. That appears to be that Pats' only path forward this season, with two sub-standard offenses left on the schedule to dismantle before earning that bye.

Pick: New England Patriots 16, Buffalo Bills 14

This isn't exactly the defense Tom Brady and the Patriots' struggling offense wants to see as they fight for playoff positioning in the AFC. Likewise, Buffalo's offense is in for a struggle against the NFL's top scoring defense as it attempts to steal the division title from New England. In what's expected to be a close, low-scoring game, special teams and penalties will be factors. The Patriots have the edge in both areas.

Pick: Patriots 20, Bills 14

What to watch for: The Patriots' top slot cornerback Jonathan Jones (groin) is out, and that is significant. Jones has the lowest completion percentage against him of the 24 corners in the NFL who have faced more than 30 passes in the slot this season. Meanwhile, the Bills have run 3-WR personnel 69% of the time, fourth most in the NFL. Bills slot receiver Cole Beasley could have a big day. -- Mike Reiss

Bold prediction: As if predicting a Bills win at Gillette Stadium isn't bold enough, I'll go a step further. The Patriots have allowed four 100-yard rushers this season: Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb, Mark Ingram II and Buffalo's Frank Gore. They'll allow a fifth on Saturday, when Bills rookie Devin Singletary crosses the century mark. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Stat to know: According to NFL Next Gen Stats data, Buffalo's Tre'Davious White has allowed just a 47.5% completion percentage as the nearest defender, the fourth lowest among defenders who have been targeted at least 50 times. But New England's Stephon Gilmore actually ranks first (45.2%).

What's at stake: With a victory, the Patriots would clinch the AFC East title. And if the Chiefs also lose, the Patriots would clinch at least a first-round bye. But a Bills win moves the AFC East race into Week 17.

Louis-Jacques' pick: Bills 13, Patriots 10

Reiss' pick: Patriots 16, Bills 13

A stat that bears repeating from earlier this week: In the last five weeks, 29 quarterbacks have attempted at least 100 passes. Among that group, Tom Brady ranks 29th in completion percentage, yards per attempt and net yards per pass play. I thought the Patriots' offense would've figured some things out by now, but that hasn't been the case. I see a low-scoring, competitive game between two teams with really good defenses and would not be surprised to see Buffalo pull the upset.

Pick: Bills (+6.5)

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