Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 16 matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 30, Bills 23
What to watch for: After New England quarterback Mac Jones threw just three passes against the Bills in a 14-10 win in early December -- a result of wind gusts of 40 miles per hour and a productive running game -- the big question this time around is how much the Patriots flip their offensive plan to feature more of the passing game. The Patriots rushed for 222 yards in that game, so the Bills are likely to make adjustments in that area. That's why Patriots offensive coordinator called it a "tug of war" situation for the coaching staff, given how recently the teams played each other.
Alaina Getzenberg, ESPN
Pick: Bills 27, Patriots 23
Bold prediction: Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen will pass for two touchdowns, reaching 100 for his career, and run for at least one score against a Patriots defense that limited the Bills to just 10 points in their first meeting. A major issue for the Bills' offense when the teams' first met was scoring touchdowns in the red zone, but that has improved for Buffalo as of late, and the offense will rise to the occasion with the division lead on the line.
Emmanuel Acho, ESPN: Patriots
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Bills
Jeremy Fowler: Bills
Dominique Foxworth, ESPN: Bills
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Bills
Laura Rutledge, ESPN: Bills
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Patriots 26, Bills 20
It appears the Patriots could be without Nelson Agholor (concussion) and Kendrick Bourne (COVID-19), which will make it easier for the Bills to do what they do best: shut down limited pass attacks. Part of my preseason priors can't imagine Buffalo getting swept, and Josh Allen is still capable of making plays you can't scheme for. He has to run more in this game, but I still don't quite trust the Bills coaching staff to win at the margins in situational football against Bill Belichick and a big-bodied Patriots roster designed to beat their division rivals.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Bills 28, Patriots 23
This is essentially for the division title. If the Bills win, they have two winnable games left. If the Patriots win, they pretty much lock up the division. So this will be fun. There won't be wind like the last meeting, but there could be snow. That favors the better passing team, which is the Bills. I think they get revenge from the wind game and take it behind a good day by Josh Allen.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Bills
John Breech, CBS Sports: Bills
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Bills
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Bills
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 24, Bills 17
The Patriots lacked energy against the Colts. They won't lack energy against the Bills.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 20, Bills 14
The Patriots can lock up the AFC East with a win, and I think they're going to do it with a defense that clamps down on Josh Allen.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Bills 24
Buffalo will be more prepared this time but the Patriots coaching and toughness will be the difference.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 28, Bills 27
This one could have the makings of an instant classic, but how much impact will the depleted receiver groups have on how it unfolds? The Patriots pull the win out with a clutch final drive after a back-and-forth affair.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Bills 23, Patriots 20
Both clubs are dealing with COVID issues involving key players, and that could wind up impacting how the game unfolds. However, there shouldn't be any act-of-God-type weather conditions like there were in Buffalo a few weeks back. The Bills desperately need a split in this season series to remain in a competitive position for AFC playoff seeding, and they'll find a way to get it.