Top 10 reasons to be excited for Bills vs. Patriots on Monday Night Football
Disclaimer: The Bills and Patriots play again in three weeks. This game is not the end all, be all.
But it will be very, very impactful. The Bills, with a win, would have a 76-percent chance to win the AFC East based on simulations conducted by The New York Times playoff machine. They would move a half-game up on the Patriots and two games ahead in divisional play – meaning they would own the tiebreaker over the Patriots so long as they take care of business against the Jets in Week 18.
Those odds drop to 24 percent with a loss. In that scenario, the Bills fall two games behind the Patriots, needing a win in their second head-to-head matchup to have a shot at reclaiming the tiebreaker.
And it's not just the division at stake. Both teams are still in play for the No. 1 seed in the conference, which comes with a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Bills will have a 23-percent chance at finishing atop the AFC with a win, according to The Times.
The Bills have won nine straight games against AFC East opponents – one shy of a franchise record set from 1990 to 1991. They swept the Patriots last season, becoming the first AFC East team to do so since – well, also the Bills in 2000.
The Patriots have won six straight contests, ranking first in points scored (35.17) and points allowed (10.50) per game during that stretch.
Two more. According to NFL Research, Bill Belichick is 5-0 as Patriots head coach vs. divisional foes in Week 13 or later when both teams are within a game of first place. Belichick – without Brady – is also 0-6 against divisional opponents that enter three or more games above .500.