Patriots

What the Bills are saying about the Patriots ahead of Monday’s matchup

"Their defense has been balling out."

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes in the first half against the New Orleans Saints. Butch Dill/AP Photo

The Bills are well aware that the Patriots currently lead the AFC East, but they’re not overly concerned about where they sit in the standings at this point in the year.

They know there’s plenty of football left – including two matchups with New England – and they understand they’ll be right back where they thought they would if they beat the Patriots on Monday.

Buffalo wide receiver Stefon Diggs said he’s “not trying to give billboard material” and that the results will naturally sort themselves out.

“It’s still early in the season,” Diggs told reporters. “We’ve got ‘X’ amount of weeks left. For me, I don’t really look at the standings or stuff like that. You’ve got to win the game in front of you. It’s a division game. It’s obviously important.”

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One advantage on Buffalo’s side is that the Bills have 11 days between games coming into this one. Head coach Sean McDermott said his team has looked fresh in practice after an extended stretch following last Thursday’s lopsided win over the New Orleans Saints.

“The energy’s been there, where it needs to be,” McDermott said. “I think a little bit of rest helped with that. I think the guys understand what’s in front of us.”

Quarterback Josh Allen made it clear the Bills have plenty of respect for the Patriots and know it will be a serious challenge even though Buffalo is playing at home following the extra rest.

Allen, a first-round pick himself back in 2018, praised Patriots rookie QB Mac Jones for leading the way during New England’s six-game win streak.

“He’s been playing fantastic,” Allen told reporters. “You look at what he’s done even in college, coming into the league, completing the ball at a very high rate, being smart with the football. He’s a big reason why they’ve won so many in a row.”

As for the defense, Allen said the Patriots have “some really, really good dudes.” He highlighted the play of linebackers Matthew Judon and Dont’a Hightower, safety Devin McCourty, and cornerback Jalen Mills, among others, and called them a versatile and smart unit. He referred to Judon as a “difference maker” and “motor guy.”

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Allen added that Bill Belichick’s defenses are always fundamentally sound and extremely tough and this group fits right into that mindset.

“Their defense has been balling out during this little win streak that they’ve gotten,” Allen said.

Then he corrected himself.

“Little? It’s a nice win streak.”

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