Patriots

NFL expert Boomer Esiason is picking the Patriots to beat Bills

"I think it's going to be a close game...I do like New England to prevail."

Matthew Judon Patriots
Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon. Billie Weiss/Getty Images
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The New England Patriots come into the biggest game of their season — tonight’s Monday night matchup with the Buffalo Bills — controlling their fate. A win would give the team sole possession of the AFC’s top seed after Baltimore lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

With New England coming into Monday on a six-game winning streak, NFL expert Boomer Esiason thinks the Patriots are in prime position to take control of the conference with a win in Buffalo.

The CBS analyst and WFAN host, who has called this year’s Patriots “a special team”, weighed in on the fateful division matchup on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show on Monday morning.

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“I do like New England,” Esiason said. “I think it’s going to be a close game. I think it’ll be in the mid-20s. I do like New England to prevail, 27-24.”

The Patriots have been the hottest team in football since falling to 2-4 with an overtime loss against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6. Since then, they’ve had the best defense in football, taking the ball away 17 times since Week 7’s thrashing of the New York Jets.

New England has also topped 130 yards rushing in five of its last six games while Mac Jones has quietly played like a top-10 quarterback.

“I think really the defense has set itself apart the last five weeks,” Esiason continued. “They’ll get tested tonight. Josh Allen’s a great player…he’s weather-indestructible — that’s how big and how strong he is. But his decision-making the last few weeks has not been great. He’s turned the ball over. They’ve looked a little bit uneven on offense.

“And on defense, they haven’t been able to stop the run. They were exploited by two teams that ran the ball really well, and that was Tennessee when Derrick Henry was healthy and the Colts with Jonathan Taylor a few weeks back. So I would think that’s the recipe you have to use tonight in order to beat the Buffalo Bills and take a little bit of the pressure off of Mac Jones.”

Aside from two games of getting gashed by the Titans and the Colts, however, the Bills have been one of the better run defenses in football, ranking fourth in yards allowed per attempt and sixth in total rushing yards surrendered.

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With that in mind, Buffalo may seek to force the ball into the rookie Jones’s hands on the road as the Titans did in Week 12.

Another stout performance from the rookie, plus a couple more takeaways from the defense, will be needed if the Patriots are to make Esiason’s prediction come true.

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