The Patriots and Bills are two evenly matched teams.
New England enters the game 8-4, while Buffalo is 7-4. The Patriots are No. 4 in points scored and No. 1 in points allowed, while the Bills are No. 2 in both categories. The Patriots are No. 3 in the league in defending the pass, while the Bills are No. 2. Buffalo has forced the most turnovers, while New England has forced the fourth-most.
And the statistics go on and on.
There’s no question these two teams are very close — except in one area, which could ultimately decide what happens Monday night.
The red zone.
The Bills come into the game 11th in the NFL, scoring touchdowns on 62% of their red-zone trips. Meanwhile, the Patriots are 24th, scoring touchdowns 56% of the time.
And most recently, things are trending towards the Bills getting better, while the Patriots are getting worse. Over the last two games, the Patriots are 3-for-8, while the Bills are 8-for-9.
“I think just execution in the red zone,” Mac Jones said after Sunday’s game against the Titans. “The goal is to score points and the best teams in the league are like 70% on touchdowns and we can be better there getting up to that number. But at the end of the day when you have control of the game, the goal is to get points and obviously we want to score touchdowns. That happened later, I guess and it just needs to continue to improve and we've put a lot of stress on it so there's nothing that the coaches aren't doing or anything. It comes down to us and executing."
It’s obvious, but in a close game like Monday night is expected to be, the four-point difference between scoring a touchdown and kicking a field goal could be massive.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Patriots would have a 78% chance of winning the division with a win, but with a loss the number drops to 21%.
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