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NFL

Patriots vs Bills, Monday Night Football: five players to watch

The Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots in Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season on Monday, with AFC East supremacy at stake.

Update:
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 25: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass during the fourth quarter in the game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on November 25, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.   Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris GraythenAFP

Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season sees the New England Patriots travel to Orchard Park to take on the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in Monday Night Football.

It’s a crucial clash for both teams, as the winner will have the head-to-head advantage if it’s needed to decide who takes the spoils in the AFC East division.

The Patriots go into the game on a run of six wins in a row, thanks to the sterling performances of its defence and an offence that’s been excellent on the ground. Meanwhile, the Bills arrive in Week 13 having comprehensively seen off the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving.

Here are the five players to watch in the MNF game between the Patriots and the Bills:

See also:

Mac Jones, QB, Patriots

New England quarterback Mac Jones has marshalled his team’s attack throughout the Patriots’ winning sequence. In the last six games, the Alabama graduate has completed 118 out of 170 passes and has registered just the three turnovers. As long as the rookie avoids errors, the visitors should leave Highmark Stadium with a win.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones looks to make a pass against the Tennessee Titans on 28 November.
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Patriots quarterback Mac Jones looks to make a pass against the Tennessee Titans on 28 November.Billie WeissAFP

Josh Allen, QB, Bills

If Josh Allen wants the Bills to grab the advantage in the race for the AFC East crown, he’ll need to take good care of the ball against the Patriots. The quarterback has amassed five turnovers in the last two games, against the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, and the Patriots tend to capitalise on their opponents’ mistakes.

J.C. Jackson, CB, Patriots

The Patriots' defence has been on form in recent games thanks to its ability to generate turnovers. Cornerback J.C. Jackson has seven interceptions and a forced fumble in the 12 games the Patriots have played this season.

What’s more, the fourth-year veteran leads the league with 16 passes defended and, according to Pro Football Reference, has only allowed 38 catches for 477 yards from 75 passes thrown in his direction.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills

The long-passing duels will be key to the outcome of the game. Per Pro Football Reference, Josh Allen’s passes to Stefon Diggs travel for an average of 11.4 yards before reaching the wide receiver, who has only dropped one of the 101 thrown to him.

Matt Judon, LB, Patriots

Linebacker Matt Judon has been a nightmare for his opponents’ quarterbacks. The former Baltimore Ravens player has 11.5 sacks and 23 QB hits. If the defence’s coverage of the wide receivers is good, Judon will have enough time to chase down Allen at Highmark Stadium.

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