|New England Patriots||7||3||3||11||24|
With a win, the Patriots would secure the AFC East for the eleventh consecutive year and seventeen of nineteen years in the Brady-Belichick era. The Bills could tie the Patriots in the standings with a win, and thus sought their first win against Brady in Foxborough since a meaningless Week 17 game in 2014 (Buffalo did beat the Patriots in 2016 during Brady’s suspension and twice in Buffalo in 2003 and 2011).
But winning in Foxborough is no easy feat. The Patriots picked this game to have arguably their best offensive game of the year. Brady had by far his most efficient passing game, Michel had one of his most efficient running games, the offensive line gave up no sacks and very little pressure. The team put up nearly twice as many yards (414) as they did against the Bills in the Week 4 matchup (224).
The defense also had a strong showing (again). They did not force any turnovers, but did hold the Bills offense to 2-11 third-down conversion, 50% completion percentage, under 100 yards rushing, and just over 20 minutes of possession. In the closing minutes of the game, Buffalo overcame a missed facemask and made it to first and goal with a chance to tie (or win) the game. The defense held strong and secured the win.
With the AFC East locked up, the Patriots had only one game left to secure the second seed in the AFC. All they needed was to win at home against the Miami Dolphins or have the Chiefs lose against the Chargers. With the loss, Buffalo was locked into the fifth seed.