The New England Patriots head into tonight’s Monday Night Football showdown in Buffalo as the top seed in the AFC playoff race. After the Baltimore Ravens lost Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots look to hold onto the top spot in both the AFC East and AFC when they take on the Bills.

ABC6 Sports Director Nick Coit said this could be the game of the year. After starting the season at 2-4, the turnaround the Patriots have had is a tribute to the work head coach Bill Belichick did during the offseason.

There is a lot on the line for both teams tonight as they are just two of five teams in the AFC that have four losses on the season. This makes it a tight race for the top spot in the AFC. Only the top seed in the conference will have a first-round playoff bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

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Tonight’s game will also be the first of two New England vs. Buffalo matchups in the next three weeks. After their bye week next week, the Patriots will face the Colts before playing the Bills once again.

Coit said the defenses playing tonight should be the stars of the show, as they both rank in the top five in the NFL for points allowed per game. However, the Bills’ defensive weakness has come through when facing off against teams with good running backs. The Patriots have a powerhouse running back tandem with Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris.

On the offensive side of the ball, Coit is interested to see how Bills quarterback Josh Allen performs because he has had an up-and-down season. It should also be interesting to see Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson facing off against Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs torched the Patriots for 145 yards and three touchdowns during a game last season.

With the hostile environment that New England is walking into, Coit is picking the Bills to win a close one tonight.

Additional Reporting by Sierra Fiore

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