Patriots vs Bills: 3 keys to victory ahead of divisional showdown

Mac Jones, New England Patriots (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Mac Jones, New England Patriots (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

No. 3 – Patriots must clean up the penalties

The Vikings game last week was another example of sloppy play by the Patriots. Not only has New England committed 14 penalties in just their last two games, these flags have also managed to show up at the most costly times especially against Minnesota.

When you are battling through a close game against a proficient opponent such as the Vikings or the Bills, just one or two minor mistakes can be the difference between winning and losing.

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Unfortunately the Patriots do not have the talent to make up for mental errors. It can be expected that Belichick, who is known for his teams’ great discipline over the years, will likely put emphasis on staying focused and eliminating these crippling penalties.

From where the Patriots stand now, they are down but not out of the division. A win against the odds-on favorite to win the AFC East would be massive for New England’s playoff hopes. While a loss would put them at a pedestrian 6-6 record that would bring an uphill climb for the rest of the season.

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The Patriots will be at home for the primetime matchup on Thursday night and can expect cold, raw conditions. This weather along with home field advantage will be favorable to the smash-mouth nature of this team.

No matter what else happens the Patriots should steal the underdog victory if they can abide by the three keys to victory mentioned.