The 1-5 New England Patriots are nearing a potential tipping point. Another loss in Week 7 and it may well officially be time to write off the 2023 season. But for now, this is still a team that's trying to win games.
And that's why the latest Buffalo Bills injury update is good news for the Pats:
Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver has been ruled out (along with running back Damien Harris and tight end Quintin Morris). Oliver is an anchor of the Bills' front-seven, and his absence could prove very significant.
The Bills have already been playing without DaQuan Jones, who typically starts next to Oliver, so this leaves them with an interior d-line exclusively comprised of backups against the Pats.
The Bills' likely starters at defensive tackle will be Jordan Phillies and either Tim Settle or Poona Ford.
Phillips has been terrible this season, earning a 50.0 grade from Pro Football Focus (ranking 92nd out of 123 graded DTs). That’s nothing new, either, as he’s earned grades worse than 55.0 in six of the last seven seasons.
Neither Settle nor Ford have graded out above 60.0 this season either.
The guard position has been one of the Patriots' worst this year, but this is finally a winnable matchup for the group — something they really haven't had all year. Increased running room for Rhamondre and Zeke plus more time for Mac Jones to sit in the pocket could be a big upgrade for this offense.
If you're in the camp of Patriots fans that already wants to call this a lost season in tank, you might actually find this bad news. But if you're hoping for a Week 7 win, the Bills' injuries are great news.
No matter which side you're on, unlock $200 guaranteed by betting just $5 on the game on DraftKings. That bonus pays out instantly, before you even find out if your bet won or lost, so whether the Bills' DTs can still get the best of our guards or not, you're getting paid either way.
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