Tue. May 28th, 2024

The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins — presumptive division title and Super Bowl contenders — were given reality checks in Week 7, while the New England Patriots were able to play spoiler. Week 8 marks a pivotal point in the season for AFC East teams; here are our predictions for the slate: 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) at Buffalo Bills (4-3): Buffalo was fortunate to win in Week 6, but its luck ran out in its last game against an underwhelming Patriots team, allowing QB Mac Jones to orchestrate a 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive in the final moments. Whether the Bills’ problems lie more with the defense’s injuries or the offense’s inconsistent play is up for debate. Either way, this group doesn’t look the part of a championship contender, and they need to tighten up quickly.

Despite the fact that Buffalo is not in a position to overlook any opponent, it is catching a bit of a break this week. It will host the Buccaneers, who are struggling to produce much offensively and have QB Baker Mayfield nursing a knee injury. One of the Bills’ biggest challenges this season has been stopping the run, making Tampa Bay an ideal matchup, given that it has amassed the second-fewest rushing yards (467) and is averaging an inefficient 3.1 yards per carry, the second worst. 

The Bills have developed a bad habit of playing down to their competition over the years, so if they have another slow start, the outcome of this game could be closer than they would prefer. Even so, QB Josh Allen should be capable of dismantling the league’s sixth-worst pass defense on “Thursday Night Football.” 

PREDICTION: Bills, 27-14

New England Patriots (2-5) at Miami Dolphins (5-2): The Patriots are finally showing signs of life after snapping a three-game skid, while the Dolphins are starting to face fraud allegations after falling to 0-2 against teams with a winning record. These teams met during Week 2, with Miami prevailing 24-17 in Foxborough, and regardless of the positive progress that the Patriots are starting to make, this could be a letdown game coming off their emotional win.

Not only is Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa undefeated against New England in his career, but Hard Rock Stadium has been a house of horrors for the team. Since HC Bill Belichick was hired in 2000, the Patriots are 9-14 at the venue, and in this rivalry’s history, they are 17-41 in Miami. 

Although the Dolphins scored a season-low 17 points in Philadelphia last week, they’re undefeated at home and are facing a defense that has given up the eighth-most points this season. They might not maintain their 47.7 home points-per-game average after this one, however, the Dolphins should come away with a bounce-back win.

PREDICTION: Dolphins, 28-21

New York Jets (3-3) at New York Giants (2-5): While the Jets have the more talented roster and had the luxury of a bye in Week 7, their offense won’t roll over many opponents, which should make for a competitive and low-scoring “Snoopy Bowl.” The Giants are starting to find their stride, particularly on defense, as they’ve surrendered just 21 points over their last two games and have forced six turnovers across the last three contests. 

Both sides are dealing with significant injuries, and the availability of those players could determine this game’s outcome. The Jets are hoping to get cornerbacks Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and D.J. Reed back from concussions. At the same time, the Giants offensive line may get a boost with LT Andrew Thomas and center John Michael Schmitz returning to practice Wednesday, but it’s still uncertain whether QB Daniel Jones (neck) will play. 

History suggests that the Jets will have trouble this week since they haven’t won their first game after the bye since 2015 and are 1-9 in such a situation over the last 10 seasons. A win here completely alters the Giants’ season outlook, and considering they’re the better-coached team, this could be a game the Jets theoretically shouldn’t drop but do. 

PREDICTION: Giants, 17-14

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The post Week 8 AFC East predictions: Bills stop the bleeding against Bucs appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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