On Monday night, Josh Allen and the Bills went into Foxborough and reminded the Patriots one final time that their dynasty had been over for months. The Bills swept the Patriots this year. Their first game went down to the wire but this contest was over by halftime. Allen threw four scores en route to a 38-9 victory. The Patriots have been eliminated from postseason contention for some time and the Bills cannot attain a first-round bye. The lack of motivation didn't affect Buffalo as two decades of subjugation by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick finally boiled over in a vicious blowout by the Bills. Buffalo faces Miami next week in a game that means little to Buffalo but everything for the Phins. New England gets the Jets in a largely meaningless game for both teams.
Josh Allen's Exclamation Point
Allen's evisceration of the Patriots on Monday night cemented him as one of the best passers of 2020 and likely netted him a few MVP nods from undecided voters. He is on pace to finish top-five in passing yards and touchdowns to close out the year. It feels like Allen has dropped "the best performance of his career" once every three weeks in 2020 and this game was no exception. He completed all but nine of his 36 attempts for 320 yards and four scores versus a still-talented New England defense. Allen also added 35 yards on the ground. Unsurprisingly, Allen's greatness led to another crushing game by Stefon Diggs, who went for 145 yards and three scores on nine receptions. Diggs is now the front-runner to lead the league in receptions and receiving yards.
Zack Moss impressed as a runner once again. He logged 12 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown while Devin Singletary finished with 36 yards on just two fewer carries. New England struggled to bring Moss down on first contact and he pushed for extra yards before going down regularly. The Bills Offense will always be centered on Allen, but an extra element of rushing production could make them an even more difficult offense to deal with in the playoffs.
Fantasy Slant: Cole Beasley left late in the game with a lower-body injury. If he is out for Week 17, John Brown could return to a major role in his first game back. Brown was activated from IR but subsequently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. If neither player can go, Gabriel Davis could push for WR2 numbers as Allen's second receiver. The Buffalo backfield continues to be a mess. Moss may have looked better than Singletary but he only out-touched him 13-12. No Bills back can be trusted in the final week of the regular season.
A Final Nail in the Coffin
New England hasn't been in the playoff hunt for weeks and has routinely looked like a team relying on defensive miracles to win games. This week was a new low for the team. Their running game was actually getting going versus Buffalo. The Patriots averaged over six yards per carry but were unable to generate anything whenever they were forced to throw. Cam Newton completed half of his 10 passes for 34 yards before getting benched. Jarrett Stidham then came in and posted 44 yards on 11 attempts. The Newton experiment has failed miserably and the Stidham ripcord has done no better. It's back to the drawing board for the Patriots but quarterback isn't their only shortcoming.
The New England receivers weren't able to generate much separation and both Newton and Stidham regularly found themselves holding onto the ball while waiting for anyone to get open. Jakobi Meyers looks to be the lone bright spot for this unit. He caught four of his six targets for 45 yards. All three marks were team-highs. Damiere Byrd has been an every-down player for most of the year and has four games over 50 yards despite competing for targets in a depleted receiver room. N'Keal Harry will be remembered as just the next receiver in a long line of wasted picks at the position by New England. Even if the Patriots adequately address their quarterback situation this offseason, they are still likely to be a pair of receivers away from having a complete offense. Their defense is good but Allen showed that they are no match for the league's best offenses. With a lack of talent across the board on offense, New England could be multiple years away from competing with top AFC teams once again.
Fantasy Slant: There's not much to take away from New England's dismal Week 16 outing other than to fade all of their pass-catchers. The Patriots do not have a quarterback who can reliably deliver the ball to their receivers and Meyers is not seeing enough targets to overcome that deficit. Damien Harris was inactive with an ankle injury for this game. Sony Michel saw half of the running back carries for New England. He rushed for 6.9 yards per carry and looked fairly explosive. Michel would be a low-end RB3 if Harris is out again next week.
Dwayne Haskins wasn't much of a fantasy-relevant player heading into Week 16 and he certainly won't be next week after Washington released him. Haskins melted down versus the Panthers with three turnovers and no scores. Alex Smith looks likely to return to the lineup for a crucial Week 17 matchup versus the Eagles. The offense projects to improve with the steady hand of Smith at the helm.
With Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson both dealing with ankle injuries, Malcolm Brown will likely operate as a three-down back to close out the Rams' regular season. His offense could be much worse than it has been in recent weeks with John Wolford expected to start under center. Jared Goff underwent thumb surgery on Monday and is considered doubtful for Week 17.
The Chiefs plan on resting numerous key players after locking up a first-round bye with their win over the Falcons. Expect Chad Henne to start at QB with Darrel Williams or even Darwin Thompson getting the starting nod at RB. The biggest question facing Andy Reid will be how much work to give to Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman. Sammy Watkins suffered a calf injury last week so receiver depth could be at a premium for the Chiefs.
Joe Mixon will not play in Week 17 while Christian McCaffrey appears very unlikely to play as well. Giovani Bernard and Mike Davis should resume their normal roles with both players getting in the mix as RB2 options.