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7 Payments gamers to look at in Sunday’s Patriots recreation


The Payments have one of many league’s high quarterbacks and arguably the perfect move rush.

Josh Allen and the Payments have had large success in opposition to the Patriots over the previous few seasons. Jim Davis/Globe Employees

The 1-5 Patriots are in determined want of a win in Week 7. Sadly for them, they tackle a Payments crew that is without doubt one of the most proficient within the league and has given them suits over the previous few seasons.

The Payments have received six of the final seven matchups between the AFC East rivals and look to be each little bit of the crew that’s received the division the final three seasons. They’re off to a 4-2 begin, dropping to the Jets in additional time and the Jaguars abroad, and have delivered the 5-1 Dolphins their solely loss to this point this season.

As Buffalo is a heavy favourite to win Sunday’s matchup, listed here are seven Payments gamers to look at when the Patriots take them on in Week 7.

Josh Allen

It’s no secret that Josh Allen has dominated the Patriots in recent times, however the stats are nonetheless ridiculous. 

The Payments star quarterback has accomplished 66.3 p.c of his passes for 1,564 yards, 18 touchdowns, and one interception in his final six video games in opposition to the Patriots. That comes out to a mean of roughly 260 passing yards and three passing touchdowns per recreation, averaging 7.7 yards per try and a 117.3 passer score. That’s not even together with the 240 speeding yards he has over these six video games, averaging 40 per recreation.

So yeah, it’s no shock that the Payments have gone 5-1 in these video games with their solely loss coming in a windstorm. 

Allen nonetheless appears each bit the MVP candidate that he’s been the final three seasons by the primary six video games of this season as nicely. He’s accomplished a league-best 71.7 p.c of his passes for 1,576 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions with a 102.8 passer score. 

There are some slight considerations surrounding Allen coming into Sunday’s recreation. He’s coping with an damage to his throwing shoulder, which he suffered of their Week 6 win over the Giants. However he mentioned there’s “no concern” over the ailment, describing his placement on the damage report this week as extra of an damage administration challenge. He’s additionally thrown an interception in every of the final two video games and in three of the final 4 video games, however Allen has nonetheless principally dominated, no matter turnovers.

James Prepare dinner

The second-year working again has had a little bit of an under-the-radar kind of a season to this point. He enters Week 7 ranked sixteenth in speeding with 363 speeding yards. He’s additionally carried out it in an environment friendly method, speeding for 4.8 yards per carry, which is the 14th-best mark within the league amongst certified gamers. 

Prepare dinner had some success in opposition to New England as a rookie final season. He rushed for 64 yards on 4.6 yards per carry within the first matchup and 45 yards on 5 yards per carry within the common season finale, progressing because the season went alongside.

Whereas a lot has gone fallacious with the Patriots this season, the one space the place they’ve been sturdy at is defending the run. They’re fifteenth in speeding yards allowed, however third in speeding yards allowed per carry (3.4), largely preserving opposing working backs in verify this season.

With Damien Harris out, Prepare dinner will possible carry much more of the burden on Sunday. 

Stefon Diggs

A giant motive for Allen’s dominance over the Patriots the final three seasons is the arrival of the All-Professional receiver.

Diggs has dominated the Patriots simply as a lot as Allen has in that span. He’s recorded 43 receptions for 629 yards and 6 touchdowns over these video games, averaging 6.1 receptions and 89.9 receiving yards per recreation. He solely has one recreation the place he’s recorded fewer than 4 receptions and only one recreation the place he’s posted fewer than 60 receiving yards over that stretch. 

Diggs did loads of that injury in opposition to J.C. Jackson as nicely, whom the Patriots reacquired earlier in October after he signed with the Chargers final yr. He gave up 4 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns to Diggs within the Week 16 matchup in 2020. He additionally gave up 5 receptions for 69 yards to Diggs within the Week 16 recreation in 2021, all per Professional Soccer Focus. 

The Patriots have carried out a advantageous sufficient job of preserving the opposing crew’s No. 1 huge receiver in verify to this point this season, even after Christian Gonzalez’s season-ending damage. They really rank first in DVOA in defending the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver this season, however Diggs may find yourself being an exception. 

Leonard Floyd, A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau

There’s a motive why Invoice Belichick mentioned the Payments have the “greatest move rush” within the league and that their defensive linemen are “in all probability probably the most disruptive” within the league.

The Payments lead the NFL with 24 sacks to this point this season, getting a handful of gamers to report a minimum of a couple of sacks this season versus only one or two gamers doing the vast majority of the injury. They’ve 4 gamers with a minimum of three sacks this season and 6 gamers who’ve recorded a number of sacks this yr, getting contributions all alongside their defensive position.

Their edge rushers, specifically, have all stepped up this season as Von Miller missed the primary 4 video games as he recovered from his torn ACL from final season. Floyd, who signed with the Payments in June after being launched by the Rams, couldn’t have requested for a greater begin to his tenure in Buffalo, already recording 6.5 sacks, which is the sixth-best within the league. He’s additionally carried out that whereas taking part in roughly half of the Payments’ defensive snaps to this point this season.

In the meantime, Epenesa and Rousseau have constructed off their stable 2022 seasons with even stronger begins this season. Epenesa has 4 sacks this season, recording 15 complete pressures and 4 batted passes, per Professional Soccer Focus. Rousseau has three sacks with 17 pressures, however is the strongest run defender of the group of edgers rushers with 10 run stops, in line with PFF.

The Patriots caught a little bit of a break this week. Defensive deal with Ed Oliver, who has 4 sacks this season, will miss Sunday’s recreation as a result of a toe damage and defensive deal with DaQuan Jones possible suffered a season-ending damage in Week 5 after recording 2.5 sacks to begin the season.

So, the inside of the Patriots’ offensive line received’t have as robust of a battle, and the unit can use as a lot assist as it could get as it still ranks among the worst in the NFL in several metrics. However it’ll nonetheless have its palms full on Sunday.

Micah Hyde

The star security delivered a game-defining play the final time he went up in opposition to the Patriots. Hyde recorded an over-the-shoulder interception of Mac Jones on a deep move to the tip zone in New England’s opening drive of what ended up being a 47-17 blowout playoff win for Buffalo.

Hyde ended up lacking each video games in opposition to the Patriots final season as a result of a neck damage he suffered in Week 2, ending his season prematurely. However the 32-year-old nonetheless appears each bit the All-Professional participant he was previous to the damage.

Hyde has 28 complete tackles this season and two interceptions, taking part in nearly each defensive snaps for the Payments to this point. He’s allowed 11 receptions on 14 targets for 102 yards and a landing, principally protecting tight ends and working backs when he isn’t taking part in as a deep security.