The New England Patriots got some major help from an old friend Sunday night, as Tom Brady and the Bucs staved off a potential Buffalo comeback for a 33-27 overtime win over the Bills at Raymond James Stadium.
Buffalo’s loss, which came on the heels of their salty defeat at the hands of the Patriots last Monday night, was the team’s second straight (and third in their last four games), and has come with smiles from Patriot Place.
In fact, here’s a live look at New England.
With the loss, the Patriots moved to two full games ahead of the Bills for first place in the AFC East. And that advantage, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions model, moved the Patriots’ odds of winning the division up over 80 percent. Had the Bills won on Sunday, it would’ve hovered around 65 percent. That’s a notable jump for New England.
In addition to increase division odds, the Patriots also saw a jump in their odds of winning the top speed, per the FiveThirtyEight model, with New England’s top seed odds moved up to 46 percent.
Those are some preeeeeeeetty solid odds for Mac Jones and the Patriots, you’d say.
And it took Brady being, well, Brady against the Bills when it mattered most to put them in this spot.
Up by 21 points at halftime, the Bucs found themselves in a white-knuckle finish with Buffalo scoring 24 of the game’s next 27 points, and ultimately went to overtime for the first time in the Tompa Bay Era. And in overtime, the 44-year-old Brady led a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive that included a 3-for-3 effort in the passing game, and with the winner found on a 58-yard walkoff touchdown strike to Breshad Perriman.
Brady’s latest win over the Bills, which featured a 31-for-36 effort in the passing game with 363 yards and two touchdowns, along with a patented QB sneak score the ex-Patriot, pushed his all-time head-to-head record against Buffalo to a staggering 33-3 between New England and Tampa Bay, with Sunday (obviously) marking his first win over Buffalo in a Bucs jersey.
The Patriots, meanwhile, will look to keep their foot on the gas this Saturday night against the Colts.
For reasons beyond the obvious hot run the Pats are on, of course, as the FiveThirtyEight model indicates that a win over Indy would increase the Patriots’ odds of winning the East to almost 90 percent (even if the Bills win their matchup with the Panthers) and increase their top-seed odds to 60 percent ahead of a Week 16 meeting with Buffalo.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.