Week 13 Preview: Buffalo Bills vs San Francisco 49ersby Christopher Gallagher December 6, 2020 0 comments
One of two games on Monday Night to conclude week 13 in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills take on the San Francisco 49ers. Calling State Farm Stadium in Arizona their new home to finish out the season because of Covid-19 restrictions in Santa Clara County, the 49ers will be tasked with slowing down the high-powered Buffalo passing attack.
Winners last Sunday over the slumping Los Angeles Chargers, Sean McDermott’s group is clinging to a one-game lead over the Miami Dolphins as they look to capture their first divisional title since 1995. Very much alive in the NFC wildcard race, the 49ers stunned the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday on a game-winning field goal by kicker Robbie Gould. A crucial game for both teams in their respective playoff chases, here’s what to look for in this one.
Hitting their stride on defense as they look to capture their first AFC East crown in over 20 years, the Bills held the Chargers to a season-low 17 points in week 12, constantly harassing rookie quarterback Justin Herbert all afternoon long. Making their first Monday Night Football appearance since 2018, Buffalo is beginning a stretch of three straight road games, including a matchup with the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in week 14. Extremely healthy on the active roster, the team received positive injury news on Friday as both quarterback Josh Allen and offensive lineman Jon Feliciano were both full participants at practice.
One situation to monitor for the Bills will be the return of standout linebacker Matt Milano. On the injured reserve list since week 4 with a pectoral injury, Milano is inching closer to a return, with the team having until Monday at 4 pm to activate him off the injury list. Careless with the football in their past three contests, Allen and the Bills offense has turned the ball over six times. Tasked with navigating a tough 49ers defense that has allowed just 206.5 pass yards per game this season, the team will need to take care of the football if they hope to pull out the victory in this one.
Posing a major challenge to Leslie Frazier‘s group on the defensive side of the ball, the 49er’s potent ground game will give the team all they can handle. Averaging over 112 rushing yards per game in 2020, San Francisco welcomed lead back Raheem Mostert back against the Rams a week ago as last year’s playoff standout rushed for 43 yards and a score.
San Francisco 49ers
Staying in the NFC playoff hunt with a victory over the Rams last Sunday, Kyle Shanahan’s group is finally beginning to receive some positive news on the injury front. Welcoming back Mostert and star receiver Deebo Samuel a week ago, the team also looks to have rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk and defensive lineman D.J. Jones back in this one. Finishing off a stretch of four of five games on the road, the team will look to become accustomed quickly to their new surroundings in Arizona. Making his sixth consecutive start after filling in for the injured Jimmy Garropolo, San Francisco will need third-year quarterback Nick Mullens to continue his solid stretch of play if they hope to defeat the Bills on Monday Night.
Finishing the game 24-35 for 252 yards a week ago, Mullens is completing over 68 percent of his passes in his seven starts with the team. Led by a standout defense with coordinator Robert Saleh a shoo-in for a head coaching job next year, one matchup to watch in this one for the Niners will be between veteran cornerback Richard Sherman and star receiver Stefon Diggs. Proving he can still play at an elite level as he returned from injury a week ago, Sherman totaled six tackles and one interception in the team’s victory. Ranked 4th in the league with 945 receiving yards through 12 weeks, Diggs has revitalized the Bills passing attack and will provide the 33-year-old with everything he can handle.
Date: Monday, December 7th, 2020
Start Time: 8:15 P.M. est
Location: Glendale, AZ
Stadium: State Farm Stadium
TV Info: ESPN
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: SF -1 (-110) | BUF +1 (-110)
Moneyline: SF -125 | BUF -105
Over/Under: O 47 (-110) | U 47 (-110)
Looking right away at the spread in this one, take the Bills +1 and at a price of -105 on the money line as they look to win the game outright. The healthier team overall, Allen and the Buffalo offense have continued to put up points week in and week out, while the team’s defense continues to play better football as the season winds down. With a low game total set, take the under with the 49ers locked in to try and exploit the Bills run defense to keep Brian Daboll’s offense off the field.
A game that expects to be one of the most exciting games of the week 13 slate, look for the 49ers to give the Bills all they can handle in this one. However, with the Bills, the more talented team, look for Allen and the team’s offense to put up points. Beginning to play better on the defensive side of the ball as the season winds down, expect Leslie Frazier’s group to get after Mullens all game long, setting them up for a victory.
Final Score: Buffalo Bills 26 San Francisco 49ers 20