For 50 years, Monday Night Football has given us a reason to look forward to the start of the workweek. The iconic broadcast showcases the best the NFL has to offer. From armchair Quarterbacks to pitcher and wing deals, from Cosell to Levy, all our rowdy friends are here for Monday Night. And in Week 13 of the 2020 Season, that means the Buffalo Bills taking on the San Francisco 49ers.
Playoff team vs Playoff hopeful
The Bills are heading to the playoffs, barring a series of unfortunate and improbable occurrences. Meanwhile the defending NFC Champion 49ers are on the outside of the wildcard hunt looking in, as the season heads into December. The Niners will need a win Monday Night or risk sitting at home this January.
One other note for this game, it’s being played in the 49ers’ adopted home of Glendale Arizona. Could you imagine calling your rival’s stadium home? Let’s see if that affects anything. If nothing else, they are used to playing there I suppose. Let’s look at what each of these teams needs to do to win Monday Night.
The Buffalo Bills Keys to Victory: Stefon Diggs All Day
It is imperative for Buffalo’s number one wideout to be the MVP of this game. The Niner’s secondary has given up a lot of yards to an opposing team’s top receivers this year. DeAndre Hopkins went for 151, DK Metcalf for 161, and Davante Adam’s went off for 173 yards and a touchdown. With the right kind of game Diggs can go over 1000 yards on the season.
Josh Allen needs to shake off his so-so start in a close-win against the Chargers last week and come out firing on all cylinders. The Bills have the edge in the quarterback matchup in this one, Allen just needs to keep his game simple and move the ball down the field.
The San Francisco 49ers Keys to Victory: Mullens has to have a strong first quarter
Nick Mullens has gotten off to some slow starts this season, leaving the Niners playing catch up. I’d like to see him reverse that and come out firing early. A big first quarter from Mullens would go a long way.
This Bills offense can move the ball and put up points, so you don’t want to play from behind against this team. Look to Mullens open up the passing game by utilizing the play-action pass and getting the ball deep downfield.
Conversely, the secondary needs to stop allowing the big plays downfield. As mentioned above, San Francisco’s pass defense has given up monster days to some of the league’s best receivers. They can’t allow that if they plan on beating Buffalo Monday night.
The Bills are all but locked into a playoff spot, but they’re still at least a week away from sitting back and coasting. On the other sideline, San Francisco sits two spots outside of a wildcard spot. The Niners were aided with a Cardinals’ loss, but couldn’t catch a break with the Vikings winning in OT against Jacksonville. Needless to say, with the season getting into its later stages, the defending NFC Champions need a victory Monday Night to keep pace in the wildcard hunt or risk falling too far behind Minnesota and Arizona.
This game means more to the 49ers than the Bills, and I expect them to come out as such. Buffalo will be heading cross-country for this one. Although it won’t be as far as intended now that the 49ers are playing out the remainder of their season in Arizona. I’d bank on the 49ers having their best game of the season and staying in the NFC hunt.
Prediction: 49ers 27, Bills 23
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