The New England Patriots know that the stakes are high when they take on the Buffalo Bills on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. With an 11-3 mark following their 34-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Patriots are just one game ahead of the 10-4 Bills in the AFC East. A victory would seal the Patriots’ hold of the AFC East for the 11th straight season. If the Patriots sweep their last two games, they would clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs as the No. 2 team in the AFC.

The Patriots also have a chance to seal the No. 2 seed with a win coupled with a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs to the Chicago Bears.

No wonder the Patriots consider their showdown against the Bills the biggest game of the year. “Humongous. It’s the biggest game of the year,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon told Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “It’s for the division. Most likely, it’s going to be for the No. 2 spot in the playoffs,” added Harmon, per a report by Zach Cox of New England Sports Network (NESN).

Harmon says Patriots will be facing a different Josh Allen

The Patriots entered the week as a seven-point favorite over the Bills. However, Harmon is aware that they will be facing a different Bills squad, led by quarterback Josh Allen, who has significantly improved since the Patriots’ 16-10 win over Buffalo in Week 4.

Allen completed just 13 of 28 passes for 153 yards and three interceptions against a stout Patriots defense. However, Harmon said they will be facing a different Allen this time as he is backed up by a really good running game and a tough defense.

“Like I said, it’s going to be a tough game,” said Harmon.

For cornerback Stephon Gilmore, their upcoming clash with the Bills is like a playoff game while wide receiver Phillip Dorsett called it a “big game.” Plus, “we’ve just got to put our best foot forward and just go out there and play as hard as we can,” said Dorsett, per a report by Doug Kyed of NESN.

Defensive tackle Danny Shelton said the Patriots will be playing for a lot of rights, emphasizing that they want to be “situated in the best position.”

Patriots send 3 players to Pro Bowl

The Patriots have three representatives to the 2020 Pro Bowl, led by Gilmore, a top contender for the Defensive Player of the Year. Aside from Gilmore, linebacker Donta Hightower and special teams captain Matthew Slater will represent the Patriots at the Jan. 26 event to be played in Orlando, Florida. Gilmore has been selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time while Hightower and Slater have been picked for the second and eighth time, respectively.

In 14 games, Gilmore is tied for the NFL lead with a career-best six interceptions, with two pick sixes, 18 passes defended, 44 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Hightower, for his part, has 61 tackles, four sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. Several Patriots were snubbed, including linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, safety Devin McCourty and wide receiver Julian Edelman. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady was also not selected for the Pro Bowl.

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