After the longest week in NFL history, the schedule for Week 13 will look a little different. The San Francisco 49ers will host the Buffalo Bills (in Arizona) on one of two games on Monday night.
The 49ers and Bills, who are both coming off of wins last week, will follow Pittsburgh and Washington in the traditional 8:15 PM ET Monday Night Football time slot. The Bills opened as small favourites, but the line has flipped the other way on Play.Spreads.ca. San Francisco is now -1.0 chalk, and the Over/Under has come down to 47.0.
Buffalo comes into Week 13 leading the AFC East at 8-3 and is the No.4 overall seed in the conference. For the 49ers, they have persevered through injuries all season and sit 5-6 and just outside of the playoffs in the NFC.
Speaking of San Francisco's injuries, they will remain without Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Dee Ford and Jaquiski Tartt to name a few, but are expected to have the running back room back at 100 percent. Tevin Coleman will play for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 8. Raheem Mostert is expected to handle the bulk of the work, but all four of Mostert, Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. figure to see snaps. The Bills are expected to have the same lineup as last week. However, they recently announced that OL Cody Ford will miss the rest of the season and WR John Brown will miss at least two more games after being moved on IR.
Deebo Samuel made a splash in his return to the lineup last week, catching 11 of 13 targets for 133 yards. He immediately emerged as Nick Mullen's favourite target and could be in for a big game in Primetime. The Bills have struggled against big WR in recent weeks, allowing Jakobi Meyers, DK Metcalf and DeAndre Hopkins to combine for 20 receptions, 293 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers will rely heavily on their run game but when they take it to the air, look for Deebo Samuel to have another high-volume game.
For the Bills, their running game has struggled all season long. They will likely have a tough time establishing the run in this game as well. San Francisco is ranked No.10 in Rush DVOA, so expect them to rely heavily on Josh Allen and the passing attack. Allen struggles against the Chargers' relentless pass rush a week ago but should have more time against the Nick Bosa-less 49ers, who are 20th in the NFL in pressure rate. The return of Richard Sherman a week ago helped bolster the 49ers’ secondary, and he should have a great battle with Stefon Diggs, who is seventh in the NFL in receiving yards per game (85.9). Allen may have to lean more heavily on Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, but he's comfortable targeting them. When Allen goes over 275 yards passing, the Bills are 6-1 this season.
My Pick: Buffalo to Win Outright (+105)
The 49ers had a terrific win last week, but they always have success against the Rams. They have struggled with top teams like Seattle, Green Bay and New Orleans, going 0-3 while being outscored 98-to-57 in those games. Buffalo appears to be in that echelon of team. I fully expect Allen to be able to move the ball successfully, and it's tough to imagine Nick Mullens being able to keep pace. Injuries will once again be too much to overcome for the 49ers.
-- By Timmy Bits
Headline Photo Credit: NFL.com