Embarrassing Day For Patriots’ Defense Gives Control Of AFC East Back To Bills — CBS Boston

Life moves quickly in the NFL. And feelings of embarrassment can shift from one team to another in a hurry.

Embarrassing Day For Patriots’ Defense Gives Control Of AFC East Back To Bills — CBS Boston

Mac Jones is pumped up about his first Monday Night Football game in Buffalo — Boston Herald

It’s hard to tell if playing a Monday Night Football game was something on Mac Jones’ bucket list as a pro. But after checking off other notable items such as a Sunday nighter against the reigning Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers, an overtime duel against Dak Prescott and America’s team, a Thursday night contest in Atlanta,…

Mac Jones is pumped up about his first Monday Night Football game in Buffalo — Boston Herald

Buffalo Bills Off to Kansas City for AFC Title Game — WIVT – NewsChannel 34

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)- The Buffalo Bills left Western New York today for Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game Sunday night. This is the first time since the 1993-94 season that the Bills will be competing for a spot in the Super Bowl. Last season, the Chiefs won the…

Buffalo Bills Off to Kansas City for AFC Title Game — WIVT – NewsChannel 34

Perhaps, it’s time to start taking the 7-2 Bills seriously — Boston Herald

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It was only a week ago when Bills coach Sean McDermott encouragingly acknowledged he was starting to see his team forming an identity. “I think we’re getting there,” McDermott said, with a hint of caution by emphasizing the season is far from over. His assessment came after Buffalo cleared a formidable…

Perhaps, it’s time to start taking the 7-2 Bills seriously — Boston Herald

Cam Newton fumbles away 24-21 loss at Buffalo, Patriots lose fourth straight — Boston Herald

On the 15-yard line at the east end of Bills Stadium, the Patriots’ highest hopes for the 2020 season died Sunday. Buffalo defensive tackle Justin Zimmer punched them dead, knocking the ball free from Cam Newton’s extended right hand with 33 seconds remaining. Together, they watched it bounce into the arms of safety Dean Marlowe…

Cam Newton fumbles away 24-21 loss at Buffalo, Patriots lose fourth straight — Boston Herald

How the Patriots defense can rebound against Josh Allen and the Bills — Boston Herald

This much is certain: the Patriots defense cannot have a repeat of last week’s effort against the 49ers. That kind of clunker clearly won’t cut it against the Bills, or anyone else. During the Week 7 loss, Jimmy Garoppolo & Co. stomped all over the Patriots, who allowed a season-high 467 yards. The Niners ran…

How the Patriots defense can rebound against Josh Allen and the Bills — Boston Herald

Bills’ big off-season catch could opt out over coronavirus concerns — Ottawa Sun

Adding an electrifying receiver such as Stefon Diggs was going to significantly improve the Buffalo Bills’ chances of unseating the New England Patriots atop the NFL’s AFC East Division. But now the Bills can’t be sure when they’re going to get him. Less than three weeks before veterans are expected to report to training camps, […]

Bills’ big off-season catch could opt out over coronavirus concerns — Ottawa Sun

Adding an electrifying receiver such as Stefon Diggs was going to significantly improve the Buffalo Bills’ chances of unseating the New England Patriots atop the NFL’s AFC East Division.

But now the Bills can’t be sure when they’re going to get him.

Less than three weeks before veterans are expected to report to training camps, the NFL and NFLPA are reportedly discussing ‘opt-out’ possibilities for players uncomfortable about returning to the game during the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on his Twitter feed, one of those players is Diggs, who in March was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings by Bills general manager Brandon Beane (along with a seventh-round pick) in a mammoth deal for a first-round pick, a fifth, a sixth and a 2021 fourth-rounder.

“I miss football,” Diggs wrote in a series of posts on Tuesday night. “I love football … with all of me. But there’s so many unanswered questions with this upcoming season, I’d be lying if I said I was comfortable in starting back up.

Appearing on NFL NOW on Wednesday, plugged-in NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero said the league and union anticipate that opt-outs would be available for players “who either have a pre-existing condition, family (members) with pre-existing conditions (or) just general concerns over COVID-19 (that) would not want to play this season.”

He added that GMs have been told a specific date would be set for opt-outs, but it has yet to be determined.

A handful of MLB and NBA players have already decided the money and their job isn’t worth risking their health and, in turn, the well-being of loved ones.

Diggs is not the only NFLer to express his concerns over playing through the pandemic, but at this point he may be the most prolific.

It’s certainly not an ideal situation, but right now sports-starved fans will take a watered-down product rather than no product at all. Even, quite likely, the desperate-for-success Bills Mafia.

SECOND AND LONG

By the time you read this, veteran Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson might already be suspended. Enough influential media members are calling for it after social-media posts by Jackson, including one anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler, were called “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling,” by the Eagles themselves. Jackson later issued two separate statements of apology with “a promise to do better.” Don’t bet on them saving him … Instead of waiting for a final determination from medical experts, the government and the league, teams have started to make their own plans for hosting games this season. The Baltimore Ravens announced on Wednesday that, based on the current social distancing guidelines and fan safety protocols, their capacity at M&T Bank Stadium will be fewer than 14,000 seats per game — if fans are allowed to attend at all. The stadium’s capacity is 71,008 … The defending- champion Kansas City Chiefs also announced they will kick off the 2020 season and open defence of their title against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10 by moving forward with a reduced capacity plan, without revealing the number they have in mind.

DOWN THE SIDELINES

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has just one week to sign a long-term contract, or he’ll play on the franchise tag ($31.4 million US) this season and the sides can’t discuss a long-term deal again until 2021. Complicating matters could be the 10-year extension Patrick Mahomes signed with K.C., earlier this week that will earn him in the neighbourhood of a half billion dollars. Prescott has previously stated his desire to be the highest paid QB in the league. Unless they’re having clandestine meetings, it sounds like the Cowboys and Prescott’s reps haven’t had serious discussions since March … If the Cowboys wind up using the tag on Prescott in 2021, it would cost them around $38 million, a 120% increase on his 2020 salary. If they use it a third year, Prescott’s ticket would jump to more than $54 million … Who says you can’t put a price on sentiment? Not Josh Gordon, the career leader in suspensions for violations of the league’s substance abuse policies. The 29-year old receiver is selling the ring he was presented for his contributions in 11 games with the New England Patriots championship team in 2018. (But not the Super Bowl, because he was suspended.) Gordon, who is currently applying for reinstatement, has placed the ring with Heritage Auctions for its memorabilia auction next month. The precious bauble has an estimated value of $100,000.

SAM’S THE MAN

Players always say their priority is winning, but few mean it. More important to them is grabbing as much money as they can get. And then there’s Sammy Watkins. After earning $52.5 million over six NFL seasons, Watkins accepted a pay cut of $4.75 million from the Chiefs to a $9-million salary (that, with incentives, could push the number to $16 million) in order to have another shot at a championship in K.C.

He could have sought a bigger payday based on his 2019 post-season alone. In three games, he had 14 catches for 288 yards an a touchdown, including a Super Bowl performance that saw him pull in five passes for 98 yards — including a big catch to set up a score in the comeback against San Francisco.

“I’m at the stage of my life now where, at first, I was like: ‘Man, I want to get paid big money again.’ But then I realized: How much money do I need?” Watkins told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “My family is taken care of well. Do I want to go to a team and lose, get 1,000 yards (and) go to a team that’s sorry, whatever the case may be?

“Or do I want to come back with one of the best coaches, the best quarterbacks, the best organizations, the best team, the best wideout group, arguably, and come try to fight for another championship?

“I sat my agent down (when) he was trying to shoot for these big (contract) numbers, and I’m like: ‘Man, let’s just take heed of winning. I know how it felt to win.”

EXTRA POINTS

A report on CNBC.com on Wednesday afternoon said Amazon has notified sellers that they have 48 hours to remove items relating to Washington Redskins merchandise. Fanatics, which administers NFLShop.com, will continue to be a place to purchase Redskins stuff … After a breakout season in 2019 and “unproductive” negotiations on a new deal, the agent for 49ers running back Raheem Mostert said on Twitter that his client is now requesting a trade.

dbrennan@postmedia.com0