The Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention, but the Buffalo Bills are still fighting for a spot, and New England can play spoiler when the two teams meet on New Year’s Eve in Orchard Park.

Even though the Patriots are 4-11, Bills quarterback Josh Allen knows New England is not a team to be overlooked, especially since they defeated Buffalo 29-25 in Week 7.

“The fact that we lost game one, I think, tells these guys, we gotta put our best stuff out on the field, or we’re not going to win this game,” Allen said, per the team. “And, frankly, it’s a game that we need to win, and they know that we know that.

“If I’m in the New England Patriots locker room, I’m looking to ruin their season. An opponent’s playoff hopes are on the line, division rival, so they’re going to be ready to go, I can guarantee you that. That in turn makes us have to be ready to go as well.”

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The Bills are coming off three straight wins against the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers while the Patriots are looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season — coming off the 26-23 victory over the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.

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“They’re a good football team,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said, per the team. “As I’ve said before, the NFL is up for grabs every week. Records do not matter. They played a good football team in Denver and beat them. So I think they’re playing good football, they’re well-coached, as we all know, and we have a lot of respect for what they’ve done here.”

Allen pinpointed one area the Patriots have excelled in this season, particularly in recent weeks.

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“Their defense is playing at a very high level,” Allen said. “They got guys that are smart that can play multiple positions. They’re rushing the passer very well right now, and it’s a Bill Belichick-coached team so we got to take that into account.”

With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Bills currently sit in the sixth seed but are still in contention to win the AFC East. If Buffalo beats New England on Sunday and the Baltimore Ravens defeat the Miami Dolphins, the Week 18 Bills-Dolphins game would be for the division. New England will look to end Buffalo’s chances on Sunday.

Featured image via Kris Craig / USA TODAY Sports Images