Bill Belichick plays down Bills’ playoff rematch, but momentum is against Patriots
4 takeaways as Patriots gear up for the playoffs after last loss in Miami
The plummeting Patriots need all the help they can get when they face the surging Buffalo Bills at Orchard Park on Saturday for Wildcard Weekend. Interestingly, they might get another nudge from an old friend: Mother Nature.
WBZ meteorologist Jacob Wycoff’s preliminary forecast for Saturday’s game calls for single-digit temperatures with sub-zero wind chills.
The temperature around the kick-off of the match at 8:15 p.m., according to Wycoff, could be around 8 degrees, although that might make it look like -5. By the time the game ends, that relative temperature could drop to double digits in the subzero range.
The Weather Channel is forecasting about a 34% chance of snow for the day, with scattered flurries (less than 1 inch in total) possible in the afternoon. Winds should be around 8 mph.
Wycoff called it a “typical January football night in Buffalo,” which would certainly be a radical departure from the blizzard conditions and the constant gusts of over 40 mph that tilted the goalposts and knocked them down. made the ball dance in the air the last time the two teams played in New York.
That said, less than favorable weather conditions could once again favor the Patriots.
New England claimed the field victory in Monday night’s clash in Week 13, throwing the ball just three times but rushing 222 yards, holding the Bills within 100 yards and winning the battle for possession time in bad weather.
In Week 16, however, the Bills took advantage of the mild 40-degree and relatively windless weather to completely dominate the Patriots, with Josh Allen throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns.
Frigid temperatures in Buffalo could strain the ground action a bit, which will work for a Patriots team designed to run the ball. Defensively, New England could hopefully pick up physical linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Kyle Dugger to help them contain the Bills’ hasty attack in turn.
As long as the wind isn’t too bad and the players can catch the ball, things won’t be so one-sided in terms of the running game. Mac Jones will almost certainly throw the ball more than three times, and Allen will throw the ball a little more than that.
But those hoping for less than ideal weather appear to be somewhat fulfilling their wish ahead of Saturday’s game.
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