When the Las Vegas Raiders held off the Los Angeles Chargers in the final game of the regular season, it meant the No. 3 Buffalo Bills would host the No. 6 New England Patriots in a Wild Card game at Highmark Stadium on Saturday night.
This is only the second time these two teams have squared off in the postseason, and will be the rubber match between these two AFC East rivals, as each team won on the road during the regular season.
Today’s edition of the Bills daily links leads off by examining how Saturday’s playoff game will either be sweet revenge for the Bills—sending Bill Belichick and the Patriots packing—or the latest in a long line of disappointing losses to the Evil Empire in New England.
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Buffalo hosting New England on Wild Card weekend
The last (and only) time the Bills and Patriots met in the playoffs, extreme weather was a factor, as snow limited the power running of Bills legend Cookie Gilchrist during a 26-8 loss to the then-Boston Patriots. That was the first playoff game in Bills history. The next playoff game is also against the Patriots, and weather is once again expected to play a role, with temperatures in the low single digits, snow possible, and winds up to 15 miles per hour.
We discuss why Bills vs. Patriots III is either going to be extremely sweet (if Buffalo can hand Bill Belichick a second loss this year and send the Patriots home for the winter) or another in a long line of excruciating setbacks vs. their bitter rivals. Plus, learn more about how these two teams matchup, get score predictions and expert analysis on this Wild Card game, relive the top moments from the Patriots-Bills rivalry, and more!
- Mark Gaughan: Bills-Pats, Round 3 is going to be so sweet – or so bitter | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
- 6 things to watch for in Bills vs. Patriots | Super Wild Card weekend - BuffaloBills.com
- What To Watch For In The NFL’s Wild-Card Weekend | FiveThirtyEight
- Bills vs. Pats | Numbers to know + score predictions | Wild Card Weekend - BuffaloBills.com
- NFL wild card playoffs - Some top moments from the New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills rivalry - ESPN.com
- Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas to appear as the Bills Legends of the game | Wild Card weekend - BuffaloBills.com
- How to watch NFL Super Wild Card Weekend: Date, time, TV channel, live stream for all 6 games - newyorkupstate.com
Wednesday’s injury reports
The Bills are as healthy as can be in the days leading up to the Wild Card showdown with the Patriots, with only Cole Beasley (veteran rest day) limited during Wednesday’s practice session. On the other side, 11 Patriots were limited, including standout defensive tackle Christian Barmore, while starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn and key linebacker Jamie Collins sat out New England’s practice on Wednesday.
- Injury report: Two key Patriots did not practice Wednesday | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
- Patriots at Bills: Wednesday injury reports - WGR 550
Expect freezing temperatures on Wild Card Saturday
Saturday’s Wild Card clash vs. the Patriots won’t be the coldest game in franchise history—that honor is claimed by the 1993 Divisional Round home game vs. the Los Angeles Raiders when it was 0 degrees with a wind chill of -18 for Buffalo’s 29-23 win—but it could be close. Temperatures are expected to hover around zero with some wind gusts. Learn more about the anticipated frigid temperatures, find out tips for fans to stay warm, relive how the weather was also a factor in the only other playoff game between the Bills and the Patriots, and discover what punter Matt Haack is doing to improve his cold-weather punting.
- Significantly cold temps expected for Bills’ playoff game - WGR 550
- Brrr-smafia: Bills vs. Patriots set to be among coldest games played in Orchard Park (Latest forecast) - newyorkupstate.com
- Erik Brady: Weather was a factor too in only other Bills-Patriots postseason meeting | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
- Matt Haack, Bills forget past punting woes ahead of frigid wild-card game | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Odds and ends
We discuss why defensive tackle Ed Oliver credits head coach Sean McDermott with saving his career, and why Levi Wallace feels he’s the best off cornerback in the league—and how his play is backing up that bold statement. Plus, we review the Week 18 win over the New York Jets to see how defensive tackle Harrison Phillips stole the show and how tight end Dawson Knox and tackle Tommy Doyle are making Buffalo’s offense go, hear from defensive end Jerry Hughes on his future in Western New York, and more.
- Why Bills’ Ed Oliver says Sean McDermott saved his career - newyorkupstate.com
- ‘I think I’m the best off corner in the league’: The Bills’ Levi Wallace is ready to tell another story – The Athletic (subscription required)
- The Bills’ win could have been even bigger and Harrison Phillips steals the show: All-22 film review – The Athletic (subscription required).
- Jerry Hughes uncertain of future with Bills, wants to go out on top - newyorkupstate.com
- Report: Bills’ Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier set to interview Sunday with Miami Dolphins | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com