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Buffalo Bills Links, 1/13: Bills-Patriots, Round 3

Plus, the Bills are relatively healthy heading into the playoffs

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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!

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.

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.

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.