The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills split their regular-season series that included a game held in blustery conditions in Buffalo that saw New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones attempt just three passes on the first Monday night of December. Buffalo avenged that 14-10 defeat via a 33-21 victory over New England the day after Christmas and ultimately secured the AFC East title and a home wild-card playoff game versus the Patriots.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke with media members Wednesday ahead of the upcoming Saturday night postseason clash and made it clear he expects to witness a unique encounter.
"It’s similar to [playing a team] twice," Belichick explained, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. "Look, I think the big thing any time you play a team a second or third time, or whatever it is, it’s a new game. We’re starting from scratch. Don’t think or assume the game is going to go like another one did. Be ready to play it out, play it as you see it, and make the necessary adjustments and decisions that come up in this game. Whatever happened in some other game happened. We learned something from that, but we have to play this game as it plays out. It’ll be different than any other game. As long as we do that, we’ll be OK."
According to Chase Goodbread of the NFL's website, temperatures could be in the low single digits in Buffalo by kickoff Saturday night. Recent history suggests that could benefit the Patriots even if the wind isn't as much of an issue this weekend as it was on Dec. 6.