BOSTON SPORTS WAVE

Patriots vs. Bills: BSW Staff Predicts Wild Card Game

Patriots

The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills Saturday night, as the Patriots will play their biggest game in two years. The Boston Sports Wave staff predicts the score of the game.

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Quinn Riley: Bills beat Patriots, 33-16

The Patriots just aren’t aggressive enough to beat the Bills, and running the ball 40 times like they did against Buffalo this season just isn’t sustainable. They would have had just seven points that game if it wasn’t for a 64-yard touchdown run from Damien Harris.

Not to mention the fact that they wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if Stefon Diggs made the catch in the end zone, and while it was a meaningless game, New England just lost to the Dolphins less than a week ago. Not the best showing you want before the biggest game in two years. 

Mac Jones’ play has faltered a bit lately in correlation to the weather getting colder, and with the weather reaching as low as seven degrees tonight, it only benefits the Bills. 

Sam Federman: Bills beat Patriots, 26-20

The Patriots defense hasn’t stepped up to a challenge in over a month, the Patriots offense has started slowly recently, and the team simply doesn’t have the game-changing quarterback like Josh Allen to alleviate all concerns. Allen led the NFL in the Pressure to Sack ratio, meaning that he’s the hardest QB to sack when under pressure, which checks out with New England’s last performance against him. You can make all of the claims that you want about Allen’s poor track record in cold weather, but that’s mostly just noise.

At the end of the day, the Patriots simply peaked too early. Running the ball 40 times will not work again, it isn’t very often in the NFL that a gimmick like that works once, let alone twice. Not to mention, if Stefon Diggs comes down with that ball in the end zone, the Patriots aren’t even in the playoffs.

I don’t expect the Patriots’ offense to come out swinging, but that’s what they’re going to need to do. New England is an underdog with a rookie QB and nothing to lose, the best chance they have at the upset is do the exact opposite of what they’ve done all year and be very aggressive. However, I don’t believe that the Patriots will do that.

Nick Caruso: Patriots beat Bills, 26-23

I see New England getting a lot of production on the ground, allowing them to move up field and getting in scoring position. I wouldn’t be surprised if both sides settle for field goals often as both teams tend to stall out inside the 20.

The turnover battle will likely be the biggest difference-maker here. I see The Pats taking care of the football while buffalo gives one or two to New England.

Cam Ventura: Bills beat Patriots, 20-17

I think this will be a tightly contested game, but ultimately I have to favor the team with the superior quarterback, especially come playoff time. I expect the Patriots to contain Allen more effectively than they did in their last matchup, but with Cole Beasley back Josh Allen will have more matchups to exploit in the secondary.

Offensively if the Patriots can’t run the ball this game could get ugly, but this group has been resilient all year and I expect them to keep it close. This game will likely come down to a handful of plays, and unfortunately for New England, they have not been able to win those type of games throughout the year.

Justin Bott: Bills beat Patriots, 31-17

This playoff matchup appears to be a matchup of two different teams going into the end of their respected seasons.

First, we have the Bills who went undefeated in weeks 15-18 after finally finding a run game with Devin Singletary to balance their offense. Then, there’s the Patriots who’ve been the opposite of consistent during those weeks. The Pats went 1-3 during that span and Mac Jones completed 59.85% of his passes for 233 yards per game with six TDs and five INTs.

New England should be able to run the ball like they’ve been able to against the Bills, but I’ll give the nod to Buffalo based on quarterback play and the fact that the cold and road atmosphere might be a little too much for Jones to handle.

Ryan Cinque: Patriots beat Bills, 27-23

This is the third meeting between these two AFC East rivals with each team winning in each other’s backyard. Mac Jones didn’t play particularly well in either meeting but I expect Bill Belichick to come up with a well-designed game plan to slow down Josh Allen and the Bills offense to the point where Jones doesn’t need to be spectacular.

Expect the Patriots’ defense to be good and their offense to be just enough to squeak out a win in Buffalo.

Lawrence Wolendowski: Bills beat Patriots, 21-10

The Bills defense is feeling slightly disrespected at the moment. A defense that is number one in total yards, passing yards, and points allowed. I think a very stout Bills pass defense causes too many issues for Mac Jones.

Cam Pellegrino: Patriots beat Bills, 17-14

The rushing combination of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris will shred the Buffalo defense, while Josh McDaniels will put his trust in the rookie quarterback in the cold weather. The defense will pick up three turnovers en route to a Wild Card victory.

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