Can Pats Pull Off An Upset In Buffalo? – CBS Boston

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots and the Bills will square off for the third time this season on Saturday night, as the two teams battle on Super Wild Card Weekend. The teams split their regular season meetings, each winning on the other’s home field.

So who will win this massive rubber match? Buffalo is riding a four-game winning streak, while New England limped into the playoffs. The Patriots dropped three of their final four games following a huge win in Buffalo on Monday Night Football. Saturday night will be another cold one at Highmark Stadium, which could help the run-centric Patriots, but there will be no 50 mph winds this time around.

Who will advance to the divisional round, and who will head home? The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports team makes their picks for Saturday night’s Patriots-Bills Wild Card clash!

Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports

The Bills are four-point favorites this weekend, but you can throw that out the window. They were three-point favorites when the Patriots beat them the first time in Buffalo.

The Pats are coming off a brutal loss in Miami, but it may just be what they need to ignite this team. The Patriots should bounce back and beat the Bills on Saturday night.

Patriots 27, Bills 24

Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports

Everything favors the Bills in this one. They’re playing well. They’ve finally started running the ball. They have an MVP-caliber QB in Josh Allen. They have a high-flying defense. And they’re healthy.

The Bills have also won three of the last four against the Patriots, and that one loss was a wild, windy, bizarre night in Buffalo.

The Patriots struggled down the stretch, they are banged up on both sides of the ball, and they have a rookie QB making his playoff debut. They haven’t played Bill Belichick-style football down the stretch, making too many mental and physical mistakes.

Can the Patriots win? Yes. But will they? I don’t feel great about it.

Bills 27, Patriots 17

Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports

Welcome to the tournament and for the Patriots to advance, a couple of things need to happen. They need fast starts on offense and defense and they need special teams to be sound.

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They also need to play from ahead. I think that is the most critical point and one more thing. Kyle Dugger needs to play. What he gives the Pats as far as defensive versatility cannot be overstated. He can spy on Josh Allen, make plays on the backs at the line and defend the tight end position. Dugger needs to play for the Patriots to have a chance.

I also think it’s better that the Pats play the Bills in Buffalo than if they were to play here in Foxboro. Buffalo, for some reason, does not play their best at home, while New England went 6-2 on the road this season. So I’m going with the upset.

(But if Kyle Dugger is a late scratch, scrap all I said… lol. It’s tough when teams play three times in one season.)

Patriots 17, Bills 10

Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

I’ll never count the Patriots out, but I don’t like them this weekend. The Patriots kind of proved they’re not an upper class AFC team with the way they finished the year, a four-week stretch that included a loss to these Bills. Now remove at least one but maybe two starters from their secondary, and it’s a tall task to expect them to win this one.

Short of some weird things happening due to the weather and/or a repeat of the bulldozing performance from the Patriots’ running game, I think the Bills move on and the Patriots head into the offseason.

Bills 27, Patriots 17

Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

The Patriots have not looked so hot since their bye week, with their only win coming against the Jaguars. Their issues from early in the season — slow starts, turnovers, bad penalties — have returned and the Pats have shown no signs of being able to fix those in recent weeks.

The cold should help New England run wild again, but if the Patriots can’t take an early lead, running the ball won’t mean much. The other key for New England is turnovers. If Mac keeps throwing the ball to the other team, the Pats are toast.

No one would be surprised if the Bills do some Bills things and lose this one, but they’re a better team than the Patriots and they’re healthier heading into Saturday.

Bills 24, Patriots 20

Tune in to Saturday night’s Patriots-Bills Wild Card game on WBZ-TV! Pregame coverage begins at 6:30pm with Patriots GameDay, the Pats and the Bills kick off around 8:15pm, and after the game stick around for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!

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