Much was made last week about New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones playing in cold weather for the first time in his career.
Jones and the Patriots likely will see even less favorable weather conditions this week.
The early Weather.com forecast for Monday night’s game between the Patriots and Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium calls for a low temperature of 26 degrees with 20-mph winds and a 30% chance of snow. The Orchard Park, N.Y., area also is expected to be pounded by rain, snow and wind earlier in the day.
Good, old-fashioned December football weather.
The Patriots handled the Tennessee Titans 36-13 last Sunday amid temperatures in the 30s and occasional snow flurries at Gillette Stadium, and Jones threw for a career-high 310 yards in the win. The Jacksonville, Fla., native and Alabama product did have some notable missed throws in that game, though, raising questions about whether the unfamiliar conditions affected him.
New England’s offense, which boasts a powerful ground game and relies mostly on short and intermediate throws than downfield bombs, is built to succeed in poor weather, but it’ll face a difficult test against a Bills defense that ranks at or near the top of the NFL in nearly every category.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen is used to wintery conditions from his college career at Wyoming, but he’s played in sub-freezing temperatures just twice at the NFL level, per Pro-Football-Reference. Despite some regression from Allen, an NFL MVP front-runner in 2020, Buffalo boasts the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense this season, trailing only Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 8-4 Patriots currently lead the 7-4 Bills by a half-game in the AFC East standings. The longtime division rivals will square off again in Foxboro, Mass., on Dec. 26.