Why NFL Writer Believes Patriots Will Upset Bills In Wild-Card Game

Saturday will mark the rivals' third meeting of the season

by

January 13

The Patriots and the Bills were trending in very different directions over the last quarter of the 2021 NFL regular season.

New England started to plummet after its Week 13 win in Buffalo, while Josh Allen and Co. impressively rebounded from that frustrating loss and won the AFC East. Despite the Bills having all the momentum and arguably being the clear-cut better team set to take the field Saturday night at Highmark Stadium, Gregg Rosenthal is predicting the Patriots to advance to the divisional round.

“The recent trend lines are going the Bills’ way,” Rosenthal wrote for NFL.com. “Buffalo’s sneaky-good running attack — sixth on the season in yards and yards per carry — has gone to another level because Josh Allen is doing his best Cam Newton impression. The Patriots’ defense has been undisciplined and lifeless up front for a month. Mac Jones is mad at himself and playing like a guy trying to be perfect.

“I’m zigging here partly because it’s 2021 and I need an upset this weekend, and partly because of Bill Belichick. Three matchups in seven weeks is outrageous and should favor the coaching staff that has its team ready to be flexible and creative. Look for guys like Rhamondre Stevenson and Kendrick Bourne to break tackles and start a new generation of random Patriots playoff heroes.”

There are a few factors that should keep Patriots fans optimistic about their team’s playoff opener. Belichick has significantly more playoff experience than Sean McDermott, and the brutally cold weather conditions expected for Saturday night might be a major hindrance for Allen.

New England is an underdog for a reason, but a Patriots win definitely wouldn’t be utterly surprising.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images
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