Well, fans might be in store for more of the same when New England and Buffalo meet Thursday night at Gillette Stadium — especially at the beginning of the game.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service forecasted sustained winds of 10-15 mph with gusts of 25-30 mph when the Patriots and Bills kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET. The conditions are expected to linger throughout much of the first half. However, from 10 p.m. onward, sustained winds will be 10-15 mph with gusts largely diminishing. As for temperatures, wind chills will make it feel like 26-28 degrees for much of the night.
Here’s how those numbers would compare to the Bills and Jets wind games, respectively:
(All data via MesoWest.)
At Bills (Dec. 6, 2021, 8:15 p.m. kickoff)
Max gust at kickoff: 29 mph
Sustained winds at kickoff: 23 mph
Max gust at 10 p.m.: none
Sustained winds at 10 p.m.: 22 mph
Vs. Jets (Nov. 20, 2022, 1 p.m. kickoff)
Max gust at kickoff: 16 mph
Sustained winds at kickoff: 7 mph
Mas gust at 3 p.m.: 30 mph
Sustained winds at 3 p.m.: 15 mph
So, Thursday night’s game in Foxboro, Mass., could be very similar to what we saw during the Nov. 20 Jets game, if not worse at times. That Bills game was a totally different beast.
Gusts during the first half could be more intense than they were during the first half in Week 11 with the reverse happening in the second half. Sustained winds could be comparable throughout. One way or another, it’s going to be a cold night for the Patriots and Bills.
The bad news for New England is that Josh Allen proved during the second half of last season’s game in Buffalo that he has the arm strength to overcome high-speed winds. Whether Mac Jones is capable of the same remains to be seen, as he threw just three passes against the Bills last December and rarely was asked to throw the ball downfield against New York in Week 11.
Of course, there’s a slim chance that forecasts shift over the next 24 hours and that conditions wind up being relatively mild at Gillette Stadium. We all know how Belichick feels about weather forecasts.
Still, at this point, all signs point toward wind being a factor Thursday night.