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First 5 thoughts on Bills vs. Patriots III in Wild Card playoff game

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First 5 thoughts on Bills vs. Patriots III in Wild Card playoff game

 

After a wild and crazy Sunday filled with intrigue and surprise, the Buffalo Bills are locked into the no. 3 seed in the AFC.

The Las Vegas Raiders outlasted the Los Angeles Chargers in an instant classic that needed overtime. Derek Carr’s team moved into the no. 5 seed and dropped the New England Patriots down to no. 6 following their loss to the Miami Dolphins.

That means it’s Bills vs. Patriots III next Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. on CBS in a Wild Card showdown between AFC East rivals.

Here are some early thoughts on the matchup.

1. Mac Jones better hope the goal posts are rocking

Last month when the Patriots visited Highmark Stadium, Mac Jones was only asked to throw it three times in a game New England controlled with their rushing attack. Jones is coming off a performance against the Miami Dolphins he called “embarrassing.” He finished with 261 yards and a touchdown but his interception in the first half was returned for a touchdown by Miami. Jones threw two interceptions and zero touchdowns against the Bills in Week 16 in Foxborough and will face the the NFL’s no. 1-ranked pass defense again three weeks later. If the weather is agreeable, advantage Buffalo.

2. Who has advantage: Josh Allen or Bill Belichick?

Allen was masterful against the Patriots at Gillette. He had his only 100+ passer rating game of December and threw three touchdowns to lead the Bills to a win that allowed them to win the division on Sunday. Belichick said the Patriots were out-coached in the game. The expectation should be that that won’t happen again. Allen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll are going to have to go back into the lab and devise a new plan. One that likely includes a heavy dose of Devin Singletary in the run game and the pass game. He had 78 total yards three weeks ago and a touchdown on the ground.

3. It’s time to move Isaiah McKenzie up depth chart

Cole Beasley played a ton for the Bills against the Jets on Sunday. He had four catches on five targets for 31 yards, but he hasn’t been affective as he was a year ago on the whole this season. McKenzie had an explosion against the Patriots and should be used again to test their ability to adjust to his speed. If they change how they defend the Bills that should open up other targets.

4. Special teams questions need answers in 6 days

The Bills punting situation is a mess at the moment. Sean McDermott admitted that Matt Haack didn’t have a great game. He punted seven times for a 33.9 average. The conditions were windy and it affected Haack, but there’s no guarantee the conditions are any better next week. While we’re on the topic, the Bills made Marquez Stevenson inactive against the Jets in favor of McKenzie on kick and punt returns. After a few shaky reps, McDermott went back to Micah Hyde in the punt game. That’s a dangerous game to play with one of your most valuable defensive players. The Bills don’t seem to have anyone they trust to return outside of Hyde, who mostly just looks to secure it and maintain possession. McDermott’s decision at this spot in the playoffs is going to be heavily scrutinized.

5. Weather watch is on

The initial weather outlook looks like it could be snow flurries. But the wind conditions could be manageable and the temperatures are going to be in the teens. If it’s just snow that could be a huge advantage for the Bills offense. It’s certainly too early to predict Orchard Park weather, but Bills Mafia is going to be glued to weather.com this week.

 


Sack "The Buffalo Range's TRUSTED News Source!"

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” ~ Dresden James

Parler @NYexile

 

 

 

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you mean the guy that won 3 of the last 4 and only lost the one because of 60MPH winds? I think I'm fine with that matchup. 

 

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Agree on McKenzie.  If the weather is crappy lining both him and Beasley up will give Josh some good short/Int options 

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18 hours ago, thinwhiteduke said:

Look, lol,

I'm sorry but it's Mcduuurrmott vs Belichick.

Pats win

Look, lol

I'm sorry but it's Allen vs Noodle arm.

Bills win.

P.S. Maybe Billy boy's defense will force a punt this game.

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As long as the Bills can stay out of their own way they'll win.  It's as simple as that.  :niterider:

 

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I was looking at McCorkle's completion chart and he's horrendous in the middle of the field and in the yellows. Looks like we just need to stop the run game and crowd in for the short throws he loves to unload.

qb_grid_chart_JON586540_2021_REG_all_163

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Sack "The Buffalo Range's TRUSTED News Source!"

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” ~ Dresden James

Parler @NYexile

 

 

 

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