No. 6 New England Patriots (10-7) at No. 3 Buffalo Bills (11-6)
Saturday, January 15, 8:15PM ET
Had I been making this prediction a few weeks ago, I’d undoubtedly go with the New England Patriots to topple the Buffalo Bills on the road. However, at this point in time, there isn’t much reason to get behind the Patriots as we head into Wild Card weekend.
New England is hurting right now. They’ve lost three of their last four, with their only win coming against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. Mac Jones has regressed after a strong middle of his rookie campaign, and the defense hasn’t been nearly as dominant in recent weeks as it was earlier in the year. There’s just no momentum behind the Patriots right now.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills have to be feeling good coming into this one. They defeated the Patriots only two weeks ago, and are riding a four-game winning streak as we head into the playoffs. I regularly dubbed the Bills as AFC favorites earlier in the year, and I’m thinking I might not have been as off as I once thought.
Josh Allen must avoid giving the ball away, and the Bills need to get the ground game going. As long as they can do that while putting pressure on Jones, there’s no reason to believe Buffalo can’t come away with a decisive victory. You can never count out Bill Belichick, but the Patriots don’t have the edge in this one.
Prediction: Bills win 27-20