BUFFALO, N.Y. — When the Bills welcomed the Patriots to Orchard Park in Week 13, New England found success running the ball. The Patriots ran for over 200 yards while wind gusts picked up near 40 mph.
The Bills had a tough time containing the New England offense, which threw only three passes. Looking ahead to this Saturday, the two teams meet again for the third time in less than 40 days, and it's expected to be one of the coldest games ever played in Orchard Park.
The weather may play a factor again as far as what each coaching staff will want to do to move the ball.
Bills veteran defensive end Jerry Hughes is ready for the challenge.
"That first matchup, lets just be frank, they punched us in the mouth," he said. "We knew going back to their place we had to return the favor in our style, and our way, and our guys were able to do that.
"Now you know this is Round 3. They are coming back to our home, our the stage is now heightened because loser goes home."
The loser's season does end, and the winner moves on to the divisional round. If Buffalo wins, it would most likely play either Kansas City or Cincinnati, depending on any wild card round upsets.
But before we get too far ahead, Buffalo is focused on New England.
Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver also commented on the elements making this Sunday's New England game plan that much more difficult to prepare for.
"When they come out, they might switch it up. It might be a different game. Whatever they do, we have to be on it, dialed in, locked in. Last but not least, we have to protect our reputation,” Oliver said.
If the Bills are able to stop Bill Belichick and this Patriots offense, the narrative around the Bills should be Super Bowl or bust. They have all of the talent, and now being able to put the team that has nearly won the division every year for the past 15 years to bed is a big step forward for this franchise.
Saturday should be a memorable time for the organization and the fan base.