There is no love lost between these clubs. Will the Pats pass the AFC East torch?
Five keys to the game for when the Patriots play the Bills this weekend.
Patriots vs Bills Wild Card Weekend
2 QBs. 2 paths to victory. Mac Jones needs to protect the football and make a few first downs. Josh Allen needs to recreate his last meeting. 314 yds, 3 TD, 104.4 QBR.
Mac JonesJosh Allen
The Patriots are ranked 2nd in the NFL in interceptions and Completion %. Josh Allen's 314 yard, 2 TD performance is an aberration on the 2021 schedule. This is a Bill Belichik D. They will be ready and have wrinkles.
Pats Pass D
The Patriots D is good, but the Bills' D is arguably better. 1st in Yards Per Attempt, 1st in Completion % and has only allowed over 220 passing yards 3 times in 2021. Mac Jones won't pass much. But he threw 2 picks the last time they met.
Bills Pass D
Rhamondre Stevenson delivered 606 yards and 5 TDs in 2021. Brandon Bolden 405 receiving. Damien Harris 929 yards and all 3 are solid in blitz pickup. They move the offense and take pressure off of Mac Jones.
2021 Stefon Diggs has 103 receptions, 1,225 yards, and 10 TDs. He got 13 targets the last time these two teams met. JC Jackson will have him in coverage and it's a battle to watch. Allen shares the ball but stop Diggs and stop the Bills.
Stefon Diggs vsJC Jackson
da Bease has 5.1 receptions a game, but more importantly a 73.2 catch %. The man moves the sticks and will burn you if you think he is just an underneath receiver.
Mac Jones spreads the ball around (Patriots way) but Jakobi Meyers is his favorite target as evidenced by his 2021 83 reception, 866 yards, 2 TD, 65.9 Catch %.
With a comparatively healthy team, Bill Belichick is facing an opponent he knows in a playoff game with a week to prepare.