How much of a factor will the weather play?
The forecast calls for rain, snow, and wind on Monday night in Orchard Park; a far cry from elements conducive to throwing the ball.
Josh Allen stated this week that he understands the Bills drafted him to play in these elements, as he played in similar conditions in college at Wyoming. Allen also noted the importance of establishing a running game and taking care of the ball.
Running the ball is not something the Buffalo Bills have done extremely well this season. However, the Bills rank 11th in the league in rushing yards and 9th in yards per attempt. Buffalo may summon the services of punishing running back Zack Moss, who was a healthy scratch last week as the Bills called on Matt Breida to provide a spark in the backfield.
For the Patriots, the weather shouldn’t alter their game plan much at all. They’ve been a sound team on both sides of the ball, they don’t make mistakes, are one of the least penalized teams in the league, and they force turnovers. This weather suits their style of play.
If the weather is as bad as experts are predicting, holding on to the ball becomes much more of a concern.
As up and down as the Bills have been this season, their goals are still within reach. With a win on Monday night, Buffalo could vault itself into the two-seed in the conference and reclaim the top spot in the AFC East. With a loss to the Patriots, the division isn’t out of reach, but the chances of a home playoff game decrease.
This is the biggest game of the year to this point. And both teams would love nothing more than a division victory on primetime television.