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Can Pats pull off a surprise in Buffalo?  –CBS Boston

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Can Pats pull off a surprise in Buffalo? –CBS Boston

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots and Bills will face off for the third time this season on Saturday night, as the two teams square off at Super Wild Card Weekend. The teams shared their regular season encounters, each winning on the other’s field.

So who will win this massive rubber match? Buffalo is riding a four-game winning streak, while New England limped into the playoffs. The Patriots have lost three of their last four games after a huge win at Buffalo on Monday Night Football. Saturday night will be another chill at Highmark Stadium, which could help the race-focused Patriots, but there won’t be 50 mph winds this time around.

Who will advance to the divisional round and who will go home? The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports team make their picks for Saturday night’s Patriots-Bills Wild Card matchup!

Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports

The Bills are four-point favorites this weekend, but you can throw that out the window. They were three-point favorites when the Patriots first beat them in Buffalo.

The Pats are coming off a brutal loss in Miami, but that may be what they need to fire this team up. The Patriots should bounce back and beat the Bills on Saturday night.

Patriots 27, Bills 24

Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports

Everything favors the bills in this one. They play well. They finally started to run the ball. They have an MVP-caliber QB in Josh Allen. They have a top flight defense. And they are healthy.

The Bills have also won three of the last four against the Patriots, and that loss was a crazy, windy, weird night in Buffalo.

The Patriots struggled in the stretch, they’re bumped both sides of the ball, and they have a rookie QB making his playoff debut. They didn’t play Bill Belichick style football down the line, making too many mental and physical mistakes.

Can the Patriots win? Yes. But will they? I don’t feel good about this.

Bills 27, Patriots 17

Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports

Welcome to the tournament and for the Patriots to move forward, a few things have to happen. They need fast starts in attack and defense and they need special teams to be strong.

They also have to play forward. I think that’s the most critical point and another thing. Kyle Dugger has to play. What he gives the Pats in defensive versatility can’t be overstated. He can spy on Josh Allen, make back-to-the-line plays and defend tight end position. Dugger has to play for the Patriots to have a chance.

I also think it’s better for the Pats to play the Bills in Buffalo than if they were to play here in Foxboro. Buffalo, for some reason, isn’t playing its best at home, while New England is 6-2 on the road this season. So I go with the upheaval.

(But if Kyle Dugger is a latecomer, drop everything I said…lol. It’s tough when teams play three times in a season.)

Patriots 17, Bills 10

Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

I’ll never count the Patriots, but I don’t like them this weekend. The Patriots kind of proved they weren’t a top-class AFC team with the way they finished the year, a four-week streak that included a loss to those Bills. Now, take at least one but maybe two starters out of their secondary, and it’s an uphill battle to expect them to win this one.

Unless some weird stuff happens due to the weather and/or a repeat of the Patriots run game bulldozer performance, I think the Bills move on and the Patriots head to the off season.

Bills 27, Patriots 17

Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

The Patriots haven’t looked this hot since their bye week, with their lone win over the Jaguars. Their early-season problems — slow starts, turnovers, bad penalties — have returned, and the Pats have shown no signs of being able to fix them in recent weeks.

The cold should help New England go wild again, but if the Patriots can’t get an early lead, running the ball won’t mean much. The other key for New England is turnover. If Mac keeps throwing the ball to the other team, the Pats are toast.

No one would be surprised if the Bills do things with the Bills and lose this one, but they’re a better team than the Patriots and they’re healthier heading into Saturday.

Bills 24, Patriots 20

Tune in to Saturday Night’s Patriots-Bills Wild Card game on WBZ-TV! Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Patriots GameDay, the Pats and Bills kick off around 8:15 p.m., and after the game, stick around for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!

Can Pats pull off a surprise in Buffalo? –CBS Boston

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