The Bills and Patriots are set to square off for the third time in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and it will be their third meeting in a relatively short period of time.
New England won 14-10 on a blustery night in Buffalo in Week 13 and the Bills got a win back by beating the Patriots 33-21 in Week 16. That makes the two teams very familiar with one another as they prepare for Saturday night’s elimination game.
On Wednesday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked at his press conference about his approach to a third game against the same team in the same season. Belichick said he is “sure there’ll be wrinkles” that the teams didn’t see in the first two matchups this year because “each game has its own unique circumstances and matchups.”
“It’s similar to [playing a team] twice,” Belichick said. “Look, I think the big thing any time you play a team a second or third time, or whatever it is, it’s a new game. We’re starting from scratch. Don’t think or assume the game is going to go like another one did. Be ready to play it out, play it as you see it, and make the necessary adjustments and decisions that come up in this game. Whatever happened in some other game happened. We learned something from that, but we have to play this game as it plays out. It’ll be different than any other game. As long as we do that, we’ll be OK.”
Weather played a big role in the Patriots’ first trip to Buffalo and it’s supposed to be very cold on Saturday night, but there won’t be the same winds that affected game plans the last time around. That alone guarantees that both sides will have to find a new approach against a familiar foe.