The New England Patriots should be pulling for a playoff game vs. the Bills

New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots have officially clinched a spot in the 2021 NFL playoffs and in a best-case scenario, they can only hope to face the Buffalo Bills for the third time this season.

The Patriots beat the Bills 14-10 in the, “here’s what we’re doing just try to stop us” game in Buffalo on December 6th. The Bills didn’t like the questions from the media after the game, and generally seemed to be unraveling before our eyes.

Then, on December 26th, the day after Christmas, the Bills beat the Patriots 33-21 in arguably the Patriots’ worst game of the season. The Bills whooped it up pretty well after that one.

The New England Patriots should hope to face the Bills in Buffalo

If the stars align, the Patriots will hopefully face the Bills in Buffalo for one of the three AFC Wild Card games. It would only be fitting.

The Bills felt pretty good about themselves after beating the Patriots at Gillette Stadium after the Patriots’ laid an egg in their worst performance of the season. Granted, it was a good game by Buffalo.

Yet, the celebrations and commentary from the Bills players went way over the top. This was especially true for a team that was still tied record-wise with the team they beat.

Well, certainly the proud Patriots, a bunch of whom have been Super Bowl winners (have any Bills been Super Bowl winners?) probably didn’t appreciate that huge helping of braggadocio laid on them and their fans after the game.

The Patriots played terribly and yet, had a play or two gone their way late in the game, they might still have taken down Buffalo anyway.

The New England Patriots rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, isn’t going to complete just 43 percent of his passes as he did in that crushing defeat to Buffalo that afternoon. Don’t expect that next time out.

Jones will be looking for an Alabama Crimson Tide-style takedown if they play Buffalo again, and so will his teammates. The Bills were effusive in their celebrations after the win in Foxborough. Over-the-top would be a good description.

There’s an old saying, be careful what you wish for. In that celebration, the mediocre Bills sent a boomerang around that may very well say hello to them if they are unfortunate enough to play New England in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Bills and their quarterback Josh Allen (who also popped off after beating the Patriots) had a “stellar” day in their Week 17 win over a poor Atlanta team.

Allen “lit it up” against the lowly Falcons, completing just 42 percent of his passes while adding three interceptions to boot. Let’s hope that version of Allen shows up against the Patriots if these two teams cross paths again.

If he puts up a stinker like that in the playoffs, regardless of who they play, Buffalo will be “on to 2022” in a hurry. They’ll be toast, just another also-ran Buffalo team.

The Buffalo Bills have set a stage with their “celebrations” at Gillette Stadium after they squeaked by the Patriots in the worst game the home team had played all year.

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In the first game, the Patriots told them, we are going to run, stop us. They couldn’t. Then they came into Foxborough, and met a flabby-minded and uncharacteristically self-satisfied team. Yet, they still only squeaked by.

If they meet again in the Wild Card game, the Bills should be aware that the Patriots team they face will be primed both physically and mentally, in a way they weren’t during their most recent meeting. The Patriots will display excellence and professionalism, unlike what Buffalo displayed after the game at Foxborough. That game will then be just an afterthought.

Winners win with class. The Patriots win with class, something Buffalo doesn’t. Yet, they’ll understand it better after playing New England in the playoffs soon. Count on it.