Bill Belichick, Mac Jones and Patriots offense take massive hit for playoff game vs. Bills
The New England Patriots travel to Buffalo to square off with their division rival Bills Saturday night. The teams met twice this season, splitting the season series. In both wins, it was very obvious what Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s game plan was: Run the ball until you can’t run anymore.
In the first meeting, New England quarterback Mac Jones attempted three passes, while the team rushed for 46 times for 222 yards in a road win. They attempted to do the same in the second meeting, but fell behind early and needed to change the strategy.
For insight on the Patriots’ Wild Card playoff matchup against the Bills, listen below:
On Friday, the Patriots ruled out starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn for Saturday’s game vs. the Bills:
Isaiah Wynn has been downgraded to OUT for #NEvsBUF.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 14, 2022
Wynn, a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Georgia, started 15 games this season for New England. Wynn has been dealing with ankle and hip injuries of late. He has been an anchor for the Patriots’ offensive line this season. The offensive line ranked as the 9th best offensive line in football this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Wynn’s importance cannot be overstated, nor the offensive line unit as a whole. With the rookie quarterback Jones under center, being able to run the ball effectively and pass protect well is vital to the team’s success.
Starting center David Andrews is also listed as questionable for this weekend’s game.
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Buffalo has considerably more talent than New England. But in a game where the temperature is expected to be below zero degrees with wind chill, throwing the ball might become a premium. That would place even greater importance on the ability to run the football. If the Patriots were without their starting left tackle and center, that could prove difficult against the NFL’s top-ranked defense.