Updated Pats-Bills forecast: How weather will impact playoff matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
You've probably heard a lot of chatter about the weather in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Saturday night, and how it could impact the New England Patriots' AFC Wild Card matchup with the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium.
Weather can be tricky to predict days in advance, though: Initial forecasts projected the possibility of snow, while more recent forecasts called for intense cold in the Western New York area.
Now that gameday is upon us, here's one final (and accurate) update for what the Patriots and Bills will be dealing with Saturday night, courtesy of our weather page:
Yup: It's gonna be cold.
The Orchard Park area received a light dusting of snow Saturday afternoon, but the precipitation will be long gone by 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff. Instead, the region will see frigid temperatures as low as 3 degrees with a light wind of 6 mph.
As for that Winter Storm Warning: A massive snowstorm is expected to dump over a foot of snow on Western New York starting Sunday night, about 24 hours after Patriots-Bills.
The ice-cold conditions Saturday night could benefit the Patriots: Bills quarterback Josh Allen has rather pedestrian stats in the five games he's played in below-freezing temperatures, and Saturday will be by far the coldest game of his NFL career. (For context, this game could be the coldest ever in Patriots history; the current record is 4 degrees for New England's 2003 divisional-round matchup with the Tennessee Titans.)
The same goes for Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, but New England relies on a more ground-heavy attack that's a bit more weather-resistant.
Allen should be pleased by the lack of strong winds, though. The Patriots got some help from gale-force winds in Buffalo in Week 13 to neutralize Allen and the Bills' passing attack, but Allen should have no problem airing it out Saturday provided he can handle the cold weather.
The Patriots enter Saturday's game as a 4-point underdog, so they'll be hoping Allen and his teammates have a little difficulty with the elements.