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Round 3: Patriots Heading To Buffalo For Wild Card Showdown With Bills

BOSTON (CBS) -- Here we go again. The Patriots and the Bills will square off for the third time in six weeks, set to play some postseason football in Buffalo on Super Wild Card Weekend.

With the Las Vegas Raiders beating the L.A. Chargers in overtime on Sunday night, the Patriots are slotted in as the AFC's six-seed and get to meet the three-seeded Bills. New England and Buffalo split their two regular season matchups, with each team winning on the other's home field. Now they'll do battle next weekend for a trip to the AFC Divisional Round.

The second playoff game ever between the two teams will take place on Saturday, Jan. 15, with kickoff set for 8:15pm. You can see the game on WBZ-TV.

The Patriots won a wild game at Highmark Stadium on Dec. 6, handing the Bills a 14-10 defeat on a windy night in Buffalo. Mac Jones threw just three passes in the game, as the Patriots ran the ball 44 times. They essentially ran the clock out the entire game, rushing for 222 yards against the Buffalo defense. Damien Harris scored New England's only touchdown -- a 64-yard touchdown run on the team's third possession -- and finished the game with 111 rushing yards on just 10 carries. Harris had to leave in the second half with a hamstring injury, but rookie Rhamondre Stevenson took the torch and ran for 78 yards on his 24 attempts.

Josh Allen completed 15 of his 30 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown to Stefon Diggs in the windy conditions, but he couldn't connect with Gabriel Davis on a fourth-and-goal late in the game that would have given Buffalo a late lead and likely the win. It was one of the most unique games in NFL history, and the victory gave the Patriots the inside track for the AFC East title at the time.

But the Bills got their revenge a few weeks later, handing the Patriots a 33-21 defeat at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots pulled within five points midway through the fourth quarter, but Buffalo never trailed in the game. Allen torched New England for 314 yards and three touchdowns, with Isaiah McKenzie going off for 125 yards and a touchdown on his 11 receptions.

Jones led the Patriots on two straight scoring drives to start the second half, both of which ended with Harris rushing touchdowns, but the rookie quarterback threw a pair of interceptions in the loss. He was picked off by Micah Hyde with just over a minute left to seal the win for Buffalo.

After shutting the Bills down a few weeks prior in those blustery conditions, the New England defense allowed Buffalo to rack up 428 total yards and did not record a sack on Allen. The quarterback also ran for 64 yards on his 12 carries.

Buffalo was 6-for-12 on third down and 3-for-4 on fourth down against the Patriots in that Week 16 win in Foxboro. The Bills closed the regular season with four straight wins to finish 11-6 and win the AFC East for the second straight year.

The Patriots had the Bills' number for the two decades that it was Tom Brady and Bill Belichick leading the way, going 33-4 against their divisional opponent from 2001-2019. But things have turned a bit over the last two years, with Buffalo winning three of the last four matchups.

New England leads the series against Buffalo 77-46-1 all-time. The two teams have met in the playoffs just once before; when the Patriots beat the Bills 26-8 in the 1963 AFC Eastern Division playoff.

Tune in to Saturday night's Patriots-Bills Wild Card game on WBZ-TV! Kickoff is set for 8:15pm and after the game stick around for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!

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