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Patriots-Bills Week 18 predictions

Patriots 1st Down: Where Pats stand at Week 18
Patriots 1st Down: Where Pats stand at Week 18 03:38

BOSTON -- Damar Hamlin will be on the minds of everyone Sunday afternoon when the NFL kicks off Week 18 of the 2022 season. The Buffalo Bills will host the Patriots on Sunday, and they'll be riding an emotional high after all the good news on Hamlin's recovery at the end of the week.

It will be a pretty charged day at Highmark Stadium, as the Bills will look to win for their teammate ahead of the playoffs. Several initiatives are in place to honor Hamlin league-wide, and it will be an incredible atmosphere in Buffalo.

The Patriots, meanwhile, will be trying to just make the playoffs with a victory. It's simple for the Pats. Win and they're in. Lose, and they're going losses from the Titans, Steelers, and Dolphins. The Titans lost to the Jaguars on Saturday night, so that avenue is still open for New England.

But it's best that the Patriots just take care of business on their own. Will they? The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports team makes their predictions for Sunday's very unique Patriots-Bills game.

Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports

With everything that has happened this week, this game may be the toughest to predict this season. We are so thankful that Damar Hamlin is doing better, and that right there will put the Bills on a whole different level emotionally. Still, some players may not be ready to go back on the field.

On the Patriots' side, it's win and they're in. But I'm not so sure they'll be able to pull that off.

Bills 28, Patriots 21

Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports

This one is all about the Bills. How do they respond to a week unlike any other week in NFL history? Will they come out sky high on emotion and destroy the Pats? Or doe they fade out in the second half from mental exhaustion?

The crowd will be amazing. Bill Belichick will have his team ready, but can they endure? The Pats are showing signs of being a good team again, but it may be too tough to overcome the Bills in Buffalo.

Bills 31, Patriots 17

Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

Respectfully ... I have to abstain from this one. Not for any reason other than the fact that neither I nor anyone else knows anything about how the Bills will feel putting their uniforms on, strapping on their helmets, and having to play one of the most intense sports on the planet while their thoughts are still on Damar Hamlin. It's not worth even trying to estimate for me. So ... 

Patriots ??, Bills ?? 

Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

There is no way to know how the Bills will respond to the unprecedented and difficult adversity they faced over the last week. But the positive updates on Hamlin had to be a huge boost to the team ahead of this matchup.

For the Patriots, this is it. Despite all the struggles and issues throughout the season, it all comes down to this one game. They showed promising signs and won a must-win game against the Dolphins last week, so maybe they'll build on that.

But that was against a team with Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson at quarterback. The Patriots have yet to beat a good quarterback this season, and now have to deal with Josh Allen and the Bills offense again.

I don't feel great about New England's chances to extend the season.

Bills 31, Patriots 20

Tune in to Sunday's Patriots-Bills game on WBZ--TV -- the television home of the New England Patriots. Coverage continues Friday on WBZ-TV at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access. Coverage kicks off Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, followed by the Pats and the Bills at 1 p.m., and we'll wrap it all up after the game on Patriots 5th Quarter on TV38.

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