Coming off their coldest contest of the season so far, it looks like the New England Patriots have to get ready to play in their windiest game of the year: the primetime matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night projects to see winds between 25 and 30 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph also possible.
The early scene at the Bills’ Highmark Stadium already sets the tone for what could be in store for the two teams later tonight:
Orchard Park, NY in December — where the goal posts dance.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 6, 2021
The conditions may get better before kickoff, but they are already having an impact — at least on the broadcaster: ESPN, which is carrying the game between the Patriots and Bills, has removed its SkyCam and also decided to move its broadcasting crew away from the sidelines.
Wind might not be the only factor during the game, though. Pregame also saw some snow come in over Lake Erie:
Couple of the Patriots out on the field to check out the deal for tonight.#Bills pic.twitter.com/pFD4lpu2pE— Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) December 6, 2021
Temperatures during the game are expected in the mid-to-low 30s, but the wind in particular could have a major impact. It might effect the two teams’ passing games as well as their special teams units: kickoffs, field goal attempts, point-after tries and punts will all be more challenging than usual if the conditions do not get better.
As far as the two teams are concerned, they will obviously have to adapt to the weather — something the Patriots are apparently prepared to do regardless of the conditions.
“I don’t think there’s too much we haven’t seen,” head coach Bill Belichick said last week. “We haven’t seen a lot of snow this year, but I don’t know what we could do about that. We practice in wind. We practice on sunny days, cloudy days, windy days, calm days, hot days, cold days, wet days, dry days. What’s it going to be? Whatever it is, it is, and if we haven’t done it, then we’ll adjust to it. We’ve dealt with almost everything.”
The Patriots’ high-stakes road game against the Bills will be kicked off at 8:15 p.m. ET.