The Buffalo Bills (7-4) are facing what’s arguably the most important game of the regular season when they take on the New England Patriots (8-4) on Monday Night Football, as it’s their big chance to usurp the top spot in the AFC East.
However, an enemy of both teams will also be present at Orchard Park on December 6, a Northeastern wind with a threat of inclement weather. If the powerful gusts blowing prior to kickoff are any indication of what’s to come, the marquee matchup is going to be a mess.
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WKBW’s sports director Matthew Bove was at the stadium early on Monday and gave a grim update of what it feels like to be at Highmark Stadium as a mere bystander.
Bove tweeted, “It’s so windy inside this stadium. I know we’ve got more than five hours until kickoff but if it stays like this tonight, it’s going to be a mess. Standing still is hard enough, I can’t imagine trying to throw a football in this.”
Spectrum News 1 reporter Jon Scott shared a similar conclusion leading up to the 8:15 p.m. scheduled start. Scott wrote, “Even if things taper off a bit as the game gets going, there’s no doubt the play on the field will be affected in some capacity.”
Will the Inclement Weather Keep Fans From Attending the Game in Person?
It’s not shocking to learn the weather in Orchard Park in December is going to be brutal, therefore Bills’ fans who bought tickets for Monday Night Football are likely very prepared to be miserably cold in order to watch Buffalo defeat the Patriots.
Fans will be bundling up in layers of Buffalo gear as the weather in the evening is expected to drop to a bristling 26 degrees, according to Weather.com.
As for the winds, they “could occasionally gust over 40 miles per hour,” and with a 60% chance of rain, those in attendance shouldn’t be surprised if snow flurries start to fall.”
When Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the impending weather, he gave a playfully sarcastic answer. “We’re not expecting overheating and fans on the sideline,” he said.
According to The Boston Herald, the Patriots held four practices outside in order to prepare for playing in Buffalo in Week 13.
The Bills Haven’t Won at Home on MNF Since 1994
Monday Night Football has not been kind for the Buffalo Bills when playing at Highmark Stadium. The last time the franchise won in weekday primetime at home was on September 26, 1994, when Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas carried the team to a 27-20 victory against John Elway and the Denver Broncos, per The Buffalo News.
However, that’s just one of the reasons nearly every analyst has their money on the Patriots to win. Not only are they on a six-game win streak, by rookie quarterback Mac Jones seems not afraid, but very excited to play in enemy territory in primetime
“They bring a lot of energy, and they have a great fanbase,” said Jones. “They love football. It’s two great franchises going against each other. A lot of football history. This game coming up, like I said, both teams are going to be excited, and there’s going to be energy, so we’ve just got to be ready to go.”