Patriots

Patriots will face Bills for third time this season in AFC wild-card round

"Going to take it like it could be the last one, but I’m going to fight like hell to have more."

Patriots wild card
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones celebrates with New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden. AP Photo/Doug Murray

The Patriots will face a familiar foe in their AFC wild-card game on Saturday.

After a wild Sunday — which included a Patriots loss to the Dolphins, a Bills win over the Jets and ultimately a Raiders win over the Chargers — the Patriots locked in a game against the AFC East champion Bills for the third time this season.

The Patriots and Bills will kick off at 8:15 p.m. from Orchard Park on Paramount +.

The Patriots lost to the Dolphins 33-24 in their final game of the regular season on Sunday, but they earned a playoff slot last Sunday when they smacked the Jaguars 50-10. They split their two regular-season meetings with the Bills — claiming a bizarre snowy victory in which Mac Jones threw three passes on Dec. 6, before falling 33-21 on Dec. 26.

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Brandon Bolden said the team isn’t ready for its season to be over.

“There’s no reason to lay down and take anything,” Bolden said. “We have a lot to fight for. I know me personally, that’s how I’m approaching it. That’s how I’m going into next week. I’m not finished. Go into next week, going to take it like it could be the last one, but I’m going to fight like hell to have more.”

Still, multiple Patriots — including Matthew Slater — noted that the Patriots have plenty of room for improvement.

“Obviously we know we can’t play like that next week,” he said. “If we do, our season will be over. We’re going to have to dig deep and make a decision what does this mean to us.”

Here’s a look at the full wild card scenario.

The Raiders could have shifted the entire playoff picture with their game against the Chargers — a tie would have allowed both teams into the postseason, while a win eliminated the loser and opened the door for the Steelers. The game went to overtime and very nearly ended in a tie, but the Raiders ultimately made a final field goal to eliminate the Chargers.

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