There's a lot on the line in Week 13's prime-time finale between the Bills and Patriots. Buffalo is looking to get even with New England after a big Thanksgiving Night rout over the New Orleans Saints to improve to 7-4, while Bill Belichick's squad is aiming to claim its seventh straight win to remain atop the AFC East. But both teams will have an extra opponent under the lights on Monday night: the weather. Forecasts for Orchard Park, home of the Bills' Highmark Stadium, include blustery conditions and a high-wind alert up until just before kickoff.
The Weather Channel forecasts just a 9 percent chance of rain or snow, with temperatures only dropping to the mid- or high-30s, but predicts steady and strong winds throughout the afternoon and evening -- regularly above 20 miles per hour. The high-wind warning, in effect until 7 p.m. Eastern, projects southwest winds between 25-35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. Widespread power outages are also anticipated as a result of the high winds.
This could obviously have implications on the Bills-Patriots matchup. WeatherWorks estimates that teams' passing efficiency decreases by approximately 0.5 yards per attempt facing winds 15-20 mph. Buffalo, in particular, has been fairly dependent on the passing game this year, with Josh Allen headlining their offensive attack. The Patriots, on the other hand, have also aired it out with rookie quarterback Mac Jones but have tended to lean more on their ground game and defense during their win streak.