The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots are set to go head-to-head in the playoffs for the first time in the Super Bowl era. The two teams will battle it out on Saturday night in the AFC Wild Card Round at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.
NFL on CBS play-by-play man Ian Eagle has seen plenty of the Bills this season, as he will be in the broadcast booth again for the call with Charles Davis on Saturday. He joined the "Howard and Jeremy Show" on Friday, where he believes the Bills are set up for success on both sides of the ball.
“The balance on this team, what they provide, the dynamic offense - Josh Allen in particular - and defensively," Eagle said with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on WGR. "While the one area of defense was exposed in the first meeting between these two teams [on Dec. 6], they make up for it in a lot of really strong areas defensively. To be No. 1 in the league in total defense, No. 1 in the league in scoring defense, those things don't happen by accident. It's a really strong unit, and excellent chemistry, more than anything else to me. That's what stands out about this group.”
Meanwhile, Eagle is well-aware of how cryptic Patriots head coach Bill Belichick can be when it comes to game preparation. When speaking with Belichick earlier this week, Eagle admitted he had one question coming away from this Patriots group: "What team are we going to see?"
“[Belichick] thinks this Patriots team, at times, different points in the season, have done everything that they've asked of them," Eagle said. "They’ve executed at a high level. Their operation has been good in all three phases. Special teams is really important to them, as you know. And then there are stretches where they just couldn't sustain it. And we saw that even last week against Miami [Dolphins]. That's what gives Patriots fans some pause this year.”
With temperatures likely to hover near zero degrees and sub-zero wind chills on Saturday, both teams have been in a frenzy trying to prepare for this game. When speaking with Patriots quarterback Mac Jones this week, Eagle was told the rookie signal caller tried to do whatever he could to prepare for this weekend's conditions.
“Mac Jones is a rookie quarterback dealing with cold weather, and if you can think about how many emails you've gotten and I've gotten, think about what he's getting," Eagle said. "Everybody's coming out of the woodwork. 'Mac, you've got to do this, you got to do that.' We talked to Mac. He said he's got a plan with the equipment manager. They feel good about it.”
You can listen to Eagle's entire interview during the "Howard and Jeremy Show" below: