The New England Patriots aren't interested in dwelling on the past. But they certainly haven't forgotten the last time they faced the Buffalo Bills.
That last meeting was a 47-17 Buffalo rout in the 2021 AFC Wild Card Game at Highmark Stadium, where Josh Allen and the Bills offense scored a touchdown on all seven of their drives.
Patriots safety Adrian Phillips provided a rather direct recap of that cold January night when asked Tuesday ahead of the teams' first meeting of 2022.
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"We went out there and it was, what, negative-one (degrees)? Went out there and basically got our face kicked in," Phillips told reporters.
That about sums it up.
Phillips seems determined to produce a different result this time around, however, and not let that Wild Card rout -- or the Bills' 33-21 win in Week 16 -- affect how they play Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.
"You definitely think about (the loss), but you don’t harp on that," Phillips said. “You look at what they did and how they were able to control the game and the plays that they were able to make.
"You think about them not punting the ball basically for two games. It’s a big deal. But at the same time, you can’t let that consume you."
The good news for New England is that Josh Allen may not be at the peak of his powers. The Bills quarterback is still battling an elbow injury that has limited his effectiveness over the past four games -- and Buffalo's effectiveness overall. Allen has four touchdown passes and five interceptions in that span, during which has team has gone 2-2 with one-score wins over the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.
The Bills still present a very challenging matchup for the Patriots, who have struggled defending mobile QBs all season. But it sounds like Phillips and the defense are well aware of that challenge.