Patriots vs. Bills live score, updates, highlights from NFL Week 18 game

By | January 8, 2023

There is perhaps no game more important to the AFC playoff picture than Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and Bills.

Because of Buffalo’s canceled “Monday Night Football” game in Week 17, the outcome of this AFC East game can produce several playoff outcomes.

MORE: Updated NFL standings, playoff picture for Week 18

A win by the Bills would clinch at least the No. 2 seed for them. The Chiefs wrapped up the AFC’s top seed and a first-round bye with their win Saturday over the Raiders.

New England is in a “win and your’re in” situation. It needs only to beat the Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., to earn the AFC’s No. 7 seed. The Patriots can get in via other methods should they lose to or tie Buffalo, including:

  • Patriots tie vs. Bills AND Dolphins lose/tie vs. Jets AND Steelers lose/tie vs. Browns
  • Dolphins lose vs. Jets AND Steelers lose vs. Browns

MORE: Watch Patriots-Bills live with fuboTV (free trial)

The Dolphins and Steelers will be watching this game closely. If Buffalo and Miami both win, then the Dolphins would get in as the No. 7 seed, setting up a rubber match between the divisional opponents in the wild-card round. Should Buffalo win, Miami lose and Pittsburgh win, then the Steelers would get that coveted final seed.

All that to is say: There is a lot on the line on the final day of the regular season.

The Sporting News will track live scoring updates and highlights from the pivotal Week 18 AFC East meeting between the Patriots and Bills:

MORE: What Bills vs. Bengals cancellation means for AFC scenarios

Patriots vs. Bills score

  1 2 3 4 F
Patriots 7 0
Bills 7 7

Patriots vs. Bills live updates, highlights from Week 18 game

Second quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7

2:01 p.m: Allen converts another third-and-short with a 6-yard pass to Isaiah McKenzie to the Buffalo 47.

1:59 p.m.: Matthew Judon, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 15.5 sacks, is injured on the Bills’ second-down play, a 5-yard gain by James Cook on second-and-8.

1:51 p.m.: The Patriots start their next drive with a 6-yard loss by Harris to set up second-and-16. That puts New England behind the sticks, and the Pats can’t convert a first down. They’ll send it back to the Bills.

1:46 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Bills. One play later, Allen takes his sweet time (provided from excellent protection from his O-line) to find Dawson Knox in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown. Buffalo leads again, 14-7, with 14:15 left in the half.

1:45 p.m.: Singletary is hit for a 2-yard loss on first-and-goal, setting up second down from the 4.

First quarter: Bills 7, Patriots 7

1:42 p.m.: One play later, Allen finds Davis for 18 yards at the Patriots’ 2-yard line. That will end the first quarter.

1:41 p.m.: Nice play by Devin McCourty to break up a pass to Khalil Shakir, who was absolutely all alone in the back of the end zone.

1:40 p.m.: Allen to Diggs again, this time for 16 yards to the at New England 24.

1:38 p.m.: Actually, it’s a moot point: Bobby Hart gets a 2-yard carry to move the chains to the Pats’ 40.

1:37 p.m.: Injury update: Jabrill Peppers is questionable to return after getting hard on the Pats’ kickoff following their game-tying touchdown.

1:37 p.m.: Allen avoids the pressure and finds Gabe Davis for 9 yards to the New England 42 to set up third-and-1. Four-down territory?

1:36 p.m.: Allen finds Stefon Diggs for 16 yards to the Buffalo 49 on third-and-2. Bills drive continues.

1:35 p.m.: Devin Singletary starts the Bills’ second drive of the day with a 6-yard run.

1:29 p.m.: The touchdown is confirmed, tying the score 7-7 with 5:45 left in the first quarter.

1:25 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, PATRIOTS. New England drives down the field with an efficient drive from Jones, who completes 6 of 6 passes for 58 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Meyers that’s under review.

1:24 p.m.: Sure enough, a Jones pass to Parker goes for 11 yards to the 6-yard line, setting up first-and-goal from there.

1:23 p.m.: A couple of Damien Harris runs gets the Patriots down inside the red zone with a first down at the 17. New England can get a first down without a touchdown at the 7.

1:21 p.m.: The Patriots are on the outside of the Bills’ red zone with a couple of nice pickups: Jones completions to Jakobi Meyers for 20 yards and Davante Parker for 17 yards to get to the Buffalo 28.

1:17 p.m.: And now the Patriots get a sack on Josh Allen, with Deatrich Wise Jr. hitting the quarterback for a loss of 13 yards. The ensuing 41-yard punt pins New England at its 26-yard line.

1:14 p.m.: The Bills are moving toward midfield, facing third-and-7 from their own 46-yard line.

1:09 p.m.: Patriots quarterback takes a 9-yard sack on third-and-8 by Gregory Rousseau to set up fourth-and-17 and bring out the punt team. The Bills will take over at their 32 following the 47-yard punt.

1:07 p.m.: Damar Hamlin clearly appreciates the opening play, as do the Bills players:

1:04 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Bills. Buffalo gets a storybook opening to its Week 18 game vs. the Patriots, as Nyheim Hines returns it 96 yards for an opening touchdown. The Bills lead 7-0 after just one play.

All times Eastern.

12:59 p.m.: The Bills give a huge roar for Hamlin, whose recovery has been a point of emphasis throughout the NFL:

12:58 p.m.: New England is also showing appreciation for Hamlin during warmups:

12:55 p.m: The Bills are showing lots of love for Damar Hamlin, who has made remarkable progress from cardiac arrest in Week 17:

What time is the NFL game today?

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 8
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET

Patriots vs. Bills will kick off at 1 p.m. ET from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-30s Fahrenheit, with no threat of precipitation.

What channel is Patriots vs. Bills on today?

The game will be broadcast regionally on CBS affiliate stations. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call the game from the booth while Tracy Wolfson reports from the sidelines. Streaming options include fuboTV, which offers a free trial. Viewers in Canada can tune in with DAZN, which features every NFL game.