If you thought Josh Allen dominated the Patriots defense in Foxboro, then you were in for an eye-opening on a frigid Saturday night in Buffalo. Allen put on a clinic like he was playing 7-on-7 in practice. Allen threw for over 300 yards and 5 TDs while only tossing 4 incompletions in the Bills curb-stomping of the Patriots 47-17.
The Bills had seven possessions and scored seven touchdowns before a kneel-down with a minute and a half to go in the game. Through two games the Bills didn’t punt once against an overmatched defense.
The modern NFL is built on speed, the Bills have an abundance of it on both sides of the ball. The Patriots have a dearth of it on both sides of the ball. And tonight it was evident from the opening possession until the game ended. They need to bring an influx of it into their linebacking corps and secondary in 2022. As well as in their receiving corps…but those conversations have plenty of time to be brought up.
The Patriots won the opening coin toss and deferred…not that it would have made any difference. Buffalo’s offensive line bullied the Patriots’ front seven that made no (0), tackles for a loss, sacks, and were credited with one (1) QB hit. So afraid were the Patriots coaches of Buffalo’s speed advantage, they refused to bring pressure on Allen for fear of getting burned.
But Allen roasted them anyway completing 21-25 for 308 yards with 5 TDs and a passer rating of 157.6. A perfect passer rating is 158.3. The Bills rushed for 174 yards, going 6-7 on 3rd downs (the kneel-down was the only “fail”), and 6-6 in the red zone. That… folks is domination of the nth degree.
Offensively, the Patriots ran for only 89 yards but that had more to do with the score being as lopsided as it was than a negative about the backs. Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Brandon Bolden weren’t the reason the team failed. Neither was Mac Jones.
For all the talk about rookie walls, etc. Jones played pretty well completing 24-38 for 232 yards with two TDs and two INTs. After the Bills opening drive touchdown, Jones converted a 3rd and 14 with a nice 30-pass to Hunter Henry, and then on a 3rd and 10, Jones scrambled for a first down. On the ensuing play, Jones launched a deep pass that was perfectly placed to Nelson Agholor but Micah Hyde made a tremendous play flying over from his safety position and intercepted it in the end zone.
You could make the argument that Agholor should have high-pointed the ball instead of waiting for it to fall into his hands, but that wouldn’t be giving Hyde his due. It was a terrific play taking away what appeared to be a touchdown. Jones’ other interception was intended for Henry but was deflected and bounced straight up and was picked off by Levi Wallace.
Jones and Kendrick Bourne continued their chemistry in this one (if there was one positive moment in this game, those two provided it). Bourne caught 7 passes for 77 yards with 2 TDs. Jakobi Meyers had six catches for 40 yards.
Jones showed the ability to extend plays with his feet and keep plays alive which is something that can be built upon, but they need to get him a slot receiver with speed which would help immeasurably.
But once again, the Patriots came out like they were wearing cement overshoes and fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and 27-0 before Jones led the team on a scoring drive right before the half. They were flagged with penalties, turned the ball over, and played terribly on Special Teams. It adds up to a losing effort. Against a team as talented as Buffalo, it didn’t add up to losing but an a$$ kicking of the nth degree.
So, the Patriots season is over and they head back to Foxboro and clean out their lockers while the Bills move on and possibly face KC next weekend, which should be entertaining. Was the Patriots’ season a success? That’s something we’ll look at in the coming days.
After last year’s 7-9 season, starting a rookie QB, and making it to the playoffs is no mean achievement. But after going on a seven-game winning streak, the expectations for the team changed drastically. But after starting the season 2-4, when they went on their bye week, they were 9-4 and the #1 seed in the AFC. Now they finish the season on a 2-4 skid and looked mostly horrible during this stretch.
Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Playoffs
Tags: Bill Belichick Brandon Bolden Buffalo Bills Dawson Knox Devin Singletary Jamie Collins Josh Allen Mac Jones Miami Dolphins Micah Hyde New England Patriots NFL Patriots