The New England Patriots just played their worst half of the entire season- far worse than the second half against the Dolphins. There were sarcastic cheers from the crowd and they were deserved as the Bills took a 13-0 lead into the half.
Nothing went right.
Rookie CB Cyrus Jones returned the opening kick off from deep within the end zone, which is a terrible decision that set the Patriots up on their own 9-yard line.
The Patriots very first play of the game was a screen pass to Julian Edelman that went 90 yards to the 1-yard line, but it was called back due to a holding penalty and an offensive pass interference call on Chris Hogan. That was the high point for the Patriots for most of the first half.
The Patriots ran the ball three times and punted, and the Bills waltzed down the field and Tyrod Taylor hit LeSean McCoy for a touchdown pass. The Patriots challenged Taylor to dink and dunk the whole way down the field and Taylor effectively shrugged and took the easy yards.
Jones returned the next kick off from deep within the end zone again and was stopped on the 14-yard line. He received jeers the rest of the half.
The Patriots went three-and-out on a drive that included the EdelSquirrel, with Edelman receiving a direct snap out of the backfield.
The Bills returned the punt and walked down the field again. A Richie Incognito unnecessary roughness penalty was the only thing that could stop the Bills offense and Buffalo kicked a field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
Jones downed the next kick off and Martellus Bennett picked up 10 yards on the first play of the drive, but a false start on Joe Thuney ended the drive and the Bills got the ball back.
Buffalo marched down the field again before the Patriots defense found some strength and forced a stop. The Bills continued to dink and dunk and the Patriots failed to make any adjustments. Buffalo kicked another field goal to take a 13-0 lead.
The Patriots opened up their next drive with a 58-yard dime to Bennett, which was actually the best play of the first half, but QB Jacoby Brissett made a boneheaded decision to try and lower his shoulder into a linebacker and coughed up a fumble deep in the red zone.
The Patriots ended up benching Logan Ryan in favor of Cyrus Jones, which basically sums up the first half of play.
The Bills had 16 first downs, while the Patriots only had 2. The Bills had 251 yards, while the Patriots only had 98. The Bills had 40 plays on offense, while the Patriots only had 17. The Bills owned the time of possession 19:49 to 10:03. Tyrod Taylor was 17 of 22 for 165 yards and a touchdown, plus an extra 19 yards rushing.
Jonathan Freeny appeared to hurt his arm right before the half. A 13-0 deficit normally wouldn’t signify the end of the game, but the Patriots offense was toothless in the first half. The Patriots are 4-16 when trailing at the half under Bill Belichick and 3-7 at home.
Buffalo receives the ball to start the second half. This is not looking good for the Patriots.