If you need one play to sum up today’s game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills, where the Bills won 16-0, just take a look at this one:
It is Bills RB LeSean McCoy two yards behind the line of scrimmage. There are, count them, nine Patriots players in the vicinity and in position to possibly make a play.
None of the Patriots made a play at the line of scrimmage and McCoy picked up 10 yards.
That’s all you need to know.
This game was the polar opposite of last Thursday’s domination of the Houston Texans because the Bills actually protected the football. Jacoby Brissett was unable to extend drives as the Patriots were a hideous 1 of 12 on third down. The Bills were 7 of 15, with an additional two conversions via penalty.
The Patriots entered the second half trailing 13-0 and actually played the Bills to a standstill. Both teams missed field goals in the third quarter. The Bills connected on one in the fourth quarter to take a 16-0 lead.
The Patriots only had two drives that gained more than 10 yards (before back-to-back long drives in garbage time) and they resulted in a red zone fumble in the first half and a pulled field goal in the second half.
The Patriots offense played like they were led by a third string rookie quarterback- and probably even worse than that. Brissett didn’t get spooked in the pocket, but he wasn’t finding his receivers- and the receivers were getting open. LeGarrette Blount picked up 54 yards on 13 carries, 8 of the carries in the first half, as the Patriots abandoned the run.
The New England defense had to be the story of the game, though, as they were awful. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia deserves an earful from Bill Belichick after the game.
The defensive line missed a dozen tackles on QB Tyrod Taylor and RB LeSean McCoy that could’ve stopped drives. The linebackers were nowhere to be found.
The secondary might as well not have shown up as they copy-and-pasted their performance from the second half of the Dolphins game. The Patriots let up easy pass after easy pass after easy pass as Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty, and Patrick Chung were picked on indiscriminately.
The Patriots special teams unit joined in with the awfulness as Cyrus Jones made a few boneheaded returns early in the game, while Stephen Gostkowski shanked his only field goal attempt. Danny Amendola muffed a punt.
The only two members of the Patriots to play well were TE Martellus Bennett, who collected 109 yards on 5 receptions, and P Ryan Allen, who added another strong game.
This was a complete domination by the Bills that reminds a bit of last season’s game against the Eagles where the Patriots made mistake after mistake after mistake to let Philadelphia win the game.
The Patriots will finish the first quarter of the season 3-1 and will welcome QB Tom Brady back into the building tomorrow. The wait is over.