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Patriots at Bills Advanced Stats Report: Eric Lee and Malcom Brown star against Buffalo

Weekly advanced stats report from the Patriots' win over the Bills in Week 13.

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Below are a variety of advanced stats from the Patriots' 23-3 win over the Bills in Week 13.

Passing Chart

For the first time since Week 1, Tom Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass against the Bills on Sunday

However, Brady still managed 258 yards on just 30 pass attempts (8.6 yards/attempt).

The chunk plays in the passing game mostly came from tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had a season-high 147 receiving yards in Week 13.

Eight of Gronkowski's nine receptions went for more than 10 yards, and the longest passing play of the day for the Pats came on a jump-ball to Gronkowski down the right sideline for 30 yards.

In all, 13 of Brady's 21 pass completions went for 10-plus yards.

In terms of time spent in the pocket, Brady did, by the numbers anyway, hang onto the ball a bit longer than usual against the Bills.

Often times, you see Brady's time to throw increase when the opposing defense is executing their game-plan at a high level as the Bills were in the first half of this one.

Brady's time to throw of 2.73 seconds is the third-highest mark of the season for the five-time Super Bowl champ, ranking only behind Week 1 vs. Chiefs and Week 8 vs. Chargers.

Slot Performance

Tom Brady only completed four passes to receivers working out of the slot, but three of those did go for 53 yards to Rob Gronkowski.

Gronk continues to be a monster in the slot and is now up to 408 yards out of the slot this season, which ranks second among tight ends behind the Chiefs' Travis Kelce.

Having said that, if there's one area in particular that the Patriots miss Chris Hogan, look no further than production out of the slot.

Obviously, the team misses Julian Edelman in that role, but Hogan was extremely productive working inside as well.

In all, Hogan ran 47.5% of his pass routes out of the slot and caught 20 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns before going down with a shoulder injury in Week 8.

Without Hogan, team's are also loading up on Danny Amendola over the middle of the field, as his numbers have taken a dip in recent weeks as well.

Since Hogan's injury, the Patriots wide receivers have averaged 29.3 receiving yards per game out of the slot, with Hogan that number was up at 85.0 yards per game.

Pass Protection

The Patriots had an up and down day in pass protection, but on the whole, the offensive line won the matchup against the Bills defensive line.

Tom Brady was pressured on just 21.1% of his drop-backs, which is tied for the second-lowest rate of the season for the Pats QB, and the Pats got strong performances from both tackle positions and David Andrews in his return at center.

The Patriots were on their third-string right tackle on Sunday as Cameron Fleming stepped in for the injured starter Marcus Cannon and second-stringer LaAdrian Waddle. The fourth-year tackle didn't allow a single pressure in pass protection and appeared to make a few nice blocks in the run game as well.

Having said that, despite only allowing pressure on seven of Tom Brady's 33 drop-backs, the Pats QB was sacked three times and hit another.

The interior of the Patriots' offensive line was the issue on Sunday, as left guard Joe Thuney allowed two sacks and right guard Shaq Mason allowed another hit on Brady.

The Patriots offensive line has been banged up in recent weeks, and Brady has been hit more than you'd like, but the unit has held it together despite missing some key pieces for an extended period of time.

Pass Rush/Run Stops

Malcom Brown's performance against the Bills was likely the best we've seen from a statistical perspective from a Patriots defensive lineman this season.

Trey Flowers has had some monster games as well, but the five total pressures and four run stops for Brown are right up there with anything Flowers has done this season.

Brown wasn't alone, however, as 2016 undrafted free agent Eric Lee appears to be the latest find by the Patriots front office. Along with a game-altering interception on the Bills' opening drive, Lee added two sacks and a quarterback hit as a pass rusher against his former team.

Finally, with Trey Flowers out of the lineup, rookie Deatrich Wise saw a significant increase in playing time. Wise managed two hurries and a run stop on the day but has been one of the few Patriots defenders that has regressed during the eight-game winning streak.

Over the last four games, despite rushing the passer 74 times, Wise has recorded just two quarterback pressures after recording 25 in the first eight games.


The Buffalo Bills passing attack has struggled for most of the season, and they don't have a good group of receivers, but the Patriots secondary dominated the matchup nonetheless.

The 85 passing yards the Bills managed on Sunday were the fewest the Patriots have allowed in a game since a 59-0 beatdown of the Titans in 2009.

The longest pass the Patriots defense allowed on Sunday was a 14-yard completion to Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews and they also got their hands on eight different pass attempts.

Two of those pass breakups belonged to cornerback Stephon Gilmore who had a revenge game of sorts against his old team on Sunday. The Bills went after Gilmore late in the game with a chance to score their only touchdown of the day, and Gilmore was up to the task defending two passes perfectly in the end zone.

Since Week 5, the Patriots pass defense has allowed 220.4 passing yards per game (13th in NFL). In the first four weeks, that number was a league-worst 324.0 yards per game.

Say what you want about the opponents, it has been quite a turnaround in the back end of the Patriots defense.