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Patriots vs. Bills: Fan Notes from the wild card playoffs

Related: The Lane Breakdown: 10 takeaways from the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Bills

NFL: AFC Wild Card Playoffs-New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

And that’s the end of that.

Gotta be honest here: there really isn’t all that much to say about this game, and there isn’t any way to put a shine on this particular turd. The New England Patriots got stomped by the Buffalo Bills. Smoked. Dominated. Crushed. Pwned. Mutilated. Mollywolloped.

The game was more or less over from the jump and at no point did the Patriots even come close to getting themselves back into it. If this were a little league T-Ball game the mercy rule would have been enacted about six minutes into the second quarter and everyone could have gone home to warm up.

  • I’m sure you remember the history that the Patriots made with their win over the Bills earlier this year in which Mac Jones only threw three passes. And I’m sure you would like to forget the history the Bills made on Saturday night where Josh Allen only threw three incomplete passes. 308 yards. Five touchdowns. 175 yards on the ground. This was as close to offensive perfection as you’ll ever see. It was playing Madden online against a kid who just got his first gaming system for Christmas and using him as a tune-up before the real action starts.
  • And while I’m already long over the game and slept just fine on Saturday night and remain as optimistic about this team as ever, what’s going to be rattling around in my head for a while is how in sweet merciful crap this defense laid such a complete egg. I think I just insulted egg layers everywhere with that comparison, too. If there was a single member of the defense that showed up on Saturday, I didn’t see it. Bills receivers were open by five or six yards. Singletary averaged five yards per carry. The only negative plays OF THE ENTIRE GAME were two Mitchell Trubisky kneeldowns to mercifully run the clock out. Seven possessions, seven touchdowns. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would have said that that’s mathematically impossible.
  • That deserves its own note: seven possessions, seven touchdowns. The easiest job in the NFL this season was Matt Haack’s when playing New England. It’s unreal. The Bills are a better team, but they aren’t that much better. Hell, no team is that much better. Just a straight up no-show from a unit that was supposed to represent a strength.
  • On the plus side, I have no complaints about the Special Teams unit today. So that’s something.
  • I really don’t see any point in spending any more time on the defense, because honestly if they just straight up refused to take the field on Saturday and the Bills were running plays against nobody like it was training camp, the result would have been the same. So maybe I can try and break down something on the offense.
  • Actually, strike that. When an offense is running plays against nobody in training camp, there are overthrows and drops and missed routes and the like. So Saturday’s offensive performance from Buffalo was more efficient than what you’d see at a practice.
  • Tough to really separate the two since it was so sad, but there were some elements of the offense that impressed me. Mac Jones looked good. Yes, those two picks were brutal, but he found himself in a scenario that Brady needed 10 years in the league to figure out: your defense isn’t going to stop anything, so the only hope is to just keep scoring no matter what. And he couldn’t deliver because of course he couldn’t deliver, he’s a rookie who isn’t supposed to carry the team like that. But he was accurate and decisive when he needed to be.
  • And when the Patriots get a legitimate outside receiver, whoever it is is going to be a great compliment to Bourne and Meyers, who are both legitimate weapons. The rushing attack is strong as well — but again, when you’re down 27-3 at the half, the run game more or less goes out the window.
  • If only the Patriots went into the half down 28-3. I might be writing a different article today.
  • I can count on one hand the number of times Bill Belichick got thoroughly outcoached. But this is for sure one of them. He either didn’t have any answers, or the answers he did have resembled the kind I used to give on Algebra quizzes. Maybe he just said screw it, it’s cold out and I want to go home. But whatever the case, Billy B had nuthin’ on this one and that’s just the way it is.
  • I’m no football coach, but if I was in a win-or-go home scenario and it became painfully obvious that my defense wasn’t going to get a stop — or anything that might accidentally be mistaken for a stop — I’d have stopped punting a long time before the Patriots did. And what’s most sad about that note is that New England only punted three times.
  • I don’t think that Sean McDermott likes Belichick very much. Either that or he’s just really, really angry all the time.
  • The Patriots started out 2-4, fooled us all a bit with that winning streak (which included some very bad teams), went 1-3 to finish the season, then got tossed out of the playoffs like Uncle Phil throwing Jazz out of the house. Their season deserves to be over. And that’s just fine — not every season is supposed to be a championship one.
  • Would I have liked for them to have made a game of it? Was I hoping to see a little, okay, a lot more out of the playoff run? Would a Bills punt have been nice to see? Sure. But like everything else this year, Mac Jones will learn from this and be better for it. Tommy B had to wait four years to get his first playoff loss; glad to get this one out of the way early.
  • This win must be so, so, so satisfying for Bills fans. To spend two straight decades getting slapped around by the Patriots, to always be picking towards the top of the draft as New England wins Super Bowl after Super Bowl, to have to sit through hours and hours of Brady love and media fanboying for your division rival, only FINALLY get one over them in the playoffs (and in such historic fashion) must feel great. And I hope it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of any Bills fan visiting the site this morning to do some good old fashioned gloat reading when I say I’m genuinely happy for Buffalo. They deserve it. Josh Allen is one of the top QBs in the league. They’re built to win, and I’ll be rooting for them for the rest of the playoffs.
  • Since Patriots fans are the worst and we’ve all spent the last 20 years with a completely abnormal and unrealistic set of expectations surrounding how a season should end, there’s of course some of the standard negativity in the immediate aftermath of this game. But the simple reality is this:
  • The Patriots made massive strides forward this season. They have some core guys locked up for several years. They have the cap space to get some pending free agents under contract and acquire an outside receiver. If I was a betting man I’d say that we’ve seen the last of some all-time great Patriots in uniform, particularly Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower (and Matthew Slater will be 37 by kickoff next season), but that’s just part of the game. And all signs point to New England having their quarterback of the future. They are already significantly further ahead of other teams that have been rebuilding for years. It’s great to be a Patriots fan, and I’m already looking forward to this offseason and what this team is capable of in 2022 and beyond. I hope you all are too.

As this is my last Fan Notes of the 2021 season, I want to end it by thanking you all for reading these nonsensical, inane ramblings each and every week. I still remember stumbling onto Pats Pulpit all the way back in 2010, desperate for just one media source that covered this team objectively and wasn’t just some hot take factory chasing clicks, and it’s safe to say that this site in many ways saved my fandom.

This concludes my 10th straight year writing for this site, with almost 200 Fan Notes From the Game articles and who knows how many other glimpses into my mania, and every year represents a new honor and privilege to be part of this community. As long as you’re there to read it, I promise to keep writing it — at least until I’m finally committed to the nuthouse. So thanks again, folks.

We’re on to next year.