It was another tough night inside Gillette Stadium for the New England Patriots’ offense, who could only muster 10 points and 242 yards of total offense (57 coming in a garbage time drive). In total, New England lost the possession battle 38:08 to 21:52 as Buffalo piled up 132 rushing yards and went 9-of-15 on third-down.
The result was a 24-10 defeat to the Buffalo Bills dropping the Patriots to 6-6 on the season.
Here’s everything that went down Thursday night in Foxboro.
Final Score: Patriots 10 : 24 Bills
The Bills won the coin toss and deferred, putting Mac Jones and the Patriots offense on the field first. New England started on the ground with Rhamondre Stevenson for a two-yard carry before Jones hit DeVante Parker on a quick slant for a seven-yard gain. On third-and-one, Jones and Stevenson appeared to have a miscommunication which resulted with the ball on the ground. Stevenson recovered, but New England did not convert and were forced to punt.
After an incompletion, Allen started Buffalo’s first drive of the night by hitting Stefan Diggs for a 19-yard gain. Facing a then third-and-11, Allen stepped up a flipped a shovel pass to running back Nyheim Hines for a 21-yard conversion. The Bills then went backwards as Diggs was flagged for an offensive pass interference penalty, Josh Uche got home for a sack, and right tackle Spencer Brown was penalized for a false start. Allen checked down to James Cook on third-down, leading to a field goal. Tyler Bass then connected on a 48-yard field goal for the night’s first points. [Patriots 0 : 3 Bills]
Mac Jones and the Patriots started next drive under center, hitting Hunter Henry for nine-yards before Stevenson picked up a first on the following play. Back under center, New England dialed up play-action for another conversion as Jones found Nelson Agholor for 11 yards. After a Trent Brown hold moved New England back, a screen to Stevenson picked up 15 yards. On second-and-five, the Patriots got tricky, as Jones hit Marcus Jones on a screen. The electric cornerback took it 42 yards to the house for a touchdown. [Patriots 7 : 3 Bills]
Buffalo turned to their rookie back James Cook to start the next drive, as he tallied a two-yard run and then a 14-yard catch-and-run. After an incompletion and one-yard run by Cook, Allen’s third-down pass was incomplete but a Jack Jones pass interference penalty moved the chains for Buffalo. On the next play, Cook broke up the middle for a 28-yard gain. Several plays later inside the New England 10-yard line, Allen found Diggs for a touchdown. [Patriots 7 : 10 Bills]
The Patriots started their next drive at the nine-yard line after a special teams holding penalty on the kickoff. Things then continued to go backwards as Kevin Harris’ first-down run was blown up for a one-yard loss and Mac Jones was tabbed with an intentional grounding on second-down. Facing a third-and-18 at their own one-yard line, Stevenson did the best he could picking up 16 yards, but New England was forced to punt.
The Bills went to work on the ground on the next possession before Allen found Isaiah McKenzie for a third-down conversion. Buffalo continued to move the ball down the field on the ground with Cook and Devin Singletary before Allen again found McKenzie later in the drive for another third-down conversion. On a following third-down, Allen scrambled to his right, shrugged off Mack Wilson, and fired a dart to Gabe Davis in the end zone for a score to cap off the 14-play drive. [Patriots 7 : 17 Bills]
Now trailing by 10, New England’s offensive struggles continued. The Patriots gained zero yards on a quick pass to Jonnu Smith and handoff to Stevenson. On third-down, Jones was quickly under pressure and his pass to Henry was knocked down.
New England’s defense finally showed life on their next drive, as Allen’s first pass should have been intercepted by Kyle Dugger but fell to the turf. On third-and-eight, Allen’s bomb downfield fell incomplete forcing a punt.
Following Buffalo’s punt, the Patriots’ offense stayed in neutral. Jones’ first-down screen pass to Stevenson was tipped by Gregory Rousseau for an incompletion, while his second-down screen to Marcus Jones went for just three yards. On third-and-seven, a pass to Jakobi Meyers fell incomplete.
Taking back over right around the two-minute warning, Allen connected with Cook and Diggs for eight yards a piece. Two plays later, Allen uncorked one deep downfield for what appeared to be another score to Diggs, but a drawn hold by Matthew Judon wiped out the play. After getting 10 yards of the penalty back on a completion to Khalil Shakir, Josh Uche got home again and forced a Josh Allen fumble, which Matthew Judon recovered.
The Patriots regained position after the turnover with just over one minute remaining and at their own 42-yard line. A Stevenson 14-yard run got the drive started before Jones hit Meyers for a nine-yard completion. New England then opted to keep the ball on the ground on second-down, picking up just one-yard forcing them to burn a timeout. A Mac Jones sneak then picked up the conversion, but New England have to use their final timeout. Jones then fired a close incompletion to Parker - who was unable to get his feet inbounds - and a quick hitter to Henry. On third-down, he was forced to throw it away. Nick Folk came out to attempt a 48-yard field goal, which clanked short off the crossbar.
With 10 seconds left in the half, Allen looked downfield to Davis but Kyle Dugger was able to force an incompletion. Buffalo then took a knee to end the half.
To kick off the second half, Allen connected with his speedy slot receiver, Isaiah McKenzie, on two straight completions for 30 total yards. An incompletion and block in the back penalty pushed Buffalo back into a second-and-18, which Uche chased down a running Allen for nine yards. On third-and-11, Diggs dropped Allen’s pass resulting in a punt.
It was the Rhamondre Stevenson show for the Patriots coming out of halftime, as the back picked up a pair of impressive gains after contact - with some quality help from Cole Strange on one run. After a pitch to Stevenson was then blown up, Jones was forced to his right and threw an interception targeting Henry. However, it was then reversed as Jordan Poyer did not survive the ground. On third-and-14, Jones found Meyers for just five yards, leading to another punt.
Starting at the six-yard line after Brenden Schooler downed Michael Palardy’s punt, picked up a quick first-down due to a Singletary six-yard run and then a seven-yard completion to Davis. After back-to-back three yard gains by Cook, Allen delivered a perfect ball downfield to Diggs for a 19-yard conversion. Two plays later, Allen again found his go-to guy for another 19-yard gain. Cook then handled three straight touches before a Singletary rush set up third-and-four, where Allen again found Diggs for a conversion. On third-and-goal from the Patriots one-yard line, Allen handed off to Singletary who plowed in for a score to cap off a 15-play, 94-yard drive. [Patriots 7 : 24 Bills]
New England’s next drive got off to a nice start as Jones hit Kendrick Bourne for a 15-yard gain, but that was all. A play-action attempt downfield fell incomplete to Meyers before a screen to Stevenson was blown up. On third-down, Jones found Meyers for eight yards, leading to another Patriots punt.
Back-to-back carries for Singletary started Buffalo’s next drive, setting up a third-and-one which they converted on a quick strike to Diggs for 10 yards. Singletary then picked up nine yards on first-down, but was quickly met on second-down for a two-yard loss. Allen’s pass on third-down went for no gain, forcing a punt back to New England.
Down by 17, the Patriots went up tempo as Jones hit Tyquan Thornton for 19 yards to start the drive. New England then marched down the found due to several screens and check downs to Rhamondre Stevenson. After a third-down scramble from Jones, the quarterback hit Thornton for a fourth-down conversion. Four plays later, Jones looked for Meyers across the middle who was unable to haul it in after suffering a big hit, which was flagged for unnecessary roughness. With a go-to-goal situation, Jones was sacked on second-down for a 13-yard loss. On fourth-and-21, the Patriots settled for a 39-yard Nick Folk field goal. [Patriots 10 : 24 Bills]
New England’s onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, giving Buffalo the ball - who opened up victory formation to kill the clock. [Patriots 10 : 24 Bills]