While the Patriots may not have exactly shocked the world on Sunday, they did upset their division rival 29-25 with the rookie receiver playing a large role.
In his first game back from a concussion, Douglas reestablished himself as the Patriots’ most dynamic pass catcher. Seeing an increased role in the receiving room, he finished with four catches for 54 yards while making impact plays from the jump.
On New England’s first play of the day, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien dialed up a drive starter to Douglas. The receiver came in motion across the formation before catching a quick pass from Jones. He then showcased his slipperiness en route to an early nine-yard gain.
Douglas’ skillset with the ball in his hands is unlike any other receiver on New England’s roster — which they missed while the rookie was sidelined. His ability to make people miss was also on display during a 20-yard handoff and a 25-yard punt return where he got away from multiple Bills’ defenders.
It wasn't all perfect, however, as Mac Jones was visibly frustrated with the rookie after he appeared to not sit his route down leading to a third-down incompletion. But, the quarterback had no issues going back to Pop down the stretch,
Jones looked Douglas’ way several times on New England’s final two scoring drives. A 19-yard catch up the seam helped set up a Kendrick Bourne touchdown, while Douglas then drew a pass interference call to set up the game-winning score to Mike Gesicki.
“Big time. It was big, big time. Those guys, Buffalo got up late in the second half, and the offense bailed us out,” defensive lineman Davon Godchaux said of the offense. “My guy Pop played unbelievable.”
While Douglas’ playmaking ability was key to New England’s victory, the rookie was just happy to get the win in his return to the playing field.
“I’m just happy to be on the field,” Douglas said. “Come back this week, it’s a blessing. And to get the dub.”
Now, Douglas will continue to work to hopefully build off of his success. And the Patriots certainly need it.
“I got to stack days. This just a game,” Douglas said post game. “Next week, I got to come back with it. Every week, got to be the same mentality. Every week.”