5 takeaways from the Bills loss to the Patriots (video)
By: Nick Wojton
ORCHARD PARK – The Buffalo Bills hung in there for awhile, but things eventually went according to the script.
The New England Patriots (10-2), near double-digit favorites, only held a 9-3 lead at halftime thanks to a strong effort from the Bills (6-6) defense. The second half? A different story.
With that, here are five takeaways from the Bills 23-3 loss to the Patriots.
Tyrod’s play: Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor had another subpar day against the Patriots. On the ground, Buffalo’s quarterback made a few plays, rushing three times for 32 yards. Additionally, his legs got him in trouble as well, losing 25 yards on three sacks. In the air, not much better. 9-for-18, that’s 50-percent, for 65 yards. Taylor also tossed a bad interception on first down in the red zone on Buffalo’s opening drive. The Bills could have had a few more shots at it instead of a pick. That’s some bad decision making.
Buffalo bodies: The Bills dropped like flies today, and most importantly, so did Taylor. Buffalo’s starter saw his day come to an end early in the fourth quarter. He was carted off with a left knee injury. Defensive end Shaq Lawson was also carted off with a right ankle injury. Both did not return. Nathan Peterman (6/15, 50 yards) took over for Taylor. Leonard Johnson also went to the locker room with a left leg injury, but he was not carted. He jogged and eventually returned. Buffalo was decently healthy up to this point in the season.
Joe Webb tricks: Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison takes some well deserved heat at times. However, he had a couple of beauties with Joe Webb in the wild car formation. Webb carried the ball three times for27 yards and even converted a third-and-short attempt. Those runs setup a great scoring chance for the Bills as Webb, a former QB, tossed a pass to Travaris Cadet over the middle, but just missed Cadet, who dove but dropped the pass. Not all good for Dennison, though. On four plays inside the 10, Dennison dialed up a couple of fade passes with Peterman, including one on fourth-and-one. Ugly.
Brady & Gronk show up late: In the first half, Buffalo’s defense kept the Bills in the game. The final scoreboard won’t show it, but the defense did its job. Tom Brady was held to 8-for-14 with only 96 passing yards. Overall, no touchdowns for anyone, including Brady, in the passing game. Rob Gronkowski was held, too. Only two catches for 28 yards in the first half. However, the Pats came out flying in the second half. New England put up 14 points on their first two drives. Meanwhile, Taylor had 14 passing yards. Brady finished 21-for-30 with 258 passing yards and an interception. Gronk had a massive second half addition to his total with nine grabs and 147 yards in total.
McD challenges: Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott needs to be better with the red flag. McDermott challenged a poor play, whether or not Tom Brady was sacked. It was not overturned. After the quick review, McDermott was yelling at an official for intentional ground. Too bad you can’t challenge that. McDermott also failed to challenge the spot of the ball on a close third-down run which New England converted. Usually not a good play to challenge, but more worth-while than the one he did challenge.
For more from head coach Sean McDermott following the game, see the attached video below: