The Bills defense swarmed rookie third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett all day long as they handed the Patriots their first ever shutout at Gillette Stadium 16-0. The victory was the second straight for Buffalo and pulled them to within a game of first place and in sole possession of 2nd place in the AFC East. Tyrod Taylor hit LeSean McCoy for a 7 yard touchdown on the opening series and Dan Carpenter added three field goals as the Bills controlled the game from the start.
The Turning Point:
Brown Fumble Recovery: Even though the Bills were already up 13-0 this play took the wind out of the Patriots sails just as they were getting something going. Brissett scrambled on a 3rd and 11 play from the Bills 18 yard line. He was going to be stopped before the first down but Zach Brown forced the fumble and Preston Brown recovered it costing the Patriots three points and some momentum.
The Big Drive:
The Bills First: They went 65 yards in 12 plays and took 7:11 off the clock to Taylor's touchdown pass to McCoy that gave the Bills the early 7-0 lead. It was the best drive of the season by the Bills offense. Charles Clay had a 15 yard reception on the drive. McCoy also had a 13 yard grab and Mike Gillislee had a 16 yard run out of the wildcat on a direct snap.
Stat I Did Like:
There are many stats to like in this game but we will go with the goose egg. The shutout of the Patriots was their first home shutout since 1993 at the old Foxboro stadium.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Penalties: 6 for 60 yards made it a bit tougher.
Scene Setters: - The Bills wore all white jerseys. Guess they don't care about wearing white after labor day. - With Jimmy Garoppolo inactive, WR Julian Edelman was the backup QB for the Patriots today. - Rex Ryan said all week he knew who would play QB for the Patriots he seemed to figure correctly. Chris Brown of the team's website said Ryan never thought Garopplo's shoulder would be healthy enough to play. - Reggie Bush was a surprise inactive as he could have helped the team in the slot. His Bills career is likely over as he is a prime candidate to be released when Marcell Dareus and Sentrel Henderson come off their suspensions this week. - There was a pregame scuffle when Brissett ran into the Bills drills and was shoved by Robert Blanton. Then Blanton and Malcolm Mitchell were involved in some pushing and shoving.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article: RB LeSean McCoy vs. Bill Belichick: Winner: McCoy. He didn't run for a 100 yards but he ran very well and kept the chains moving. Also was a force in the passing game. LBs Preston Brown and Zach Brown vs. RB LeGarrette Blount: Winner: Browns. Zach was a monster and Preston looked pretty good as well. Blount didn't do much while the game was in question. DE Jerry Hughes vs. RT Marcus Cannon: Winner: Hughes. He helped get tremendous pressure on Brissett and had a big sack. LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Jabaal Sheard: Winner: Glenn. You didn't hear much from Sheard in this game even though he had a sack.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out: 1. Get Passing Game Going: Success! Taylor had an outstanding first half. The best half of football I have ever seen from him. 2. Play Disciplined Football: Failure! Costly penalties cost the Bills a chance at a bigger lead at the half. 3. Pressure & Contain QB: Success! They kept Brissett in the pocket and never let him get comfortable.
Yes the Patriots didn't have Tom Brady and yes it was a rookie third string quarterback but the Bills still went into Foxborough and shutout a team that has been dominate without Brady so far this year. The Bills are now 2-2 and right in thick of the race after a devastating 0-2 start fans now have something to cheer about. Even without Brady it still feels good to get a win in Gillette.
The Bills head west for a game in Los Angeles against a stout Rams defense. They need to make sure they don't let down now.
Tyrod Taylor - Won the first game of his career when he threw more than 30 passes. He completed 27 of 39 passes for 246 yards and no interceptions.
Zach Brown - He had 18 tackles, two forced fumbles, and a sack in this game.
Robert Woods - He stepped up without Watkins catching 7 passes for 89 yards.
LeSean McCoy - He had one of the better 70 yard rushing days I have seen he was making people miss all day. He also added 38 yards and a touchdown receiving.
Richie Incognito - Was called for three penalties.