Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes and threw for 315 yards to lead the Patriots to a 41-25 rout of the Bills at New Era Field. It was the same story we have seen for years as Brady just picked apart the Bills throwing 53 yard touchdown passes to Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski. Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman also caught touchdown passes. LeGarrette Blount also scored a touchdown for New England as they put up the most points of the season against the Bills defense. Tyrod Taylor, Jonathan Williams, and Mike Gillislee each had touchdown runs for the Bills. Dan Carpenter hit his 100th career field goal as a Bill but also missed one.
The Real Turning Point:
Gronk's 53 yard TD: Just when the fans had hope the Bills would stay in the game after they got within 14-10. Nickell Robey-Coleman was burned by Gronkowski for a 53 yard touchdown to silence the crowd. It was the 2nd 53 yard touchdown pass by Brady in the first half.
The Obscure Turning Point:
Carpenter's 100th FG as a Bill: Carpenter had the milestone kick on the Bills first possession but the team had to settle for three after having a first and goal at the Patriots 6. A one yard scramble on a broken play and two incompletions, including an overthrow to Reggie Bush in the end zone, thwarted the drive. You have to get seven every time you are down there for a chance at beating the Patriots.
The Big Drive:
The First Pats Drive: Brady showed his surgical precision on the 14 play, 70 yard drive that took 6:30 off the clock. It ended on a 3rd and 9 play when Brady hit Danny Amendola for a 10 yard touchdown as he stepped up in the pocket and waited for Amendola to beat Jonathan Meeks. The Bills D did a nice job on first and second downs but the Patriots converted four third downs on the drive including a 16 yard pass to Chris Hogan on 3rd and 10.
Stat I Did Like:
Gillislee's Yards Per Carry: Gillislee ran for 85 yards on 12 carries that's just over seven yards a carry.
Stat I Didn't Like:
There were many but I'll go with penalties. The team was called for 12 of them for 84 yards. Can't do that against anyone let alone New England.
Scene Setters: - The Bills wore their throwback uniforms and helmets. They had won three straight when wearing them. - Former kicker Ryan Lindell lead the charge for the Bills. - Former LB AJ Tarpley was on hand for the game. He retired after just one season because of concerns about concussions. - The Bills lost the coin toss for the first time this year. New England deferred and Buffalo went down for a field goal. - The Bills captains were: Brandon Spikes, Ramon Humber, Brandon Tate, Jerome Felton, and Stephon Gilmore. - The injured Aaron Williams led the chant in the DB huddle in the tunnel before the game.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article: LB Lorenzo Alexander vs. LT Nate Solder: Winner: Solder. Alexander left the game early with a hamstring injury but nobody from that spot did anything. DT Marcell Dareus vs. RB LeGarrette Blount: Winner: Dareus. He helped keep the running game from being the problem this week. QB Tyrod Taylor vs. HC Bill Belichick: Winner: Belichick. He kept Taylor off balance all day and didn't let him kill him too much with his feet. LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Jabaal Sheard: Winner: Glenn. He didn't give up much from his spot.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out: 1. Shutdown Running Game: Success! The Patriots didn't really run the ball too well. Of course, they didn't have to since they moved the ball at will through the air. 2. Keep Heads In The Game: Failure! Too many mental mistakes including stupid penalties, dropped passes, and communication issues. 3. Need New Offensive Stars: Failure! The injury situation even got worse on offense in this game and nobody but Gillislee stepped up and he couldn't do enough by himself.
This was just like almost every Bills/Patriots game in the Tom Brady era. He just showed is laser sharp precision as he was in total control from the first time he touched the football. The Bills needed to play a perfect game to win and they certainly did not. There were too many dropped passes, mental mistakes, and stupid penalties. That is giving Brady and Belichick a yard when all they need is an inch to beat you.
It doesn't get easier for the Bills as they go out West for a Monday night affair. Seattle is arguably the toughest place to play in the league so the losing streak has a good chance of going to three.
Mike Gillislee - He had 12 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Stephon Gilmore - He was beaten for a long score and whined about it before Hogan was even in the end zone. Also called for a penalty in the end zone. He wants top 5 money? Not even worth top 20 money.
Nickell Robey-Coleman - He was beaten for a long score and took a bad penalty.
Player Of The Week
Mike Gillislee - The only one who had a really nice day in another New England debacle.