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Bills Fall To Patriots 23-3
Same old story when these teams meet.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 13
Patriots  23
Bills   3
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
The Bills defense played a good bend but don't break defense in the first half to keep them in the game but Tom Brady does what he always does and took the game over with the help of a strong running game as the Patriots beat the Bills 23-3. Tyrod Taylor struggled mightily after a promising opening drive ended in a goal line interception by former Bills practice squad player Eric Lee. Rex Burkhead ran for two scores as Brady didn't need to beat them with his arm this time. Taylor injured his knee on the first play and gutted it out until leaving the game for good after three quarters.

The Turning Point:
Pass To Gronk: The first TD drive started with a 3rd and 11 play when Brady hit Rob Gronkowski over Preston Brown for a 19 yards gain that got the drive moving.

The Big Drive:
1st TD Drive. That drive went 10 plays and 75 yards to the Rex Burkhead one yard TD run that gave the Pats a 16-3 lead that they would not relinquish.

Stat I Did Like:
1st Half Sacks: The Bills sacked Brady three times in the first half without relying on blitzes to get to him.

Stat I Didn't Like:
1st Half Rushing Yards Allowed: The Bills gave up 130 yards on the ground in the first half as the Pats ran the ball very well while the Bills were concentrating on the pass.

Scene Setters:
- The Bills wore all blue uniforms for this game.
- The NFL is allowing players to put messages on their cleats in the My Cause, My Cleats initiative. More than 40 Bills players participated in the event and were wearing cleats supporting their favorite charities.
- Cornelius Bennett made a rare trip back to Orchard Park for this game and was the leader of the charge.
- Inactives for this game were Cordy Glenn, Mike Tolbert, John Miller, Kelvin Benjamin, Conor McDermott, Shareece Wright, and Nick O'Leary.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
Bills Defense vs. QB Tom Brady: Winner: ..
S Micah Hyde vs. TE Rob Gronkowski: Winner: Gronkowski. He was simply dominant, Hyde and others didn't have a chance.
RG Vlad Ducasse vs. LB Kyle Van Noy: Winner: Ducasse. Didn't hear much from Van Noy and Taylor had time to throw most of the game.
LT Dion Dawkins vs. DE Trey Flowers: Winner: Dawkins. He looked good in run blocking most of the game.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Hit Brady: Success! They hit him early and often sacking him three times in the first half alone.
2. Run Efficiently: Success! They ran well early until they fell behind and couldn't anymore.
3. Force Turnovers: Failure! They didn't force any turnovers with the game on the line.

My Take:
Typical Bills/Patriots game as the Bills hung around for a bit but the Patriots did what they needed to do to take control of the game. It wasn't an unexpected loss and the defense showed some promise against Brady while giving up big runs before faltering in the second half which we have seen so many times in this one sided series this decade. The offense was awful once again which is the biggest disappointment in another Patriots blowout of Buffalo.

What's Ahead:
The Bills stay home and the competition gets weaker as the floundering Indianapolis Colts come to town.

Gameballs
  • Aldolphus Washington - Had a big sack and tackle for a loss.
  • Tre'Davious White - Solid in coverage and had an interception.
  • LeSean McCoy - Had 93 yards on just 15 carries for a 6.2 yard average.


  • Goats
  • Tyrod Taylor - His arm was awful in this game while his legs were pretty good despite playing with a knee injury.
  • Jordan Matthews - He was a total non factor once again.
  • Zay Jones - He was shadowed by Stephon Gilmore most of the game and he did nothing.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Aldolphus Washington - Had his best game as a Bill.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Patriots Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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