BOSTON (CBS) – The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Patriots came to Buffalo with a first place in the AFC East on the rope, and as they have done so many times over the past two decades, losing to the Bills on their own home turf.
The Patriots took seven straight wins and improved to 9-4 with an absolute win, 14-10, in a cold and windy Buffalo on Monday night. The Patriots remain the top seed in the AFC after Monday’s win.
The Patriots continued despite the Bills putting in a late fee. With New England trailing for the lead late into the fourth round, Buffalo entered the red zone, but Adrian Phillips knocked a potential kill pass from Dawson Knox late in the game on March 1 and 14. The Bills had no choice but to go down to fourth, and Josh Allen’s pass to Gabriel Davis was scrapped by Myles Bryant to preserve the win. Devin McCourty fouled during the game, forcing Allen to take a throw-in faster than the midfielder would have liked.
With the wind howling throughout the game, the Patriots focused entirely on their ground attack. Mac Jones only managed to make 3 passes, completing 2 of them at 19 yards, while the New England backtracks ran 46 times at 222 yards.
“We played the way we felt we needed to play to win. In the end, we scored enough points,” said Bill Belichick after the win. “Football has a lot of situations that I think we handled quite well. The players get a lot of credit for being tough and resilient and a really good team in somewhat challenging conditions. “
The Patriots won three and lost in the game’s first two possessions, and Jones didn’t throw a pass until less than 90 seconds left in the first inning. But Damien Harris broke through touchdown at 64 yards in New England’s third possession to give the Pats an 8-0 lead.
Harris ran for 100 yards on 11 carries before leaving with a hamstring injury in the second half. Rhamondre Stevenson returned to the lead and ended his night 74 yards with 22 executions.
That long score came from a Buffalo rotation. New England took over at Buffalo 34 when Josh Allen fouled Matt Breida, who was recalled by Lawrence Guy.
The Bills also took advantage of a bankruptcy in New England in the first quarter. N’Keal Harry attempted a dribble, but missed a bit and then let the ball graze his mask. Buffalo recovered at New England 14, and a few plays later, Allen hit Gabriel Davis for a touchdown.
Unlike the Patriots, who converted to two points after their first score, the Bills added one more, making New England 8-7.
The Patriots let Nick Folk try to kick in the second half when the wind was in their favor, and the veteran connected on a 41-yard player to give New England an 11-7 lead. He added another 34-yard goal in the fourth inning to make it 14-10.
The Patriots have now wrapped up their goodbye week and will continue on December 18 when they visit the Indianapolis Colts for a side view Saturday night.
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/12/06/patriots-beat-bills-14-10-remain-in-first-place-in-afc/ Patriots Beat Bills 14-10, Still Top Seed in AFC – CBS Boston