Buffalo Bills is now in the driver’s seat to do something he hasn’t done since 1995: AFC East wins. A late chatter by Cam Newton that was recovered by Bill but a 24-21 victory over the Patriots at Orchard Park on Sunday. The Buffaloes now sit at the top of the division at -2-9, while the struggling Patriots are 4-5 and have lost by a straight four.
Newton’s excitement to play the game came deep inside Buffalo’s territory as the Patriots pushed for overtime or even knocked on the door to win straight. Just as the Patriots’ quarterback called his number and was trying to move New England to the final zone, his game slipped out of his grasp. Newton finished passing 174 yards and ran for 54 yards and a touchdown. Despite such a tight score, Buffalo was clearly the best team from the wire-to-wire. Josh Allen showed a tremendous pose in the pocket, throwing his 18 for 154 yards in the win and adding another 23 yards on the ground, including a touchdown. The ground attack for Buffalo was extremely effective, with a total of 190 yards and three touchdowns as the winning team.
The balance of power in a department long ruled by Bill Belichick’s patriots seems to be shifting in the direction of Bill, at least for the 2020 season. Below, you can see our main resort to see how you were able to save Buffalo from New England and how all the action came down in real-time in a live blog from Sunday’s AFC East head-to-head showdown.
Why Buffalo won
You definitely have to give Buffalo credit for winning here, but they hung a secondary Patriots team longer than they have. In fact, this was a game that came down whose team would make a big mistake and the Bills were lucky to come out on the positive side of things.
After being impressed with a 10-play, 78-yard touchdown drive to aggressively start the day for himself, Josh Allen’s unit fell silent in the first half of the rest, painted twice and then threw an obstacle. Luckily for him, the Patriots ’offense couldn’t do more with that opportunity and Buffalo could hang on to a one-point lead going into the locker room. Where they actually started to flip the switch, however, is coming out in the third quarter. It only takes Bills five plays to travel 75 yards and go through eight. They dropped 17 points in the final two quarters and would have been able to tie the game to Cam Newton or make it the biggest defensive game of the day before winning.
When Allen was served by the air, the offensive MVPA had to go to the ground game. Zack Moss was particularly impressive, winning two touchdowns at 8.8 yards per carry and rushing for y1 yards. The New England defense had no answer for his physical run and Buffalo was able to take full advantage of it.
Why New England lost
It is easy to see Newton in a dilemma when he lost this game of football, while it will cause a shortfall as they have now lost four straight, which came much earlier than the turnover. For starters, the Patriots once again got very cold in the game. It’s been a theme for Bill Belichick’s club all season, as the offense didn’t score a single point in the first quarter.
With Newton Week 8 and a number of pass-catchers struggling to come down in New England, Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick were all set to start their offensive approach. In the first part, there were a lot of third and long situations where the Patriots chose to play football rather than pass Newton behind. As a team, they were 0-4 in third place in the first half and the lack of confidence on the attack passing in the final seconds before halftime was evident. Instead of taking a shot in the end zone for a possible walk in the locker room with the lead, Belicic picked up a third and 1 field goal with 12 seconds on the clock to put Buffalo behind 7-6. If it weren’t for the obvious indication that he doesn’t believe in the crime of doing smart play, I don’t know what it is.
Defensively, the odds ran wild as Bill ran 190 yards and seven touchdowns against the Patriots for three touchdowns. Rookie Zack Moss and Devin Singlettari took New England fast as both were averaged six yards in the winning effort. New England were also barely silly, with a season-high five penalty in this loss.
Why Newton clearly made a fuss that turned the game in Buffalo’s favor, but with just three minutes to play in the third quarter, Jack Bailey’s onside kick was the first sign that the Patriots also knew they needed a miracle to win the game.
After Damien Harris was able to run for a 22-yard touchdown, Newton and Jacobi Meyers teamed up on a two-point change, which ended the 14-pound game. Bailey then stayed in line and booted a failed sideside kick that got Bill back and would turn into a touchdown from 21-14 late. It’s a decision that was a little questionable at the time. New England were finding their groove offensively and the defense were forced to three-and-push for Bill’s offense on their back possession. Instead of giving them the ball at New England’s 45-yard line, it would have been interesting to see if the defense could have picked up the pace to push another quick drive through Buffalo.
As Belichick emptied the bag of his tricks with a side nosedive kick and he failed, New England won the game and a lot of wind from the trip. Newton Fumble was just a cutter.
Play the game
With about 37 seconds left in the game and New England three points down, why did Newton take a well-designed run to the left of the field from the Buffalo 25-yard line. Experienced quarterback Buffalo before falling around 13 and cut upfield behind Rex Burkehead and Isaiah Win. Bill’s defensive action Justin Zimmer was the one who enabled him to get out of Newton’s hands and safety. Dean Merlo was able to snatch the loose ball. Game over.
From here, the Patriots will continue to find answers as they prepare for Monday night’s football match with the New York Jets. Meanwhile, Bill will set foot on the gas and maintain his lead in the division when he hosts the Seattle Seahawks at Bill Stadium.
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