A Tale of Two Halves: Bills-Patriots Recap

Photo Credit: Associated Press

When the Buffalo Bills took the field, they were on a two game winning streak and looking to make it three against the rival New England Patriots. The Patriots were on a two game losing streak and reeling from dropping both those games by a total of three points. When the game finished, the Patriots not only beat the Bills, but demoralized them. Once the Bills took an early 21-7 lead in the third quarter, Tom Brady finally shook off the bed bugs from his hotel and orchestrated six straight touchdown drives.

The Bills defense was on their heels the whole second half of the game. The Pats toyed with the revamped Buffalo defense with quick passes to Wes Welker and a strong running game. The Bills gave up over 500 yards of offense which includes two 100 yard rushers and two 100 yard receivers. It’s still early, but maybe there’s a reason why the Texans didn’t bother resigning Mario Williams. He’s been invisible for most of the season and Sunday was no different. The previous couple games, the Pats had a banged up line and trouble protecting Brady or giving him ample time to pass. Their game plan was simple; run right and run that way often. One play that stuck out to me was when the Pats runner, Brandon Bolden, was running right and cut back before the sideline, gaining an extra ten yards. On that run, Mario Williams literally put himself out of the play by over pursuing and he created the lane for Bolden to make that cut back. After the defensive line made a statement last week, they need to go back to the drawing board.

I am no defense guru, but I know one thing: Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end in football. Maybe we should pass that memo to Dave Wannstedt and the rest of the defense and coaching staff. How does the man with the most touchdown receptions in the past three years get left wide open in the end zone? He did his normal seam route and NO ONE covered him. He blew right by Brian Scott and Tom Brady’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and loved the gift the Bills just presented to him.

Some of the few bright spots on the defense were Jairus Byrd, Aaron Williams, and Stephon Gilmore. The young corners are getting better and played an excellent first half. Byrd and Gilmore contributed to two Pats turnovers. Tom Brady primarily stayed away from those guys and focused on tormenting the strong safety, the nickel cornerback and linebackers. Gilmore is a going to be a special player once he gets the experience. He was physical at the line and disrupted the timing routes. He is going to have his struggles, but he needs to shrug it off and use it as a lesson.

During the first half, the Bills offense was playing with fire. They were turning over the ball but, the Pats did not capitalize. Ryan Fitzpatrick ended up throwing four touchdowns and the same number interceptions. The Amish Rifle needs to go back to class because he is still making the same mistakes as last year. He either under-throws or over-throws wide open receivers which lead to interceptions or drive killing punts. The Bills offense set up their defense for failure because they couldn’t sustain any drives to give the defense time to breathe. They tried to hit home runs and came up with strikeouts.

This may be only week four, but the Buffalo Bills should consider drafting a quarterback in the first round this year. There are a couple of studs coming out this season and have looked impressive so far. Those two guys are Geno Smith and Matt Barkley. Geno Smith is about to become a household name, if not already, with that ridiculous performance of more touchdowns passed than incompletions against Baylor. All Bills fans should put him on their Christmas wish list.

Next week the Bills play one of the best teams in football; the San Francisco 49ers. After dismantling the NY Jets , do the Bills stand a chance?

– Johnny Devine

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