Image Credit: © David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
You want big-time, winning football? Bills 33, Patriots 21. Big-time, winning football.
On the road. First place in the division at stake. Up against the greatest coach, ever. Physically dominated by the Patriots three weeks earlier. Injuries. COVID complications.
What does a good team do in that situation? Take control of the game early and never let go. Be the better team for 60 minutes. That’s what the Bills did to the Patriots.
It was a masterpiece. Every way. It was Sean McDermott’s masterpiece. That was the kind of win that’s on the resumes of great coaches.
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Defense. Open the game with a 3 and out for -6 yards. Hold the Patriots 50 yards below their season yardage average, 5 points below their points average. Two takeaways. Hand Mac Jones his worst passing day of the season.
Offense. Follow the opening three and out with a touchdown drive. Score on every possession following a Patriot score. Score to end the half. Score to open the third quarter. Go on a dominating drive in the fourth quarter to bleed the clock and get the touchdown to put the game out of reach. Brian Daboll had everything he needed to attack the Patriot defense.
Josh Allen. Made a few overthrows but hey, Allen was superb, again. Three touchdown passes, plus a drop in the end zone by Sanders. Third down completions. There were beautiful throws all over the field, none more beautiful than Allen’s rocket to Diggs for a TD, and Diggs’s catch. The backhanded flip to Diggs. The backhanded flip to Knox. Dynamic runs. The week before the game, Belichick said the Bills offense goes through Allen. That means the Belichick defensive approach should have been take away Allen. Take away Allen? No can do. More about Allen later.
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Stefon Diggs. The man is a playmaker.
Isaiah McKenzie. Talk about stepping up!. Wow! He dropped one, but WOW! The guy made some outstanding catches.
The offensive line, especially after Boettger went down, had an excellent game. They protected Allen, and they created space for Singletary. They were ready.
Harrison Phillips, again. Tremaine Edmunds hitting, again. AJ Klein made his additional snaps count.
The Bills went to New England determined to win. Not just to win the game. They came to New England to win every play. They knew how to win. They focused on winning, and they stayed focused.
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
What’s been one of the constants in Bills’ losses over the past few seasons? Not every loss, but a lot of them? The look on Josh Allen’s face in the final few minutes, that’s what. Flushed, maybe a bit frightened. Sometimes staring blankly, sitting on the bench as the game unwinds. Even when he wins, Allen’s face often flashes with immature excitement.
None of that on Sunday in Foxboro. The face of Josh Allen against the Patriots was the face of a grown man in charge. In the fourth quarter it was his game. His face said it.
Josh is on a path to greatness. He has been for four years. Against the Patriots he took another big step.
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