Welcome to Week 16 of the NFL Regular Season. The Patriots look to take one step closer to clinching homefield if they can come up with the win, and a Buffalo win would not only throw the Patriots homefield dreams out the window, it would also make Buffalo a very strong candidate for one of the AFC Wild Card positions. Needless to say, today is a big day. It is also Christmas Eve, so the chaos of this day is real. Stay with us as we provide in game updates and opinions.
Here are today’s inactives:
Patriots– WR Chris Hogan, LB Kyle Van Noy, DT Alan Branch, RB James White, RB Rex Burkhead, OL Cole Croston, LB Trevor Rielly
Bills– CB E.J. Gaines, OT Conor McDermott, G John Miller, TE Logan Thomas, WR Andre Holmes, CB Breon Borders, WR Brandon Reilly
The inactive list is not kind to the Patriots this week, and they are hurting at key spots on both sides of the ball. Nate Solder was also a big question mark heading into this morning, so he isn’t exactly at the top of his game, health-wise, either. The Patriots were able to beat Pittsburgh missing basically the same guys, so if they avoid giving up big plays, and they protect Tom Brady, they should be OK, but this won’t be easy.
Kickoff is in 29 minutes, so get your final preparations ready, and keep your fingers crossed that I don’t lose WiFi (Christmas Eve travel challenges are real.)
15:00- The Patriots get the ball first, and Dion Lewis returns it to the 22. Brady leads the offense onto the field.
14:50- Two-yard gain by Lewis, 2nd & 8..
14:20- One-yard gain on the sweep right by Lewis, already 3rd & 8…
13:41- Brady had Hollister open, but he missed on the throw, and the Patriots are forced to punt. Ugly start for the offense; running on 2nd & 8 was foolish, that is a throwing down. Tyrod Taylor & the Bills offense takes over at their own 30.
12:50- One-yard gain by McCoy, 2nd & 9…
12:55- Toss sweep for eight, 3rd & 1..
12:17- The awful Patriots run defense continues to rear it’s ugly head; nine yard gain, 1st & 10….
11:39- Eight more, this time on a bubble screen; typical first drive for a Patriots opponent. 2nd & 2…
11:05- Incomplete, broken up by Chung. 3rd & 2, and the defense could really get some momentum with a stop here.
11:00- Easy conversion on the slant to Kelvin Benjamin. You can’t play three-yards off on 3rd & 2.
10:22- Brandon Tate with the drop, 2nd & 10…
10:18- McCoy with the 6-yard run. Why even throw the ball? The Patriots cannot stop the run, plain and simple.
9:34- 1st down run on the scramble by Taylor; it looked like Flowers was held. 1st & 10.
9:04- The defense finally stops the run; Malcom Brown makes the play in the backfield, 2nd & 12…
8:18- Benjamin makes the catch on the comeback route, Bills facing 3rd & 4…
7:47- Another five-yard run by McCoy, 1st down, Bills. I would give the ball to McCoy 30 times today if I’m Sean McDermott.
6:55- Tackle made in the backfield, 2nd & 11, seven minute drive so far…
6:21- Incomplete pass, Bills face 3rd & 11…huge play.
6:12- Sack, Patriots!! Dietrich Wise with the big play on 3rd down, forcing the field goal attempt.
5:30- Field goal, Bills. Steven Hauschka (might have misspelled that) connects to give the Bills the first score of the afternoon. OK, Buffalo is missing a starting cornerback, time to take advantage of it. Bills 3, Patriots 0
5:25- Lewis gets drilled on the kickoff return, and he only got back to the 17. The Bills are playing with more energy, the Patriots better wake up. 2nd & 11…
4:40- Five-yard gain through the air; Brady is seeing ghosts, which isn’t a surprise with their issues up front.
4:00- 1st down by Amendola, big play.
3:35- Hollister with the catch, picks up four tough yards; 2nd & 6…
2:59- Dion Lewis picks up 10 on the run, 1st & 10 from the Bills 47.
2:37- Lewis gets caught-up in the backfield, loss of one on the run. 2nd & 11…
2:00- Dorsett makes the catch in the flat and picks up 23 more after the catch. 1st & 10 from the 24…
1:26- Gillislee (he’s back!) with the five-yard run, 2nd & 5…
:46- Seven-yard gain on the catch by Gronk, 1st & 10 from the 11..
:09- Lewis picks up four-yards on 1st down, 2nd & 6…
:00- That’s the end of the 1st quarter, and the Patriots are in a good position to either take the lead or tie the game. If Buffalo can’t get a pass rush, Brady will slowly but surely pick them apart. Bills 3, Patriots 0
15:00- 2nd & 6 from the Bills seven…
14:54- Jet sweep to Hollister for a four-yard gain, 3rd & 2…
14:18- Brady sails a pass to Gronk, which was the wrong read. 4th & 2…
14:14- Field goal, Patriots. Gostkowski drills the short attempt to tie the game, but that was a huge win for the Buffalo defense. Jet sweep to a tight end on 2nd & 7? Seriously? Patriots 3, Bills 3
14:00- The Patriots defense once again just gives up chunks of yardage; 30 yard gain, then another four more, and then ten more to make it 1st & 10 from the Patriots 14.
12:38- McCoy with the five-yard run, 2nd & 5…
11:56- Three more for McCoy, 3rd & 2 from the Patriots six…
11:30- Incomplete pass, forcing the 4th down. The Bills are going for it, at least it appears they will…
11:14- The Patriots pass rush and coverage comes together & makes the huge 4th down stop. Why not take the points there? You just stopped New England in the red zone, and you have a chance to retake the lead. Now you give all the momentum to the Patriots, and you also just gave their defense confidence. I understand “going for the win”, but you take the points early in games. Patriots take over at their own six-yard line.
10:37- Touchdown, Bills. Interception returned for a touchdown, and that was an awful read by Brady. Brady threw a terrible pass on 2nd down too; he looks really bad, and his throws are all over the place. This is the Patriots and their fans worst nightmare. Bills 10, Patriots 3
10:02- 2nd & 6 after the 4-yard gain on 1st down.
9:58- Brady to Britt for 16 yards, 1st & 19 from their own 45…
9:08- Gillislee with the 15-yard catch on the screen; Patriots need a touchdown on this drive. 1st & 10…
8:33- Good coverage, Brady is forced to throw the deep out which was incomplete. 2nd & 10 from the Bills 40.
8:22- Gronk picks up nine, 3rd & 1 from the 31…
8:01- Brady picked up four on the sneak, and he also caught Buffalo with 12 men on the field. 1st & 10 from the 27.
7:52- Brady…wow. He missed a WIDE OPEN Gronk. There was no excuse, he just threw a crappy ball. 2nd & 10…
7:19- Lewis with an 11-yard run, 1st down.
7:06- Touchdown, Patriots!! First of all, Jim Nance is an idiot. He had two feet down at the one, it didn’t matter if he had two feet in the end zone. Go buy some toast, Jim. Gronk made an amazing catch on that touchdown. I’m officially worried about Tom Brady; his accuracy on that drive was non-existent. He is either hurt or…well, I don’t want to say it. Patriots 10, Bills 10
6:53- Tolbert picks up 12 on the catch out of the backfield; 1st & 10 from the Bills 35…
5:52- 3-yard run, 2nd & 7…
5:38- Chung with the tackle after a gain of three, 3rd & 4…huge play.
5:02- Taylor goes deep on the fade to Clay, who was open, but the ball was overthrown by about a mile. Awful throw, Bills forced to punt, and the Patriots will take over at their own 11. Big series here, let’s see if Brady can get his accuracy back on track. Patriots 10, Bills 10
4:24- Brady misses the deep ball, 3rd & 3…
4:10- Direct snap to Lewis, similar to the jet, and he picks up the 1st down. THAT is the difference in using a RB vs. a TE.
3:38- Big DPI called on Buffalo, Patriots will move to the Bills 32. Huge penalty.
3:31- Four-yard gain by Lewis, 2nd & 6…
2:35- 3rd & 2…
2:18- Lewis gets caught after gaining one yard; 4th & 1, & the Patriots don’t look like they have decided what to do. The two-minute warning gives them time to think about it. In this scenario, I usually take the points, but they don’t get the ball to start the 2nd half.
2:00- The Patriots line up to go for it on 4th & 1, and the Bills call timeout. After the timeout, the Patriots still lined up, but then they called timeout too. That makes me think they will go for the field goal.
Field goal, Patriots. Gostkowski drills a 40-yard field goal to put the Patriots on top for the first time today. I always take the points, but in this situation, Bill gambled on the defense not allowing a score here in the final 1:55. Patriots 13, Bill 10
1:43- Two plays and the Bills have gone nowhere. Cadet got injured, so Buffalo is charged with the timeout. 3rd & 10, and Cadet appeared to hurt his knee badly.
1:35- Huge conversion by the Bills on the catch by Benjamin. 1st & 10…
1:00- McCoy for eight more, 2nd & 2…
:50- McCourtybreaks up the pass to Clay, 3rd & 2…
:43- Come on, McCourty!! Come up and make the tackle, especially when you have help behind you. Instead, he waited for McCoy to come to him, which led to a 1st down. Unacceptable. 2nd & 11 after the incomplete pass on 1st down.
:33- Benjamin with another “I’m bigger than you” catch, Bills are at the Patriots 42 with zero timeouts.
:15- Butler just got scorched on that play, and their is just no excuse for that. Why are you getting beat deep in this situation? Awful. I wouldn’t pay him big money, he isn’t worth it. 1st & Goal, Bills.
:10- Incomplete pass on 1st down, Taylor threw it off Chung’s back. 2nd & Goal…
:06- Dropped! The Bills had the touchdown, but Clay dropped it as he went to the ground. Here we go…
:03- Touchdown, Bills. That was absolutely disgusting defense by the Patriots, and when you have a 6’6 receiver abusing your corners, it is time to double him. Didn’t happen, and that is why Benjamin scored. This is NOT a championship defense. Bills 17, Patriots 13
:03- Wow, touchdown overturned, AGAIN. Patriots fans, you just got very lucky. The Bill connect on the field goal to tie the game at the half. I cannot believe that just happened again, and I also can’t believe how bad the Patriots defense looked in that 1st half.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 13, BUFFALO BILLS 13
13:16- Sorry for the late start, 3rd & 1, Bills
12:51- McCoy picks up the yard, giving the Bills the 1st down at the Patriots 49.
12:03- I can’t say this enough- the defense looks the worst I’ve seen it since Week One. McCoy picks up 39, 1st & Goal.
11:20- Stupid screen pass that has Taylor taking a seven-step drop, and they lose eight. 2nd & Goal from the 18. That was a really dumb play.
11:00- Tolbert with the drop, 3rd & Goal…
10:35- Taylor scrambles for five, which isn’t enough, and the Bills pick up the 30-yard field goal from Hauschka. Bills 16, Patriots 13.
*- It amazes me that Buffalo only has NINE point on offense. I know the Patriots make plays in the red zone, but if they let very good teams drive like this, the result will most likely be more than nine points allowed. Yes, they are banged up, but it is time to start making some plays on defense.
10:12- Gronk picks up 18, Patriots going no-huddle.
9:33- Cooks for 12, 1st & 10 from the Bills 35..
9:13- Lewis runs for one yard; keep throwing, their heads are spinning.
7:59- Can McDaniels ever make a good call on short yardage, besides sneaking Brady? Run play action, use Gillislee, just don’t be predictable like that. He may have lunged far enough for the 1st. We shall see…
*- You are all getting a 1st hand view of how I feel about McDaniels. He’s good, but he gets “cute” too much.
7:59- They gave him the 1st; 1st & 10 from the Bills 25.
7:53- No gain, 2nd & 10…
7:14- Amendola rolls for a 1st down after the 10-yard gain. Tony Romo needs to learn some rules too.
6:16- 3rd & 6 from the Bills eight after the screen pass to Lewis; I wish they would use Britt around here.
5:42- Brady sacked by Kyle Williams, who manhandled a banged up Nate Solder.
5:39- Field goal, Patriots. Gostkowski squeaks it through to tie this one up. The loss of Burkhead and White can be felt in the red zone today, hence the three field goals instead of touchdowns. Patriots 16, Bills 16
4:59- Sack, Patriots! Malcom Brown with the huge sack on 1st down, pushing the Bills back to their own 10. 2nd & 25…
4:17- Malcom Brown does it again, this time stuffing McCoy for no gain. Brown can play. 3rd & 25…
3:37- Nine yard gain on 3rd, and the Bills are forced to punt. Amendola with a decent return, picking up 10 and getting the Patriots setup at their own 35 yard line. This is a huge drive; New England desperately need a touchdown drive. Patriots 16, Bill 16
2:48- Gillislee picks up seven, 2nd & 3…
2:16- Gillislee picks up 10 more, giving the Patriots 1st & 10 from the Bills 46.
1:46- Gronk makes the 16 yard reception, giving the Patriots another 1st down, this time at the Bills 30. New England is starting to put some chunk plays together.
1:19- Gronk looked like he had the catch, but he dropped it. Doesn’t matter, DPI called on the play. 1st & Goal from the one…1st play goes for no gain. Bills had 12 men on the field, another brain fart for them. 1st & Goal, again, halfway closer…
:55- Touchdown, Patriots! Gillislee takes it in from half-a-yard out, and the Patriots score the much needed touchdown. Gostkowski drilled the extra point, and the Patriots are now in the drivers seat. Patriots 23, Bill 16
:45- Trey Flowers swallows up McCoy for a loss of one, 2nd & 11…
:00- 35-yard gain by Benjamin on the last play of the quarter. Do I have to continue to repeat myself? Double him! Is Rowe active? Yes he is, and it is time to give him a shot against a guy that has scorched your top two corners all day. Move Butler into the slot.
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