Welcome to the Week 16 Live Blog! This week the Patriots welcome AFC East rival Buffalo Bills to Foxborough in the most highly anticipated game in this division since 2010 when the Jets were a contender. The 10-4 Bills must win today to have a chance to win the AFC East; if the Patriots lose today, they would need to beat the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough next week to capture their 11th straight AFC East title. This is a terrific test for a New England team that has struggled against other playoff teams.

New England won the first meeting in Buffalo, 16-10. The Patriots offense did look better against the Bengals last week, but the Bills have one of the best defenses in the NFL, especially in the secondary, so the Patriots passing game will have major challenges today. The Patriots should be able to run the ball and that should allow them to get the pass going through play-action.

Buffalo also has their hands full with the Patriots defense. The top-ranked defense in the NFL is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, especially young ones like Josh Allen. If the Patriots can get pressure and force him into bad throws, look out because their defense could put points on the board. Their defense tends to be better at home than it is on the road, and they only allowed the Bills to score 10 points when they met in Week Four in Buffalo.

There is a good chance this game will come down to the last few plays before it is decided, so buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride. Let’s just hope the ride is worth it in the end and the Patriots are AFC East champs again. We will have an update within the next hour with the inactive players for today’s game.

Patriots Inactives- OL Jermaine Eluemunor, TE Ryan Izzo, QB Cody Kessler, RB Damien Harris, CB Jonathan Jones, DL Byron Cowart, OL Korey Cunningham

Bills Inactives- RB TJ Yeldon, S Dean Marlowe, G Ike Boettger, T Ty Nsekhe, WR Duke Williams, TE Tommy Sweeney, DT Vincent Taylor

FIRST QUARTER

15:00- The Patriots return the ball to the 20; 1st & 10…

14:48- Michel runs for three; 2nd & 7…

14:18- Burkhead runs for four; 3rd & 3…

13:28- Edelman picks up eight and a 1st down; 1st & 10…

12:31- And that is why Rex Burkhead doesn’t play a lot. Fumble on what should have been a huge play, and now the Bills have it at the New England 30. Worst possible start for the Patriots; 1st & 10…

12:00- Six-yard run by Singletary; 2nd & 4…

11:29- Gain of three; 3rd & 1…

11:17- Gain of two; 1st down…

10:30- Gilmore with a great tackle; 2nd & 7…

10:05- Singletary stopped for no gain; 3rd & 7…

9:24- Incomplete pass and the Bills will attempt the field goal. Strong defense from New England on that series; 4th & 7…

9:19- Field goal, Bills. A turnover leads to points for the Bills, but the defense is strong enough to keep them out of the end zone. Bills 3, Patriots 0

9:10- Bolden returns it to the 25; 1st & 10…

9:04- Edelman for six; 2nd & 4…

8:40- Burkhead runs for seven; 1st & 10…

7:54- Burkhead with the catch for five, but that was waved off due to a penalty & an automatic 1st down.

7:30- Michel runs for seven; 2nd & 3…

6:43- Michel runs for 10 more; 1st & 10…

5:59- Michel runs for six with the aid of Marcus Cannon pushing him; 2nd & 4…

5:22- Michel runs for two; 3rd & 2…

4:37- Harry with the catch out of the backfield for 10; 1st & 10…

4:04- Watson picks up eight; 2nd & 2…

3:21- Michel for no gain; 3rd & 2…

2:37- Watson with the gain of six; 1st & Goal…

1:51- TOUCHDOWN, PATRIOTS!! Lacosse makes the catch off the play-action to give the Patriots their first lead of the night. That might have been the best drive of the season; balanced, crisp, and pretty dominant on the ground. That was the formula that won them the Super Bowl last season. Patriots 7, Bills 3

1:50- The Bills take over at their own 25; 1st & 10…

1:43- Singletary runs for seven; 2nd & 3…

1:10- Singletary fight for the 1st down; 1st & 10…

:32- Beasley gains fifteen and another 1st down; 1st & 10 from the New England 49…

:00- Incomplete pass to end the 1st quarter, a quarter that featured a Patriots offense that looked the best it has in months, except for the fumble. Patriots 7, Bills 3

SECOND QUARTER

15:00- Gain of one on the throw; 3rd & 9…

14:12- Incomplete pass as Allen sails one; 4th & 9 and the Bills will punt…

14:02- Great punt and coverage forces the Patriots to start their drive at the one-yard line; 1st & 10…

13:54- Michel runs for one; 2nd & 9…

13:14- Michel with the catch and run for five; 3rd & 4…

12:35- Edelman with the catch for 15 and another 1st down; 1st & 10…timeout, Patriots.

11:52- Sanu with a nice catch after Brady avoids a sack; 1st & 10…

11:15- Brady avoids the grounding after heavy pressure; 2nd & 10…

10:56- Lacosse gets away with a false start and they pick up eight on the run; 3rd & 2…

10:11- Brady checks out of the pass after seeing the formation and hands it to White for three and another 1st down; 1st & 10…

9:29- Reverse to Harry with Brady as the lead blocker; 1st & 10…

8:49- Bills blow up the run for a loss of four; 2nd & 14…

8:07- Harry picks up 12 on the catch; 3rd & 2…

7:49- White runs for one; 4th & 1…Marcus Cannon down on the field, which is not good.

6:41- It does not appear that they picked up the 1st down; we’ll see…yeah, his knee was down, so this will be challenged. This is not a done deal…they didn’t challenge. 1st & 10…

6:18- Block in the back garbage call on Bolden; 1st & 14…

5:49- Dropped pass by Edelman; 2nd & 14…

5:44- Brady is forced to throw it away; 3rd & 14…

5:39- Edelman picks up 12; 4th & 2…

5:18- FIELD GOAL, PATRIOTS!! Folk connects from 36-yards out to put the Patriots up by seven. Patriots 10, Bills 3

4:59- Singletary runs for one before getting hammered; 2nd & 9…

4:21- Gain of three on the catch; 3rd & 6…

3:36- JC Jackson breaks up the pass and forces another Buffalo punt; 4th & 6…strong punt and the Patriots will take over at their own 14.

3:15- Michel runs for five; 2nd & 5…

2:37- Watson gains two; 3rd & 3…Brady tried to draw the offsides as he let the clock run down to the two-minute warning to no avail. 3rd & 3…

2:00- Harry couldn’t make the catch because he was being interfered with; 1st & 10…

1:55- Brady throws it away due to pressure; 2nd & 10…

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1:49- Brady can’t hit Sanu on the throw; 3rd & 10…

1:43- White picks up eight on the catch; the loss of Cannon is obvious already because Newhouse is awful. 4th & 2…

1:33- Punt is fielded at the Bills 23; 1st & 10, Bills as they attempt to score before the end of the 1st half.

1:29- Allen misses Beasley by three yards; 2nd & 10…

1:19- SACK!! Hightower makes the play for a loss of eight…3rd & 18…

1:17- False start, five more yards back; 3rd & 23…

1:16- Singletary runs for 12; 4th & 11…and the Bills jumped again. 4th & 16…

1:08- Sanu dives out to the 50 and that is where the Patriots offense will take over; 1st & 10…

1:01- White picks up six, but he should have had more; 2nd & 5…

:40- Brady escaped a sack but couldn’t connect on the throw, but still a great play; 3rd & 5…

:35- Sanu doesn’t extend and it cost the Patriots a 1st down; 4th & 1…Sanu’s awareness is questionable.

:33- Good lord. Jet sweep on 4th & 1 against a team that has struggled to stop Michel or Burkhead…why??? If you want to take a shot, try play action. I like Jet too, but not in that situation against this team. 1st & 10, Bills.

:20- That foolish play by Sanu and McDaniels terrible play call are going to allow the Bills to possibly score now.

:08- Touchdown, Bills. Speechless. Bills 10, Patriots 10…NO TD his knee was down, ball is spotted at the two. Buffalo has no timeouts…

:06- Incomplete pass; 2nd & Goal…

:01- Touchdown, Bills. The Patriots just blew a strong half of football with horrible execution by the players and coaches in the final 90 seconds. There is no excuse for what just happened, that is just terrible. Bills 10, Patriots 10

HALFTIME

THIRD QUARTER

15:00- Beasley picks up 23; 1st & 10…

14:08- SACK! Lawrence Guy ran Allen down and sacked him; 2nd & 22…

13:54- Allen runs for 10 on the designed RPO; 3rd & 12…

13:19- Incomplete pass and the Bills will be forced to punt. Lawrence Guy ended that drive when he made the sack; 4th & 12…

13:10- Sanu returns it to the Patriots 23; 1st & 10…

13:04- Michel runs for six; 2nd & 4…

12:19- Michel runs for five; 1st & 10…

11:33- Nice design on the fake jet sweep and Brady hits Burkhead on the backside wheel route; 1st & 10…

11:19- Michel runs for two; 2nd & 8…

10:42- Touchdown erased after a terrible call; 2nd & 18…

10:38- Incomplete pass; 3rd & 18…

10:28- Sanu picks up 10; 4th & 8…

9:54- FIELD GOAL, PATRIOTS!! Folk connects from 51-yards out to give the Patriots the lead. They had a touchdown taken off the board on a terrible call but were still able to salvage a field goal. That is a good sign; Patriots 13, Bills 10

9:40- Gain of one by Singletary; 2nd & 9…

9:16- Gain of eight on the run; 3rd & 1…

8:36- Gain of two; 1st & 10…

8:07- Loss of three; 2nd & 13…

7:25- Touchdown, Bills. McCourty got scorched by Brown on the 53-yard score. The Bills have done nothing all game except for two big plays but they still lead because the Patriots are making too many mistakes. Bills 17, Patriots 13

7:08- Four-yard gain by White; 2nd & 6…

6:26- Loss of one; 3rd & 7…

5:46- Another pick being called on the Patriots, this time on Watson. This is ridiculous. 3rd & 17…

5:23- Gain of four as the Patriots don’t even attempt to throw it down the field. This is not good. 1st & 10, Bills…

4:46- Gain of five; 2nd & 5…

4:11- Gain of one; 3rd & 4…

3:23- Allen comes up just short; 4th & 1…

2:25- The Patriots take over at their own 21…

2:18- Michel runs for 25; 1st & 10…

1:26- Gain of one; 2nd & 9…

1:03- Meyers picks up 14 and another Patriots 1st down; 1st & 10…

:22- Screen to Burkhead for a big gain to end the 3rd quarter. The Patriots will have a 1st & 10 in the red zone to start the 4th quarter. Bills 17, Patriots 13

FOURTH QUARTER

15:00- Play is stuffed for a loss of six; 2nd & 16…

14:16- Meyers with a nice catch on the strong Brady throw; 3rd & 5…

13:33- Burkhead pick up the 1st down on the 5-yard gain; 1st & Goal…

12:56- Michel for no gain; 2nd & Goal…

12:09- Wow. That was interesting. 3rd & Goal…

11:19- Brady should have kept running forward, he would have scored! 4th & Goal…

10:45- FIELD GOAL, PATRIOTS! They needed seven but got three, so they need a stop on this series. Bills 17, Patriots 16

10:40- Gain of one; 2nd & 9…

9:56- SACK! Loss of five as Guy makes the play; 3rd & 15…

9:10- Incomplete pass intended for Brown; 4th & 15…

9:02- Fair catch by Sanu and the Patriots have strong position to start the drive; 1st & 10…

8:53- Edelman picks up 30 on the play; 1st & 10…

8:15- Michel runs for eight; 2nd & 2…

7:35- Seven-yard run by Michel; 1st & 10…

6:56- Michel runs for six more; 2nd & 4…

6:15- Gain of three; 3rd & 1…

5:37- Sneak by Brady for three; 1st & Goal…the Bills just got a gift when McDermott sprinted to the goal line and called a timeout to avoid 12 men on the field. That should have been a touchdown. 1st & Goal…encroachment, half the distance to the goal line; 1st & Goal…

5:11- TOUCHDOWN, PATRIOTS!! Burkhead breaks two tackles and scores the go-ahead touchdown. They’ll go for two…and they convert! Great drive, great balance, which is what this team needs. Patriots 24, Bills 17

1:55- SACK!! Butler makes the play and we come down to 4th & Goal…

1:05- INCOMPLETE! Beasley was open, but Jackson closed & broke it up!

:44- VICTORY FORMATION FOR YOUR 2019 AFC EAST CHAMPION NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!! 11 STRAIGHT!

:00- The Patriots had BY FAR their best offensive game in a long time as they seem to have found an identity. If they can finish off the season with a win over Miami next week in Foxborough, they’ll clinch at least the two seed.

FINAL SCORE- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 24, BUFFALO BILLS 17

Be sure to join us next week for the regular-season finale as the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins in a game that means a lot to the Patriots as far as securing a bye and a home game in the AFC Divisional Round. Enjoy this one because who knows how much longer this run will go.

Happy Holidays to all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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