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Bills offense can’t keep pace in loss to Pats

Posted Dec 3, 2017

Details on Buffalo's Week 13 game against AFC East division opponent the New England Patriots.

Location: New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY

Regular season records: Buffalo (6-6), New England (10-2)

In a nutshell:
The Bills not only lost a pivotal game for their AFC playoff hopes on Sunday, they also lost their quarterback. Tyrod Taylor left the game with a knee injury in the fourth quarter in a game where the offense managed just a field goal in a 20-point loss to New England.

Trailing only 9-3 at the half, Buffalo could not hold the New England offense down come the third quarter. The Patriots scored 14 unanswered points as Buffalo’s offense struggled and the Bills could not recover in a 23-3 loss.

Buffalo’s opening drive proved to be their most promising. They drove 66 yards on 13 plays to start the game, but Tyrod Taylor’s pass intended for LeSean McCoy was intercepted by Eric Lee. The Bills offense never recovered.

Taylor left the game early in the fourth quarter after completing a failed series in which the Bills had to punt. After being examined on the sidelines, Taylor was carted to the locker room with a knee injury.

After the opening drive by Buffalo, Taylor went into the medical tent with doctors and athletic trainers, but came out seemingly no worse for wear and did not miss a play.

Rookie Nate Peterman came on in relief at quarterback, but couldn’t connect with Zay Jones on a fourth-down fade pass to the end zone from the Patriots’ one-yard line, down 20 in the fourth quarter.

The defeat dropped Buffalo to 6-6 on the season and into the mix with a host of teams on the outside of the playoff picture looking in with four games to play.

How it went down:
-The Patriots got on the board first as Stephen Gostkowski put a 50-yard attempt up and through to cap a 14-play, 69-yard drive to give New England a 3-0 lead.

-New England looked to be headed to the end zone, but Buffalo’s defense got three straight stops including a Kyle Williams sack of Tom Brady on third down to force a short field goal from Gostkowski to make it 6-0 Patriots with 6:30 left in the half.

-Buffalo would get on the board before the first half was over. After a 22-yard run by Joe Webb out of the Wildcat formation put the Bills in New England territory, Stephen Hauschka would hit from 49 yards away to cut the Patriots lead in half (6-3) with three minutes to go in the second quarter.

-The Patriots broke out of their two-quarter touchdown drought with a 10-play, 70-yard drive culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Rex Burkhead to make the score 16-3 with nine minutes left in the third quarter.

-New England methodically cranked out a nine-play 78-yard drive with Burkhead finishing things off again, this time with a 14-yard touchdown run to put the game away with a minute left in the third quarter (23-3).

Subplots:
-Tyrod Taylor left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and was carted off. He did not return. For the game, he was 9-18 for 65 yards and an interception. He also ran three times for 32 yards.

-Nate Peterman came on in relief of Taylor and went 6 for 15 passing for 50 yards.

- Jordan Matthews recorded his 250th career reception with his only catch of the game, a 14-yard reception.

-Tre’Davious White made his third interception of the season on a Tom Brady pass intended for Rob Gronkowski. After making the interception, White was on the ground and out of bounds when Gronkowski came back and drove his full body weight and forearm into the back of White’s head while he was lying prone on the ground.

White suffered a head injury as a result of the dirty play, and Gronkowski was only assessed an unnecessary roughness penalty. He went to the locker room for evaluation after the play.

- Kyle Williams is playing his 163rd game with the Buffalo Bills – the most games played by a Bills defensive tackle passing Fred Smerlas (162). He also had a sack in the first half and increased his career total to 42.5 – the most by a Bills defensive tackle in team history.

-Buffalo’s run defense gave up a couple of long runs. A 44-yarder to Dion Lewis and a 31-yard run to Rex Burkhead. All told the Patriots averaged almost six yards per carry in route to a 193-yard rushing day before a few kneel downs at the end of the game.

-Leonard Johnson was injured early in the third quarter and did not return.

-Shaq Lawson was hurt on a goal line play in the third quarter and limped off the field. He was subsequently carted to the locker room and did not return.

-LeSean McCoy with his first 63 yards from scrimmage Sunday became the fifth active player with 13,000 scrimmage yards - joining Frank Gore, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson.

-Joe Webb came on to serve as a Wildcat quarterback in the first half and ran three times for 27 yards. He had Travaris Cadet wide open on a post route that likely would’ve gone for a touchdown, but the two just missed on the connection.

-Matt Milano was used to handle coverage assignments on running backs.

-The Bills had a promising opening drive of the game as they marched 66 yards on 13 plays, but on play 14 on 1st-and-goal from the Patriots, Tyrod Taylor’s pass for LeSean McCoy was intercepted by Eric Lee.

-Inactive for Buffalo on Sunday were Mike Tolbert, Nick O’Leary, John Miller, Cordy Glenn, Kelvin Benjamin, Conor McDermott and Shareece Wright.

Up next:
The Bills host the Indianapolis Colts for a 1 pm kickoff on Dec. 10th at New Era Field.


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