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Bills acknowledge missed opportunities against the Patriots

Sean McDermott Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium, December 6, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert
Sean McDermott Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium, December 6, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Bills fell short against the Patriots on Monday Night by a final score of 14-10. The Bills offense put together some promising drives but couldn't consistently find the end zone, going 1-4 in the red zone. On defense, the Bills held the Patriots to 2-12 on third down but couldn't effectively stop the run. New England rushed 46 times for 222 yards. The Bills now stand at 7-5, second in the AFC East and the seventh seed in the AFC. 

Here are three things we learned from Monday night's game:

Josh Allen describes the morale of the Bills' locker room

After a 4-1 start to the season, the Bills have swapped wins and losses for seven straight weeks. The offense hasn't been able to find a rhythm that carries over week to week. After the win against the Saints, Allen said that it was time to start stacking wins. After the game Monday, Allen knows there is a sense of urgency but he's confident in his guys. 

"We've got to play better," Allen said. "It's no secret. We've got to start winning games to accomplish what we want to accomplish. But like I said, everything's in front of us and we get to control our own destiny."

Allen finished the game 15-30 for 145 yards and 1 touchdown along with six rushes for 39 yards. Allen recognized that the team needed to execute better than they did tonight and believes the team is better than how they played. After the loss, Allen addressed the mindset of the players and coaches. 

"I think frankly, we're pissed off because we want to be great," Allen said. "We're pissed off for greatness, and we expect so much out of ourselves. When we don't play the way we know how we can play, it could be angering at times. But again, with the makeup of the guys that we got, I've got no doubt in our ability, in our team ability to turn this around and start winning games here towards the end of the season."

Mitch Morse knows they can't win if they shoot themselves in the foot

The Bills squandered too many opportunities against the Patriots. Buffalo's average starting field position was their own 40-yard line compared to New England whose average field position was their own 23. The Bills had three penalties for a loss of 20 yards and a costly fumble on New England's 29-yard line. Mitch Morse knows that in order for this team to be more consistent, they have to get out of their own way. 

"I think it's just the familiar topic of shooting ourselves in the foot at opportune times,'' Morse said. "There's no opportune time to shoot yourself in the foot. We just seem to tend to do it at the absolute worst time."

The Bills have five more games left in the regular season, including a tough battle next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It will be a shorter week for the Bills but the team understands they have to look internally, learn from this tough loss and start stacking wins. 

"So, for us, there's no finger pointing or nothing," Morse added. "The only finger pointing we can do is inwards. And I think if you ask everyone on this team, there's plenty that they could have done to come out with a win, which we didn't do. Like every loss, we'll learn from a lot of these mistakes and go from there."

Moving forward after the loss

The Bills will get back to work on Tuesday and start preparing for the trip to Tampa Bay for a matchup with the reigning Super Bowl Champions. This team is familiar with Tom Brady from his time in New England and this will be his first time playing the Bills since 2019. Jordan Poyer is eager to get back to work with a big game to prepare for. 

"This loss, yeah, it sucks," Poyer said. "Yeah, we get to see them again in a couple of weeks. Our focus is obviously trying to get better from this tape and moving on to Tampa Bay. Big game down there. Tampa Bay next week, and we'll see this team again. It's a good football team that we lost to today and we'll figure out a way to bounce back."

The players and coaches believe that they have the pieces to be successful, they just need to put it all together and play four quarters of complementary football. With five games left, Tremaine Edmunds knows it's crunch time and people have to step up. 

"One thing about it, the league is not slowing down," Edmunds said. "We've just got to come in and stay with a positive mindset. Obviously this one hurt, it hurt bad. We've still got ball left. We've got to regroup. Our leaders have to step up and we've got to lead this football team."