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Monday Morning Breakdown

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Eric Wood | 5 opinions on the Bills finally taking down the Patriots


1. Ground game thrives with more under-center runs

After the game, they said that it was their plan all week, knowing that the weather could be an issue. The fact that the Patriots defense has been suspect against the run this year, they wanted to attack them on the ground. To be able to execute their game plan the way they did is excellent execution by the offense. It was great by the offensive line opening up holes, and the running backs showed great vision and the ability to break tackles. Devin and Zack both ran with toughness and were able to pick up extra yardage at the end of runs. Brian Daboll featured more of an under-center ground game this week. We've seen so much more shotgun by the Bills this year, and maybe that was part of the reason the run game has struggled at times. They weren't under center as much, but the passing game was so dynamic that it wasn't an issue. But in a day when you needed the run game, they went back to more under-center runs, and they were able to be effective.

2. Josh Allen had great control of the offense

NFL fans are getting to experience a lot more of what the quarterback and offensive line say at the line of scrimmage nowadays with the lack of crowds in the stadiums. We were able to hear Josh Allen today alert many of the plays. Oftentimes after his alerts the play led to big chunk plays in the run game. That's a great job by Josh Allen getting them into an advantageous play in those situations. We also saw Josh late in the game against the cover zero pressure, check to a wide receiver screen, and that was executed perfectly as well.

3. Justin Zimmer is an easy guy to root for

Justin Zimmer this season has earned a tremendous amount of respect from his teammates and coaches. You heard all their comments about him after the game about how hard he works and that he doesn't say a whole lot, but he's earned a great reputation throughout this organization right now. And it was so fun to hear him and his postgame comments. He had a lot of humility, but you could tell how excited he was for the moment. This is a guy that was with the Bills in 2016, and an undrafted guy who made it onto the practice squad that year. It's just remarkable the work he's put in to develop into a guy that is a rotational defensive lineman on one of the best teams in the NFL.

4. Finding a way to escape with the W

Hopefully, this is a sign of the changing of the guard in the AFC. The Patriots only have two wins on the season but they're always a tough out. Bill Belichick, likely the greatest coach in the history of the NFL, is always going to scheme up ways to maximize the talent on his team. Even in the game on Sunday, where they were down so many starters and skill position players on offense, they were still able to manufacture over 300 total yards. Defensively, they're always going to present you with challenges, that's a given with Belichick. So, it was great for the Bills to come out and get a win and finally find a way to win at the end. Unlike in past years where it seemed like it was always the Patriots finding a way to win at the end of games, it's a great sign to see the Bills in the winning position.

5. Need to find a way to slow the NFL's top offense

For their next game, a big task will be to prevent big plays in the passing game and that's not going to be easy. Russell Wilson has been throwing the deep ball with incredible accuracy this year. He's got two weapons on the outside in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett who have been excellent downfield threats for him. We've seen teams try to attack away from Tre'Davious White all season long. So, schematically it will be interesting to see how the Bills come up with their defensive attack next week against the Seahawks. The Seahawks sit at 6-1 on the season and are first in the NFL total yards with an average of 444 yards per game on offense. But it is a west coast team traveling 2,595 miles from Seattle to Buffalo for a 1 p.m. ET Kickoff so hopefully, the Bills can get a fast start.

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