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How the Bills' veterans put loss to Patriots in perspective


Despite losing on the road to a New England Patriots team that had won just one game going into Sunday, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is not giving up hope.

"Our season is not over," Allen said. "It's a long season. I know it feels pretty bleak right now but we're gonna figure it out."

The Bills offense struggled to get going in the first half for the third week in a row. Allen's first pass of the day was intercepted and a series of mistakes on offense, from penalties to missed throws to drops, led to a subpar day from the Bills offense.

Buffalo's struggles in the first half are not a new phenomenon. In their games against the Jaguars, Giants and Patriots, the Bills have scored just 10 combined points in the first half. Multiple players as well as head coach Sean McDermott said that they would continue to look for answers as to why they have struggled in the first half recently.

"We talked about being more detailed, getting into a rhythm early, playing complimentary football and all three phases working together and we just haven't been able to get into a good rhythm in the first quarter," McDermott said after the game.

Tight end Dawson Knox, who finished with one catch for 10 yards caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter that was nullified after an offensive pass interference penalty called against Latavius Murray. He isn't looking at the playoff or division standings and is simply preparing for the Bills' Thursday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"All we're doing is focusing on getting the corrections from this game and then focusing on our next game on Thursday night," Knox said. "So it's not trying to project where we're going to land, seeding for the playoffs or the division, no one's doing that. We're just going to focus on today, tomorrow and then this next game coming up."

Before Sunday, the Patriots offense was second-to-last in the league in points per game, scoring just 12. Today, they racked up 29 points, their most in the 2023 season. Tallying 96 yards on the ground and 170 yards after catch, the Patriots had their best offensive performance of the season against a Bills defense that, before Sunday's loss, allowed the third-fewest points per game.

Safety Jordan Poyer, who had a sack and forced fumble, is in his 11th season in the NFL and knows that a Week 7 loss isn't the end of the world.

"This is a very long season," Poyer said. "4-3, maybe not where we wanted to be at the beginning of the year but we have a short week this week. The games are gonna keep coming, no reason to sulk in this one and turn one loss into two. … Tomorrow, we're onto Tampa Bay."

With only three full days until their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Bucs, safety Micah Hyde is glad to be able to put the Bills' loss behind them.

"The NFL is week to week. You gotta go out there and play your best ball each and every week," Hyde said. "The good thing is we have a Thursday night coming up, short week we're able to flush this, learn from it and we have another game coming up."

Sean McDermott admitted that there was plenty of work to be done to diagnose why the Bills have struggled to gain momentum in the first half, but said that he still had high expectations for his locker room and coaching staff.

"I'm confident in our players, I'm confident in our coaches," McDermott said.

The Bills will travel back to Buffalo Sunday evening and break down their performance on film during the plane flight back to Western New York. They will take on Tampa Bay Thursday night at 8:15 p.m. in Highmark Stadium.

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