Patriots Blown Out By Bills, Failing To Win Playoff Game For Third Straight Season
BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots’ season is over. It ended ugly.
New England fell behind early and never recovered, suffering the most lopsided playoff loss of the entire Bill Belichick era in the 47-17 Bills win.
Josh Allen was essentially perfect, completing 21 of his 25 passes for 308 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also rushed six times for 66 yards.
Dawson Knox caught two touchdowns, while Gabriel Davis, Emmanuel Sanders, and offensive lineman Tommy Doyle caught one touchdown apiece.
Mac Jones completed 24 of his 38 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Kendrick Bourne caught seven passes for 77 yards, catching both of Jones’ touchdowns.
The Patriots have now gone three years without winning a playoff game, with their last postseason victory coming in Super Bowl LIII against the Rams.
The Bills received the opening kickoff and quickly marched 70 yards for a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead. The big play of the drive came when Allen left Matthew Judon in his dust in the open field en route to breaking a 27-yard run.
Allen capped off the drive by biding his time and rolling right for a few extra seconds before lobbing a pass to the back of the end zone. It initially looked like a throwaway, but tight end Dawson Knox got behind Kyle Dugger to make a leaping touchdown catch.
The Patriots were in the midst of mounting an impressive response drive, with a deep connection from Jones to Hunter Henry converting a third-and-14 and with Jones converting a third-and-10 with his legs. But just after the latter play, Jones threw deep for Nelson Agholor but was picked off by safety Micah Hyde in the end zone.
The Bills made the most of it by going 80 yards on 10 plays, doubling their lead to 14-0 with a bullet from Allen to Knox.
The Patriots elected to punt instead of going for it on a fourth-and-1 after Damien Harris was stopped a yard shy of the sticks, and the Bills embarked on yet another long touchdown drive, going 81 yards on 10 plays. Devin Singletary punched the ball into the end zone with a 3-yard run to end the drive.
The Patriots blocked the PAT, leaving the score at 20-0 midway through the second quarter.
But the Patriots punted on the following drive, and the Bills once again drove for a touchdown. This time, they moved 89 yards on just four plays, including a 45-yard bomb from Allen to Stefon Diggs.
One play after Allen juked practice squad elevation De’Vante Bausby for a nine-yard run …
… Singletary juked around another practice squad elevation — D’Angelo Ross — for a 16-yard touchdown run.
The Patriots did get on the board with a 44-yard Nick Folk field goal before halftime — and even that minor triumph came after an embarrassing fake spike play resulted in Jones getting sacked.
The pain continued for New England in the second half, as Jones forced a pass to Henry which was batted into the air and intercepted at the Buffalo 42-yard line. Buffalo capitalized quickly, with Allen hitting Emmanuel Sanders for a 34-yard touchdown pass over Joejuan Williams to put Buffalo up 33-3. (The PAT was no good.)
The Patriots finally mounted a touchdown drive, thanks in large part to Kendrick Bourne. The receiver had a 43-yard catch-and-run to convert a third-and-6, then ran for 14 yards on the next snap. On a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Bourne got behind the defense for a wide-open touchdown reception. The PAT made it a 33-10 Buffalo lead.
The good times didn’t last for New England, though, because Buffalo responded with a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown run, ending with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Gabriel Davis.
Things managed to get even worse for New England after a punt on the following possession. Micah Hyde grabbed that punt after it had taken a couple of bounces, and then broke off a 54-yard return. He was only brought down by an inadvertent trip by a teammate.
The Bills’ offense then took the field, with Allen hitting Knox immediately for a 38-yard gain. Two plays later, Allen threw to offensive lineman Tommy Doyle for his fifth touchdown pass of the night.
The Patriots did put together another touchdown drive, with Jones once again connecting with Kendrick Bourne. This time, Bourne made a catch in the back left corner of the end zone for a 4-yard TD reception.
Mitch Trubisky then entered the game to kneel out the clock — the first time Buffalo’s offense touched the football without scoring all night.
The Bills are now moving on to the divisional round for the second straight season. And for the Patriots, it’s on to the offseason.