The New England Patriots had a bad offensive foray against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15, scoring just nine points that day. Along the way, the unit saw another change in the quarterback position: starter Cam Newton was deployed in favor of backup Jarrett Stidham in the middle of the fourth quarter, with the competition already out of control.
The change at quarterback didn’t change the luck for the Patriots and they eventually lost with a final score of 38-9. For head coach Bill Belichick, it was easy to see why the game went as wrong as it was.
« We didn’t play as well as we can, and Buffalo played well. « . They were certainly the better team tonight, ”he said during his conference call after the game. “They were better than us in every phase of the game – attack, defense, special teams, coaching, basics. They just did a better job than us and they deserved to win. ”
The Bills, who won their first AFC East title since the mid-1990s last week to end the Patriots’ eleven-year winning streak, played impressive football in all three phases. Likewise, New England continued to look uninspiring, with the crime in particular remaining a major concern.
The quarterback spot and lackluster Newton and Stidham statistical game are an easy starting point for debate, but Belichick found that the issues were more complex than just a player or position.
« We didn’t have a lot of production. Just a combination of things, ”he said. “Protection, dropped balls, just a lack of good execution. We just didn’t do the passing game well and they played well defensively with their pressure and they covered well. You did a better job than us. ”
New England finished the game with only 11 first downs and only 201 net yards offensive (compared to the 31 first downs and 474 yards on the Bills). . As for much of the season so far, a sizable chunk of that production hit the floor: the Newton-led Assault and the running-back trio of Sony Michel, James White, and J. . J. . Taylor finished with 145 yards and a touchdown.
The passing game, on the other hand, only won 56 net yards and again proved to be an Achilles heel for the entire team. Along the way, both passers-by put up some miserable numbers: Newton went 5-on-10 for 34 yards, and Stidham later added 44 more yards to his 4-on-11 performance in virtual garbage time.
« We didn’t play very well and we felt that this was an opportunity to give [Stidham] a chance to play, » said Belichick of the move. “Cam did a good job for us. That wasn’t the problem. We just weren’t very competitive in the game. ”
When Newton was asked about this statement by his head coach after the game, he was self-critical and found that he would not necessarily agree.
« I feel like this: you won’t get pulled out just because you have an outstanding game. I would be the first person to say that, « said the Patriots’ starting QB. “There are some things that I could have done better.
“What my standard is for me is never just to fit in and just be the status quo. There had to be a piece made on my part that I think I could have done better, and all you have to do is review the movie and get back to it. As a caller, as a person who is a dynamic player on this team, I have to influence the game more and it just didn’t happen tonight. ”
Now at 6-9, the Patriots have one last chance to return to the winning column next week against the 2-13 New York Jets.
Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, NFL, Bill Belichick, Monday Night Football, Josh Allen, Cam Newton, AFC East
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