The Buffalo Bills win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 15 was clutch, but the celebration will remain short. The franchise’s most important regular-season game is just around the corner, a rematch against the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 26, and tensions are already running high.
The Bills’ (8-6) ticket to the postseason hangs in the balance when they face the Patriots (9-5) in Week 16, as the victor will secure the top spot in the AFC East. While the Bills are coming off a dominant 31-14 win over the Panthers, the Patriots were just crushed 27-17 by the Indianapolis Colts.
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The final score doesn’t quite relay how bad the game really was for quarterback Mac Jones and the Patriots, who were down 20-0 heading into the fourth quarter. While they made a valiant comeback effort, Colts’ star running back Jonathan Taylor, who previously scored four touchdowns against the Bills, broke off a 67-yard touchdown run to clinch the win against the Patriots on Saturday, December 18.
Following the loss, head coach Bill Belichick was visibly upset and irritated.
“I mean, I’ve said it like five times,” Belichick said during the postgame conference. “We didn’t do anything well enough to win tonight. I can just say it five more times. We didn’t do anything well enough to win tonight, including giving up 225 rushing.”
Belichick Issued an Apology to the Media as the Patriots Focus Their Attention on the Bills
On Monday, with the pivotal rematch against the Bills just six days away, Belichick started off his press conference with an apology to the media.
“I’ll just start off here; look, fellas, I apologize if it seemed like I was a little short with you after the game,” Belichick said, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Obviously a frustrating game. Down 20-0. Didn’t do anything well enough. I mean, there isn’t really much to say at that point without watching the film.
“Clearly we had problems in every area. So there’s no simple answer. Every play could have been better. Every area of coaching could have been better. Every area of playing could have been better. Any of that would have helped. Not really trying to be short, but honestly, there wasn’t too much to say. I don’t know that there’s a whole lot more to say now. But it’s not your fault. It was a frustrating game.”
The best way to get move past this kind of loss is to focus on the team’s next game, and based on Belichick’s demeanor on Monday, it seems he’s doing just that. The Bills should expect Belichick and the Patriots to have a big chip on their shoulder as they return to Gilette Stadium on Sunday to face their AFC East rival.
Bills LB Warned ‘Our Guys Are Gonna Be Ready’ to Face Patriots Again
The Bills last faced the Patriots just two weeks ago, a frustrating game played in inclement weather, during which they lost 14-10 in Week 13.
On Sunday, before the champagne was even cold from celebrating their victory over the Panthers, Buffalo’s linebacker Tremaine Edmunds admitted the team was already focused on getting revenge on the Patriots.
“We’re excited,” Edmunds said, via Bills Wire. “Anytime we’re in this position, it’s big. I mean, we’re excited, but we take it a game at a time now. I know guys will be excited honestly, based on what happened last time, just to have another go-around with them. We know it’s gonna be a good challenge for us and our guys are gonna be ready.”