With the blowout complete and the clock at zeroes, any animosity that lingered between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots seemed to wash away pretty quickly.
Video shared this week showed a surprising exchange between two players who had battled all game, with veteran Bills lineman Mitch Morse taking some time to show his appreciation for a Patriots rookie who appeared upset at the abrupt end to his season.
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Opponents Share a Moment
After the Bills brought the 47-17 rout of the Patriots to a merciful end with three kneeldowns — the only time that Buffalo’s offense touched the ball all night without scoring a touchdown — Bills players gathered on the field to celebrate and New England rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore stayed to watch. The moment was reminiscent of the end to Buffalo’s 2020 season, when wide receiver Stefon Diggs hung back to watch Kansas City Chiefs players celebrate their own blowout win and a second straight trip to the Super Bowl.
While Diggs remained mostly alone during his moment after the AFC Championship game, Barmore got a helping hand from a member of the opposing team. Morse, the Bills center who battled Barmore for four quarters, approached the Patriots rookie to share some words of encouragement. The moment was captured by Mike Giardi of the NFL Network, who revealed some of what was said in the exchange.
“Cool moment at end of the #Bills win over the #Patriots,” he tweeted. “Veteran center Mitch Morse comes over to rookie Christian Barmore and tells him he’s a great player. Barmore had been standing there watching the Bills celebrate.”
Barmore had a strong first season, justifying the Patriots trading up to No. 38 in last year’s draft to take him. As Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston noted, he played a key role as both a pass rusher and run stopper, becoming a centerpiece of what became one of the league’s top defenses.
Patriots Share their Own Appreciation
Though the Bills and Patriots have had a fairly fierce rivalry, there was plenty of mutual appreciation to go around after their first playoff meeting since their days in the AFL. Bills quarterback Josh Allen found Patriots rookie signal-caller Mac Jones after the game to share a handshake, and remained a bit longer to share some words with him.
Allen was asked after the game what he told the Patriots quarterback, and while he would not get into specifics, Allen did share some praise for Jones.
“I’ll keep that private between us but he’s a heck of a player,” Allen said via video conference.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also gave credit to the Bills for coming with a better gameplan and admitted that he was outcoached by Sean McDermott.
“We put everything we had into Buffalo and as I said last night, they clearly were the better coached team,” Belichick told reporters the morning after the game. “They played better. They had a much better night than we did, and they certainly deserved to win. They played a good football game and that’s why they’re moving on.”