The Buffalo Bills left no doubt in declaring themselves the best team in the AFC East and a legitimate threat to reach the 2022 Super Bowl during their home game on Saturday night, January 15.
Buffalo took the rubber match over their bitter rivals the New England Patriots by the lopsided score of 47-17. New England’s rookie quarterback Mac Jones looked like a player in his first postseason as the crowd noise on the road in Buffalo and the frigid temperatures led to some ineffectiveness.
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After a strong opening drive that ended in an interception in the end zone by Bills safety Micah Hyde, Jones and the Patriots offense could only muster three points in the first half. They added two fairly meaningless touchdowns in the second half, but nothing could stop Buffalo’s onslaught.
After the game, Jones met with the media to discuss his performance in his first playoff game.
Jones: ‘I Was a Rookie & Played Like That Sometimes’
Jones doesn’t deserve all the blame for the Patriots’ failures. As a matter of fact, the majority of the finger-pointing should be directed at the defense, which was horrendous against the Bills.
Still, just as quarterbacks often get more credit than they deserve, they often take more blame than they deserve, too. Jones, as he has done the entire season, didn’t try to escape accountability.
“For me, obviously, I was a rookie and … played like that sometimes and I shouldn’t have,” Jones admitted during his postgame press conference. “I can play better, and that’s my goal this offseason is just to advance and bring the guys along with me.”
Jones was probably a bit too hard on himself, but he carried the same emotional, verge-of-tears demeanor he’s had after most of the team’s biggest losses. That’s something he’s going to need to work on next season.
Losing isn’t great and no one wants a player or leader on their team who doesn’t mind losing. However, the strongest leaders usually have a better handle on their body language after losses.
How the Patriots Lost This Game
The Patriots’ defense was terrible, allowing the Bills to score touchdowns on all seven of their offensive possessions.
According to Brett Kollmann of YouTube series “The Film Room,” Buffalo put together the first perfect offensive game in NFL history, including “No punts. No picks. No fumbles lost. No field goals. All touchdowns on every single drive until the kneel downs.”
New England needed to have a strong start, and that didn’t happen, with the team trailing 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Patriots needed to establish a run game. They failed to eclipse the 125-yard mark, which had been a magic number for the team this season.
The Patriots turned the ball over twice, which has also been a poison pill for New England. All those things mixed together were a recipe for a 30-point whipping in prime time.
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