Mac Jones was just 2-for-3 passing in the harsh Buffalo conditions, but the New England Patriots were able to ground and pound their way to victory to make it a seven-game winning streak.
After New England started with the ball, three straight three-and-outs were followed by a Buffalo fumble on the fourth play of their second drive. The Patriots took advantage, as Damien Harris broke free and ran for a 64-yard touchdown before Brandon Bolden notched the 2-point conversion with a left outside run.
In the following drive, the Pats defense forced Buffalo to a punt, but on the punt, N’Keal Harry, the return man, chose not to catch it and it hit the ground. It then bounced up and just barely touched his helmet and was recovered by the Bills. They reviewed it, and it was confirmed that it did just barely make contact with Harry’s helmet.
It took just one play for the Bills to capitalize, as Josh Allen connected with Gabriel Davis for a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it an 8-7 ballgame.
The Patriots followed with a field goal, as Nick Folk knuckleballed a 41-yarder through the uprights to make it 11-7.
Punts would both end the first half and start the second half, as four ended the first half before it would take a pair of more punts before somebody would score. The two sides traded field goals (Tyler Bass: 35 yards; Folk: 34 yards).
Bass did have a chance to make it a one-point affair, but his knuckleball missed wide right on a 33-yarder making it the shortest miss of his career.
That miss would prove crucial, as Buffalo drove downfield into field goal range but weren’t able to kick a go-ahead field goal due to it being a four-point game.
New England would stop the Bills on four downs, as Matt Judon’s sack, as well as pass deflections from Adrian Phillips on third down and Myles Bryant’s game-sealing pass breakup on fourth, clinched New England’s victory. The Pats were able to just ice the clock.
The Patriots rushed the ball 46 times, as Jones rushed 11 times while Rhamondre Stevenson had 24 carries for 76 yards. Damien Harris was injured mid-game but was able to produce 114 yards on 10 carries.
New England moves to 9-4, makes it a seven-game winning streak, and takes sole possession of the top seed in the AFC.
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)