The biggest winners and losers from Saturday’s games
The bills: Their mistreatment of the Patriots was a resounding reminder of the masterful team-building work that’s been done at Buffalo since 2018, when the Bills had rookie Josh Allen and a lot of money paid out to players who were no longer part of the squad. team. . The Bills are the new boss of the AFC East, and it was hard not to feel like they were delivering a message with that stomp. But the Bills talk about how the Chiefs have been kings of the AFC hill since losing the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium last year. The Bills have won five in a row, but their two best performances of the year have come in their last two games against the Patriots – there have been real struggles against the Falcons and Jets at home in the last two games of the regular season. Now is the time to play like this against an even bigger opponent than the Patriots next week – probably the Chiefs again.
Josh Allen: He missed passes, he broke his ankles, there was nothing the Bills quarterback couldn’t do on Saturday night. Allen was a one-man wrecker team — throwing for 308 yards and rushing for 66 more — but the Bills’ offense was collectively unstoppable. They scored a touchdown on each of their four possessions in the first half, taking a 27-0 lead. Taking a lead was a point of attention for the Bills, who wanted to force the game into the hands of Mac Jones. Do. Then they continued. The Bills haven’t kicked the Patriots since the start of the third quarter of the teams’ first meeting this season. The Bills finished with a perfect offensive performance, scoring a touchdown on every shot until the kneeling. Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips raved about the offense, saying, “It sounds like some Pop Warner stuff. Maybe you did it on Madden.”
Micha Hyde: The Bills’ safety is singled out for outstanding overall defensive effort due to one of the most athletic and timely plays you’ll ever see. With the Bills leading by a touchdown, but the Patriots moving the ball at will on their first possession of the game, quarterback Mac Jones had the Patriots with a first down at the Bills 34-yard line. He threw a pass to Nelson Agholor, who was racing along the left sideline – wide open – into the end zone. Hyde had an angle and ran to where Agholor would have met the pass. Following the ball to the end, Hyde had a catch a la Willie Mays, turning a certain touchdown into a jaw-dropping interception that ended the Patriots’ initial momentum. The Patriots offense never found its footing.
The Bills Coordinators: Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier are candidates for head coaching positions. This game will be a nice line on their CV.
The Patriots: Yes, they blew themselves up in the wild card game, but the Patriots rebuilt themselves in one season and went to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback. This game revealed their holes, but it’s a win by any measure except perhaps where Tom Brady is the measuring stick.