It was a lousy night for Bill Belichick apologists in the ongoing debate between sensei (Belichick) and student (Tom Brady).
In their AFC Wild Card matchup, the Buffalo Bills (11-6) gave their thoughts on facing Belichick without his ageless quarterback: beating the Patriots (10-7) in a 47-17 defeat on Saturday night.
Newly perennial option for NFL-MVP, Bills quarterback Josh Allen, delivered another valuable performance for the No. 3 overall seed in the AFC. Allen tossed more touchdowns than incompletions on the night — finishing with 21-of-25 passing, 308 yards and five touchdowns.
The running back position was once a subtle element of the Bills offense — a pass-heavy attack by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. On Sat. night, Bills running back Devin Singletary helped the backfield take front stage, rushing for 81 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries that truly put the offense over the top.
In the third quarter, Allen connected with veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders for a 16-yard score, also finding receiver Gabriel Davis and lineman Tommy Doyle in the fourth quarter for 19 yards and a one-yard score, respectively. However, Allen’s two other touchdown passes went to tight end Dawson Knox.
Knox caught five passes for 89 yards and the two scores; contributing to the offensive onslaught that was a revelatory performance by the legitimate Bills.
A strong effort by Buffalo felt truer to the win than deeming it a bad loss by the New England players. To late-night audiences’ surprise, the on-field product by Belichick and the coaching staff showed no adjustment taken from their 33-21 loss against Buffalo in Week 16.
New England will now move on toward developing rookie breakout Mac Jones. The team found itself smitten by its game plan from their sole win against the Bills this season. With only three pass attempts by Jones, the Patriots beat the Bills, 14-10 — showing their hand for Buffalo DC Leslie Frazier ahead of the Wild Card matchup.
Jones was sacked three times behind a sub-par O-line performance, but he hung in. The rookie completed 24-of-38 passing for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Bill Belichick suffered the worst postseason loss of his career on Saturday.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Belichick will have a lengthy evaluation on how the team will stay afloat in the AFC East for years ahead — concurrent to the potential dynasty that the Bills could form with the 25-year-old Allen on track for a promising peak.
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