Coming off a dominating win over the Tennessee Titans, the New England Patriots were looking for their seventh straight win. For the Patriots in Week 13, they would head into enemy territory as they were set to face the Buffalo Bills.
The Patriots Week 13 Matchup… The Buffalo Bills
It was windy, snowy, and cold in Buffalo on Monday night. It was a game that was expected to be ugly, and boy was it an ugly one.
In the end, though the New England Patriots pulled out a 14-10 win, thanks to the defense and the rushing game. The win now places the Patriots solely into first place in the AFC and the AFC East.
So, as we always do, let us break it down!
The Offense Ran it Down Buffalo’s Throats…
It was a wild scenario going into the game, the wind was absolutely whipping, up to 30 mph gusts, so, it was gonna be tough to throw the ball, especially against the wind.
So, what do they do… they run it 46 times for over 200 yards. Including 31 straight rushing attempts. It was a true test of will in this weather and the Patriots played chess while they did something that we rarely ever see in the NFL.
Damien Harris led all rushers with 111 yards on 10 carries and a 64-yard touchdown. Harris would leave the game with a hamstring injury, but that just paved the way for the rookie, Rhamondre Stevenson who saw 24 carries for 78 yards.
The Patriots ran it right down Buffalo’s throat, the game plan, worked to perfection in some minds. As the tram jumped ship on the passing game and just decided to run it.
The Defense Stepped Up Big Once Again…
We all knew going into this game that the defense was going to make or break whether or not the Patriots walked away with a win.
The unit did just that as they held Allen in check for most of the game. The biggest piece though once again was the red zone defense came up big late in the game. Matt Judon, got yet another sack in a crucial spot, followed by a massive pass break up on fourth down by Myles Bryant to practically end the game.
Another stellar piece to the defense was once again Christian Barmore, the rookie once again wreaked havoc in the backfield forcing Allen to make some questionable moves.
Wrapping a MASSIVE Week 13 Win…
Week 13 was by no means a must-win for this young Patriots team, but getting a win would solidify and could tell us just what this team is exactly.
We got that sort of in the game, we already knew this was a run-heavy team, but the chess match that Bill Belichick played in this game was an absolute masterclass in some ways.
The win was more than just being in sole possession of first in the AFC and AFC East. It showed the confidence and stamina this team has. A game like this also showed just how much trust Belichick had in the defense. Going to basically a run-only game in this era is just insane, but with the weather conditions the way it was, and a rookie QB who could be prone to a mistake that could make or break the game, it was the best option.
The Patriots now head into their BYE week with a 9-4 record. They will then head to Indianapolis to take on a good Colts team on Saturday, December 18th. It comes at a key time as the team saw some injuries (Harris, Phillips, and Judon). This will allow for a week of rest and healing before making the last big push into the playoffs.
NEXT UP: Week 15 (AFTER BYE): AT Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, December 18th, 8:20 pm
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images/Buffalonews.com
-Jeff Hoak (@jeffhoak1)
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