Game 9: Patriots Blow Out Bills 29-6
Team proves they aren't ready for tough road game.
by Steve Saslow
The Bills rolled into New England winners of three of their last four. They left knowing that they are not ready for prime time players, especially on the road. The defense gave up 273 yards in the first half, that is around their average for a whole game. The offense struggled as Drew Bledsoe threw two first half picks as the defending champs rolled over the Bills for the eight time in their last nine meetings 29-6.
The Patriots had a 20-0 lead at halftime as they moved the ball up and down the field for the entire half. The Bills defense stiffened early allowing two Adam Vinatieri field goals. They caved late in the half as Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the final six minutes of the half. They cruised from there to the victory.
The defense played a little better in the second half as the Patriots got conservative. They did allow a 100 yard rusher for the first time this year, as Corey Dillon rumbled down the field for many big gains despite battling a leg injury that he suffered in the first half.
While, the defense was playing their worst game of the year, the offense was up to its old tricks on the road as they were downright awful. Drew Bledsoe threw three interceptions including one to Troy Brown which added insult to injury. It turns out Bledsoe wasn't being funny when he said he'd have to be careful where he threw the ball when Brown was in the game.
The Bills lone score came on special teams, as this unit was the lone bright spot on this demoralizing evening. "Fast Freddie" Smith stepped in front of Nate Clements and returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown with a nifty move. The only other good thing to happen on this day was the performance of the team's "MVP", Brian Moorman. He had another very successful game punting, in fact since he is the best offensive weapon Coach Mularkey decided to use him on the first drive. Instead of going for it on 4th and 5 or trying a 52 yard field goal, Mularkey opted to punt from the Patriots 35. That conservative play turned into three points when the Patriots went on the first of five double digit play drives.
It was a pathetic performance that's only silver lining should have been the NFL debut of J.P. Losman who entered the game with 4:36 to go. It wasn't one however as he was just dismal. He promptly turned the ball over not once but twice, when he fumbled it away on a third down scramble and threw an awful interception in the final seconds. He moved around pretty well and seems recovered from the broken leg.
All the optimism around Western New York the past four weeks was blown up in the blowout loss. This team isn't a playoff team, we all knew that. It isn't even a good team, and won't be until they can prove they can win on the road. The so called great defense again, imploded under the lights of a prime time affair. This loss will sting as the players can't even fake thinking they have a chance at the playoffs. It is now time to play for next year and seeing Losman on the field at the end of the game, may show us that the future will start now although if he needs a lot of improvement over his very forgettable cameo performance in his debut.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills loss to the World Champions:Gameballs