|New England Patriots||13||0||3||0||16|
I feel that I disrespected Buffalo Coach Sean McDermott when I wrote the 2018 Week 8 Patriots vs Buffalo recap. For the same reasons I trusted Flores to put together some wins, I should have respected the 2018 Bills a bit more. The 2019 Bills proved why, with a top-tier defense, an improved offense, and a 3-0 record ready for this Orchard Park contest.
In many respects, I anticipated this game to follow a similar path to last year’s: a tense defensive battle in which the team that made fewer mistakes would win. Last year, it was a fourth quarter pick-six by McCourty to secure the game. This year, Allen appeared to be playing hero ball and threw three (1, 2, 3, 4-Barkley) interceptions. Two McCourty’s are still better than one, and One Bill is still better than 53.
This game had major controversy too. The Buffalo offense moved the ball fairly well all game (turnovers notwithstanding), but during one scramble at the start of the fourth quarter, Jonathan Jones knocked Josh Allen out of the game with a hit to the head. The Bills looked nowhere near as effective after it. Could Buffalo have won if Allen played the whole game? It is certainly possible.
As a testament to the Bills defense, the Patriots offense scored an unimpressive nine points this game. The remaining seven came from a blocked punt. Frank Gore showed that the Patriots defense might have some deficiencies in defending the running game. The Bills lost this game but showed they are legitimate playoff contenders. For the Patriots, September is over. No more early season excuses. They are 4-0 and it is time to put the pedal to the metal.