Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham both struggle in the Patriots’ resounding loss to the Buffalo Bills (2 top, 8 bottom)
FOXBOROUGH – The Bills delivered an outright loss on Monday Night Football.
Buffalo dominated the Patriots every phase of the game, en route to a resounding 38-9 victory at Gillette Stadium. Now 6-9, New England will finish with a loss record for the first time since 2000.
Here are some highs and many lows of a rash:
Since the fall of Damien Harris, Michel has looked like a man running with a goal.
He scammed 69 yards on 10 carries in the loss to the Bills and it’s curious that Josh McDaniels didn’t call his number more often in the first half. He was very successful.
Death, taxes and Bailey toppling the pitch.
The Pro Bowl bettor was formidable again, opening 62 yards and pinning the Bills inside their 20-yard line three times. But when the bettor is one of only two “ups,” you know it’s been a long night.
New England opened the game in a no-huddle attack that was quickly gaining momentum.
At the Buffalo 36-yard line, McDaniels made up a flea flicker that started off perfectly. Newton handed the ball to Michel, who threw it back, and the quarterback delivered a deep ball that landed straight into Byrd’s wide open bread basket – and the wide receiver simply dropped it. .
The Patriots ended up settling for a field goal and the fall set the tone for a sloppy night for the home team.
Down three scores in the third quarter, Newton has been benched for the third time this season.
It was the same story: although he does well with his legs, Newton’s passing game was non-existent. At the time of the bench, he was 5 of 10 for 34 yards. Newton’s 34 yards were the fewest for a Patriots starter since Scott Secules in 1993, who left that game with a shoulder injury.
It’s not just about Newton – his guns may be the worst in the league – but it still doesn’t look like a 2020 NFL offense when he’s a quarterback.
Stidham was not much better.
Granted, he entered the game with three scores and without a week of preparation for one of the best defenses in the NFL. But still, he wasn’t impressive, going just 4 of 11 for 44 yards.
Anyone can guess who is under the focus of week 1 in 2021.
Stefon Diggs served the third-year cornerback a big serving of humble pie.
Jackson got off to a good start against the Pro Bowler and the two were chewing a bit. Then Diggs turned it on. He then torched Jackson for a pair of touchdowns and added a third against Jason McCourty for good measure. Diggs finished with nine catches for 145 yards and all three scores.
Diggs’ dominance was a reminder of what the Patriots lack when Stephon Gilmore is out of the roster.
With the Bills facing a 4th and 1 at the end of the first quarter, Butler jumped offside. It didn’t matter because Josh Allen ran 22 yards anyway, but it was a mental error that just can’t happen.
Later in practice, Jackson intercepted a ball in the end zone – but that didn’t matter as Butler had jumped offside again. The game was called off, Buffalo ended up scoring a touchdown, and the rout began.
Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene
Stop if you’ve heard this one before: The Patriots didn’t get anything from the tight final position.
Asiasi was targeted twice but didn’t bring back any passes, and the ball wasn’t even thrown by Keene. The lack of tight end production throughout the season is one of the main reasons the offensive struggles can’t just be blamed on Newton.
The injury virus
The Patriots are terribly high and things are not getting any better.
Already down by a few key contributors – and with 20 players listed as questionable – New England were further decimated in the game.
For the second week in a row, the Patriots were beaten on a false punt, and it was not taken off the table.
The Patriots left one of the Buffalo gunners completely uncovered in the first quarter. The Bills punt team recognized it, presumably audible at the line of scrimmage, and they ended up scoring a touchdown instead of kicking the ball.
None of the Patriots or their coaching staff have called for a time out.