Josh Allen’s Bills Nearly Perfect in Dismantling the Patriots – The New York Times
The Patriots surprised many observers this season by clawing their way back to the playoffs behind a rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, who played on an accelerated learning curve.
But after a seven-game winning streak, the Patriots were 1-3 down the stretch and entered the postseason as a wild-card team for the first time in Coach Bill Belichick’s tenure in New England. Despite giving up the second-fewest points in the N.F.L., the team’s defensive secondary was undermanned.
On Saturday, in the second-coldest Bills home game ever — 7 degrees at kickoff — Jones forced passes under pressure. Receivers dropped catchable balls. Jones was picked off twice and sacked three times by a Bills defense that had given up the fewest points in the league during the regular season. When he finally hit receiver Kendrick Bourne for the Patriots’ first touchdown late in the third quarter, narrowing their deficit to 33-10, the game was largely over.
Before kickoff, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, cornerstones of the Bills’ four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s, were on the field to rile up a crowd that, based on years of experience, feared the worst but hoped for the best. Fittingly, Kelly, a Hall of Fame quarterback, wore a Josh Allen jersey while Thomas wore a Devin Singletary jersey to honor a current Bills running back who, like Allen, showed off his versatility on Saturday.
Singletary had 81 yards rushing, two scores in the second quarter and three catches for 13 yards. His proficiency catching and rushing forced the Patriots to keep him under watch, helping receivers Emmanuel Sanders, Isaiah McKenzie and Stefon Diggs to break free.
Allen seemed in control throughout, even when he wasn’t. On his first touchdown pass, he evaded defenders before lofting the ball to the back of the end zone as he fell out of bounds. Allen was trying to throw the ball away, but instead, tight end Dawson Knox hauled it in for an 8-yard score.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.