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New England Patriots

By Ty Anderson,

The Buffalo Bills may have found themselves playing in Monday Night Football for the first time in a decade, but that didn’t change the reality of their situation as an underdog and a half going against a team that’s owned them for almost two decades.

At the same time, though, it’s hard not to be impressed with the way the Bills remain competitive through the opening 30 minutes of play, trailing the Patriots by just six points in a 9-3 score at the half.

New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 20 of 31 pass attempts in the first half for 202 yards, while Bills third-string quarterback Derek Anderson has thrown for 76 yards with completions on eight of his 13 throws.

Here are three thoughts from one rough-looking half of football…

Josh Gordon starts, confusing everybody

Josh Gordon was reportedly late to Gillette Stadium on Sunday and was going to be disciplined by way of a benching that would late ‘several series,’ or through the first quarter of Monday’s game in Buffalo, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The 27-year-old Gordon instead started the game with the rest of the Patriot offense, and didn’t appear to miss any real number of snaps that would have indicated a suspension, punishment, or even stern talking to of any sort.

So, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is definitely trying to find a leaker within his organization, right? I mean, that has to be what’s going on, right? Truthfully, I have no idea, but it almost sounds believable.

Bills start night with emphasis on Wildcat Offense

Hey, remember 2008 and the Wildcat Offense that gave the Patriots fits? Well, the Bills tried bringing it back for some strange reason in the first half of Monday’s game. With Derek Anderson under center, the Bills repeatedly put the ball in LeSean McCoy’s hands by way of a Wildcat formation. But it went nowhere, and was thrown in the garbage by the second quarter.

It was… just strange, really.

Patriots miss Sony Michel right now

New England’s leading rusher through two quarters? Cordarrelle Patterson, with nine yards on four carries.

Everything about that sentence is pure lunacy, I know, even if it is completely true. But here’s what everybody else has done — Tom Brady has one rush for eight yards, Julian Edelman has a carry for six yards, James White has totaled five yards on two carries, and Kenjon Barner has four yards on two carries. And this is where the Patriots miss Sony Michel (knee).

Granted, New England’s air attack has been just fine (especially when Brady has been given time), but the Patriots had to settle for field goals on three of their first-half drives. Is that the same case if Michel’s pounding down the field? Nope.

The Bills will get the ball to begin the second half.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter@_TyAnderson.