Check below for all of our live updates from during the Patriots’ 25-6 win over the Bills on Monday Night Football.
FINAL: Patriots 25, Bills 6. An ugly game for most of the run time, but still good enough for a three-possession win for the Patriots. Brady and the offense started to pull away late, and Devin McCourty delivered the final dagger. As you may have expected, Derek Anderson didn’t have enough to keep up with Brady at any point in the game, despite a superlative effort by the Bills defense to keep the game close for a while.
Q4, 5:54: A promising Bills drive ends in disaster. First, Anderson hands it to LeSean McCoy for a draw play and a big gain. Then Chares Clay makes a familiar play against the Patriots defense with a catch over the middle. Jason Groom appeared to make a one-handed touchdown grab, but the replay showed that the ball clearly hit the ground and was not even close to a catch. Instead of a TD, Anderson throws a pick-six to Devin McCourty, who zooms 85 yards the other way for a defensive touchdown.
Q4, 9:58: Another strong drive between the 20s for the Patriots. Tom Brady finds Julian Edelman for three catches and James White makes a guy miss for a first down on third-and-8. Cordarrelle Patterson got yet another handoff and this time he takes it 22 yards into the red zone and…
Chris Hogan gets the Patriots all the way down to the 1-yard line, and James White finally, mercifully, gets the Patriots into the end zone for the first time on the evening. The two-point conversion attempt is no good, however. But the Patriots take an 18-6 lead after the first touchdown for either team.
Q4, 14:49: The Patriots defense is starting to really step up like the Bills defense has. Derek Anderson has had chances to make plays but the Pats won’t let him. Elandon Roberts very nearly picked the ball off and could’ve had a touchdown if he did. Good play to break up the pass, but could’ve been even better.
Q3, 2:03: Stephen Gostkowski is good with a chip shot field goal to make it 12-6. The Patriots have to settle for yet another field goal after the offense falters in the red zone once again. The Bills brought serious pressure on Brady on third and goal, and the quarterback had to throw the ball away.
It was the Patriots’ best red zone opportunity of the game. It was set up by a Rob Gronkowski circus catch that he made while well-covered. The play was upheld on review.
Q3, 2:55: Kyle Van Not with a massive play for the Patriots defense. The linebacker breaks through to strip-sack Derek Anderson and get the ball back to Tom Brady.
Q3, 3:42: Tom Brady looks back Julian Edelman’s way to start the next drive with two quick passes and a first down. After an offensive pass interference penalty set them back 10 yards, Brady finds Josh Gordon over the middle then hands it to White to pick up another first. Unfortunately, another stalled drive for the Patriots as Brady can’t find Edelman on third-and-8. This time, the Patriots didn’t get close enough for a field goal and have to punt again.
Q3, 9:16: The Bills defense gets a huge stop with the Patriots pinned back in their own territory. Josh McDaniels calls a toss to Cordarrelle Patterson on third down and the Patriots are forced to punt. The Bills’ Micah Hyde returned the punt 31 yards and the Bills offense has their best field position of the night.
But yet again, the Patriots defense stepped up to stall a Bills drive out. Unsurprisingly, it’s Trey Flowers making another big play to bring down Anderson for a loss. Stephen Hauschka, however, is able to make a 51-yard field goal through swirling winds to make it 9-6.
Q3, 11:15: LeSean McCoy gets a big 29-yard gain wiped out by a Kelvin Benjamin personal foul. But Benjamin makes up for it with a big catch down the field as Stephon Gilmore covers him. However, they fall off a cliff from there, going for -5 yards before being forced to punt yet again.
Halftime Thoughts: The Patriots certainly can’t be happy with their inability to find the end zone, with their inconsistent pass protection for Tom Brady, or with Stephen Gostkowski missing a field goal before halftime. But their defense has been up to task against an anemic Bills offense, which tried to get creative early on but faltered.
The Bills have had significant trouble moving the ball, and haven’t had the best situational play-calling either. Like predicted here on the Sports Hub, the defense was the only way the Bills would have a chance in this game. The Patriots have moved the ball just fine between the 20s but have been stifled in the red zone, so here we are.
Bill Belichick will have to hope that Sean McDermott doesn’t find a way to adjust his offense to move the ball better in the second half, because it could be tough for Brady and the offense to score points all night. This Buffalo defense is for real.
Q2, 0:00: Can’t give Tom Brady too much time. First play of the Patriots’ final drive of the half, he hits Julian Edelman for 20 yards. Next play, Josh Gordon for nine. Next, Rob Gronkowski for eight. And just like that, the Pats are in field goal range.
The Patriots couldn’t quite get all the way to the end zone, but they got enough for Stephen Gostkowski to attempt his fourth field goal of the half. This time, it’s no good from 50 yards. So the Patriots will take a 9-3 lead into halftime, with Brady and the offense being limited on the scoreboard against a tough Bills defense.
Q2, 1:39: Derek Anderson finally realizes that Kelvin Benjamin won’t be getting open against Stephon Gilmore. A big third-down pass to Andre Holmes kept their drive alive. Zay Jones got the next first down after he gained several yards of separation on J.C. Jackson on a shallow crosser.
But once again, the Bills stall out, The Bills go for a draw play with LeSean McCoy on third-and-8, and Patrick Chung wraps him up for a short gain. The Bills are on the road, but via field goal. It’s 9-3 Patriots.
Plenty of time for Tom Brady and the Patriots to come away with more points before halftime.
Q2, 5:42: James White sparks another drive for the Patriots. Brady finds White after they fake the jet sweep, Shaq Mason throws a truck stick on Tremaine Edmunds, and White gets a nice chunk of yardage. Brady also finally got Rob Gronkowski involved here with an out route for another first down.
But yet again, the Bills defense clamps down after the Patriots appear to be moving the ball, as Lorenzo Alexander breaks through for a sack on first down. Julian Edelman can’t convert on third-and-16, and Stephen Gostkowski hits yet another field goal to make it 9-0.
Quick Thought: The Bills have a talented defense and have averaged the fewest yards allowed per play. It shouldn’t be too shocking that they’re making it hard for Tom Brady and the Patriots to break through on the scoreboard. But the Bills offense has yet to get anything going, so it could just be a matter of time before the Patriots find the end zone and start pulling away. It looks like they’ll have to earn every yard, though.
Q2, 11:47: Maybe Tom Brady should just play running back? The clydesdale somehow lumbered for eight yards through traffic on third-and-7 without getting himself killed. Brady followed that up with a nice chunk play to Chris Hogan over the middle. But the drive short-circuited on a second-down dump to White, which Tremaine Edmunds snuffed out with an outstanding play to close on him and tackle for a loss. Edelman couldn’t convert with a bubble screen on third-and-11, and the Patriots have to settle for another field goal to make it 6-0.
Q1, 1:40: The Bills got an early spark on their next drive with a 24-yard catch by LeSean McCoy, who beat LB Kyle Van Noy in coverage. But they immediately tried to go back to the Wildcat after that. McCoy had to call a timeout on the first attempt, then Trey Flowers shed a blocker to wrap him up for a three-yard loss on the second. Flowers nearly made an interception when the Bills failed on an attempted cut block and Anderson hurled the ball directly into Flowers’ chest. Bills punt again and the Patriots get another chance for a long drive.
Q1, 4:39: It momentarily looked like the Bills’ Marcus Murphy had fumbled away his kickoff return, but the replay shows that his elbow was clearly down before the football came loose. Nate Ebner fell on the ball and nearly completed the turnover for the Patriots, but the Bills barely hold on. Good for the Patriots to see their special teams look opportunistic early on.
Quick Thought: Both teams getting highly creative on offense to start this game. Brady and the Patriots moved the ball extremely well between the 20s, but perhaps their creativity got the best of them with the illegal formation penalty. They’ll do just fine on the scoreboard if they keep running quick-strike plays the way they did with Edelman and White.
Q1, 4:46: Back to basics for the Patriots offense. Quick passes to Julian Edelman and James White jump-starts things and White takes a screen for a nice gain. Bills rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds made life a little tougher on a first-down throw to Rob Gronkowski, but the 6-foot-5 middle linebacker got a hand on the pass.
Patriots went back to some creativity on third-and-2, handing it to White who dumps it off to Edelman for a reverse. He picked up the first down, but Brady got lit up by Lorenzo Alexander on the play. More short, quick passing to Brady’s two favorite targets set them up in the red zone.
Unfortunately, the Patriots stalled out from there. An illegal formation penalty led to a third-down incompletion to Rob Gronkowski. So the Pats have to settle for a field goal to make it 3-0.
Q1, 10:01: The Bills come right out with some trickeration on the Patriots defense. With Derek Anderson lined up at receiver, LeSean McCoy took the direct snap between the tackles for 13 yards. They went Wildcat a second time with Chris Ivory taking the snap for a first down. They went to another level of ridiculousness with a double-reverse into a flea-flicker, but Anderson overthrew Charles Clay.
The Bills finally tried a conventional passing play on third down and it fell incomplete, partially thanks to pressure from Kyle Van Noy. And what a wild first possession that was for the Bills. It didn’t result in points, but Buffalo is setting an early tone of aggressiveness and creativity when they have the football.
Q1, 12:43: Just like we all drew it up, the Patriots handed it off to Cordarrelle Patterson on the first play from scrimmage. Clearly, the Pats aren’t going to want all of their carries to go between James White and Kenjon Barner. They also started Josh Gordon at receiver, despite reports that Gordon would be “disciplined” for tardiness earlier in the week.
Patterson in the backfield backfired pretty quickly, as rookie linebacker Matt Milano flew in to wrap him up for a four-yard loss. That ended up derailing the opening drive, as Tom Brady couldn’t quite connect with Josh Gordon on third-and-14. A strange, inauspicious start for the Patriots offensively.
Q1, 15:00: In a common occurrence this season, the Patriots have lost the coin toss and their opponent has done what they usually like to to, defer to the second half.