The Patriots’ 2021 campaign came to a screeching halt Saturday night. Facing the Buffalo Bills for the third time this season, the Patriots fell 47-17, ending their season in the wild card round.
New England’s defense failed to stop Buffalo once. The Bills averaged 9.5 yards per play, went 6-of-6 on third down, and every drive finished with a touchdown excluding end of half kneel downs.
There was little resistance from the Patriots’ defense to start the game. Buffalo averaged 7.8 yards per play on its first drive, which lasted nine plays and ended with a Josh Allen scramble drill touchdown pass to Dawson Knox.
Despite being backed up by penalties, the Patriots had a chance to answer on their first drive. Mac Jones made a throw on the run to Hunter Henry to convert a 3rd & long, then scrambled to pick up another first down. However, what looked like an open deep shot to Nelson Agholor was stolen by Micah Hyde ranging across the field, ending New England’s threat.
That turnover allowed Buffalo to take a two-score lead. Allen once again moved the ball with ease, chewing up 80 yards in 10 plays and finding Dawson Knox in the end zone to put Buffalo up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
New England’s next drive ended in a punt, and the Bills once again made quick work of the Patriots defense. This time, they leaned more on the running game, with Devin Singletary punching the ball in from four yards out. The Patriots blocked the extra point to keep their deficit at 20-0.
A blown blocking assignment and delay of game led to yet another Patriots punt. This time, the Bills went 89 yards in just four plays, with Singletary finding the end zone again to close things out and put Buffalo up 27-0.
With just under two minutes to go, the offense was able to finally get on the board. A 19-yard connection between Jones and Jakobi Meyers got them into field goal range, and Nick Folk was called on as the half wound down. Heading into the break, the Patriots were down 27-3.
Jones was intercepted on the Patriots’ first drive of the second half. Six plays later, Josh Allen hit Emmanuel Sanders deep past Joejuan Williams. With another missed extra point, it was 33-3 Bills.
On their next drive, the Patriots turned to Kendrick Bourne. A 43-yard reception and 14-yard carry led New England into the red zone, and on 4th & goal from the 3-yard line Jones found Bourne in the back corner of the end zone. That touchdown made the game 33-10 Bills.
The fourth quarter started with another Bills touchdown. This time, it was Josh Allen finding Gabriel Davis for a 19-yard score, putting the Bills up 40-10.
Another Patriots punt set up the Bills’ special teams unit for their first big play of the game. Micah Hyde had a 52-yard return, and then Allen hit Knox for a 38-yard gain to put the ball on the goal line. Allen hit an offensive lineman – Tommy Doyle – open in the end zone to put Buffalo up 47-10.
Bourne would catch another touchdown in garbage time, against in the red zone on fourth down. That set the final score at 47-17.
The Patriots now turn their attention to the offseason. We’ll have you covered on all of their moves on 98.5 The Sports Hub and 985TheSportsHub.com.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.