New England Patriots

Jan 15, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) attempts to elude the tackle of New England Patriots outside linebacker Dont'a Hightower (54) after a catch in the third quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium. The Bills won the game 47-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots’ 2021 season is over, and at the hands of a savage beatdown by Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.

There are four “Ups” and four “Downs” for Saturday night’s game, and you may be wondering how we even came up with four good things to pull from a 47-17 loss. But the Pats did have some isolated bright spots, mainly on offense and in the kicking game.

All four “downs” are dedicated to the defense, which failed to force a punt for the second straight game against the Bills. Buffalo had seven possessions, all of them touchdowns, and netted 482 total yards of offense.

Allen accounted for 374 scrimmage yards – 308 throwing, 66 running – and threw five TD passes. The fifth went to offensive lineman Tommy Doyle.

So there’s plenty of blame to go around on the defensive side of the ball, and Bill Belichick deserves all the scrutiny he gets for his defense’s utter futility on Saturday night.

That’s it for Patriots Ups & Downs in the 2021 season. We’ll be back for 2022.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at