New England Patriots

New England Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 08: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots dives for a first down during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

  • The New England Patriots have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. They lost to the Buffalo Bills 35-23 on Sunday at Highmark Stadium, and the loss, combined with a win by the Miami Dolphins, means the Pats are out and the ‘Fins are in.

    Scroll below for a recap of all the top highlights from a wild game in Buffalo.

  • Bills Score Yet Another Deep Touchdown

    There wasn’t much the Patriots defense could do about this one. They generated pressure up the middle on Josh Allen, but he was able to stand in the pocket and get the throw off just in time, and it’s an absolute dime to Stefon Diggs for a 49-yard touchdown. Extra point is good. It’s now 35-23 Bills.

    If the Patriots can’t come back and win, we will certainly look back on their devastating breakdowns in the kicking game. But Allen and the Bills offense have come alive in the second half, making plays that are practically impossible to defend.

  • Mac Jones Intercepted

    For a change, the Patriots made a play on special teams, with a fumble recovery on a muffed punt by the Bills. Unfortunately, Mac Jones made an ill-advised throw into double-coverage in the end zone for Hunter Henry, and Bills linebacker Matt Milano was there to make the pick. It’s going to be tough for the Pats to come back now.

  • Parker Gets His Second Touchdown

    Mac Jones lofted a deep ball to a tightly covered DeVante Parker, and the receiver didn’t let him down. Parker reeled in the ball and tumbled into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The Pats went for two to make it a three-point game, but the attempt was unsuccessful, so it’s now 28-23 Bills.

  • Josh Allen Strikes For 42-Yard Touchdown

    This game has turned wildly in the Bills’ favor in the third quarter. First they held the Pats to a field goal after gifting them a turnover. Then they got a kick return touchdown from Nyheim Hines. Then they got a stop around midfield, which resulted in a bad punt by Michael Palardy. And finally, Josh Allen takes advantage with an 81-yard touchdown drive, capped with a ridiculous 42-yard pitch-and-catch between Allen and receiver John Brown. Despite all the Patriots’ best efforts, it is now 28-17 Bills.

  • Hines Returns Another Touchdown

    This will be the key sequence of the game if the Patriots end up losing: they’re stopped on offense and have to settle for a field goal, and then Nyheim Hines returns the ensuing kickoff 101 yards for his second return touchdown of the day. Incredibly, it’s now 21-17 Bills.

  • Patriots Get It Back

    Devin McCourty recovered a fumble for his second takeaway of the game. Suddenly the Patriots offense is back in business.

  • Mac Jones Intercepted Near Goal Line

    The Patriots were humming along on offense…then they weren’t. Mac Jones’ pass intended for Nelson Agholor is intercepted by Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White at the 2-yard line and the Bills take over. Looks like Agholor could have made more of an effort to catch the ball or prevent the pick.

  • Patriots Defense Prevents Points With Interception

    The Bills had a chance to score late in the first half and take a lead into halftime. Instead, Josh Allen’s pass attempt is off the mark and intercepted by Devin McCourty. Pressure/contain from the Patriots’ defensive front, especially Matt Judon and Christian Barmore, disrupted the throw, and it’s a lollipop for McCourty. The Patriots have the ball with a chance to snag a late field goal.

  • Parker Scores Touchdown, Patriots Tie It

    Mac Jones has time to throw and slides right before lofting it to DeVante Parker in the back of the end zone. Touchdown. The extra point is good, and so it’s now 14-14.

    Key to this drive was a third-down completion from Jones to Kendrick Bourne, which kept the touchdown hopes alive. Offensively, the Pats are outscoring the Bills 14-7 so far today. You have to think Josh Allen will find ways to keep scoring at some point, but it looks like they’re going to get the best punch from Mac Jones and the New England offense on the other side.

  • Bills Score Offensive TD, Retake Lead

    Give Josh Allen a clean pocket in the red zone and he’ll find a way to score, eventually. That’s exactly what just happened, as Allen was able to dance around before finding an open Dawson Knox in the middle of the end zone. It’s now 14-7 Bills.

    It was a great response by the Bills offense to drive 75 yards in 13 plays after their defense allowed a score to the Patriots. Stefon Diggs made two catches for 32 yards on the drive, including an impressive back-shoulder hookup with Allen. The key play, however, was an 18-yard strike to Gabriel Davis on third-and-6 to set up first-and-goal. That’s where the Pats defense essentially blew their opportunity to keep the Bills out of the end zone.

  • Meyers Scores Touchdown, Patriots Tie It

    Jakobi Meyers caught a touchdown pass from Mac Jones, barely tapping both toes in bounds for an impressive grab. Nick Folk’s extra point is good, so it’s now 7-7.

    A great first drive for the Patriots offense, who went 74 yards in nine plays. Mac Jones went 6-for-7 for 61 yards and the score, and also carried a designed QB run and absorbed a hard hit along the way. We’ll see how it goes from here, but it looks like the Patriots’ offense and defense came to play today.

  • Patriots Sack Josh Allen

    Deatrich Wise got home on Josh Allen to bring down the Bills quarterback for a sack. Good team execution by the Patriots’ defensive front to keep Allen contained and finish off the sack on third down. Bills have to punt. Patriots have to hope that can slow the momentum brought on by Nyheim Hines’ kickoff return touchdown.

  • Bills Return Opening Kickoff For Touchdown

    It didn’t take long for the Bills to have something to celebrate. Nyheim Hines beats the Patriots’ kickoff coverage around the edge and takes it all the way down the sideline for a 96-yard touchdown return. An incredible start for the Bills and a disaster for the Patriots, who are down 7-0 before Josh Allen ever takes the field.

  • Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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