Last Chance Effort Falls Short For Bills In 24-17 Loss To Patriots
First Quarter - Bills Defense Dominates First
If the first meeting between these two - a 16-10 Patriots win - was any indication, you knew that defense would take center stage in the week 16 match up.
On New England's first possession of the game, Tom Brady was looking for Rex Burkhead who's reception was fumbled loose by Jordan Poyer. The loose ball was then picked up by Micah Hyde who returned it to the New England 31 yard line.
The Buffalo offense was held to just 14 yards but Stephen Hauschka was able to convert points off the turnover with a 35 yard field goal.
But, Brady would not be fooled again.
On New England's responding drive, the Patriots would chew up almost seven and a half minutes of the quarter with a drive 75 yards. Brady would find Matt LaCosse on an eight yard touchdown strike. It would mark LaCosse's first career touchdown.
Second Quarter - Terrific Two Minute Drills
Following a stalled six play drive, the Bills special teams and Corey Bojorquez would place a perfect punt at the New England one yard line.
But, Brady's offense would continue to eat up field possession and clock.
This time, an 81 yard drive would would last almost nine minutes.
The Bills defense would hold New England and Nick Folk to a 36 yard field goal and extend the Patriots lead to 10-3.
The half wouldn't end without excitement as the final two minutes were action packed.
The Patriots and Bills would trade punts followed by a New England turnover on downs after electing to go for it on 4th and 1.
Taking over possession with just 33 seconds left, Allen found tight end Dawson Knox on 34 yard pass putting the Bills at the 1 yard line.
Offensive lineman Dion Dawkins reported as eligible on the 2nd goal line chance, and Allen would hit him for the game tying score as both teams headed to the locker room. It marked Dawkins second career touchdown.
Third Quarter - Deep Ball Does Its Job
Starting the second half with the ball, the Bills would be stopped after just four plays.
New England would respond with a quick drive that resulted in a field goal and a 13-10 lead.
But, Buffalo and Allen's best play of the night came with 7:25 left in the third quarter.
The Bills second-year quarterback would throw a 53 yard touchdown pass to John Brown that put the Bills ahead 17-13.
Fourth Quarter - Allen And Offense Fall Just Short
The Patriots would open the fourth quarter capping off yet another long drive.
This time, the New England offense drove 77 yards and ate up over six minutes of playing time.
Facing third and goal, Brady would opt to run the ball from five yards out and was stopped.
Another Folk field goal would trim the lead to one point with 10:45 to play.
The Bills would be held to three and out, and New England would take over at their own 41 yard line.
The Patriots followed their best defensive performance of the day with their best offensive showing.
Burkhead would run in a one yard score making it a 22-17 Patriots lead. New England would opt to go for a two-point conversion and Brady would find a wide open Julian Edelman in the endzone to give the Patriots a 24-17 edge.
Allen and the Buffalo offense got right to work, with no bigger play coming than on fourth and one.
The offense quickly lined up on the New England 30 yard line and Allen ran the same quarterback keeper play he did against Dallas to keep the Buffalo drive alive.
Following the first down, the offense would get deep into Patriot territory when Allen hit Cole Beasley for 25 yards.
Facing 4th and goal from the New England 15, Allen overthrew Beasley handing the Patriots their 11th consecutive AFC East title.
The Bills fall to 10-5 as the Patriots improve to 12-3. Next up, to close out the regular season slate, Buffalo will host the Jets at New Era Field.