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Power and Glory: Patriots Run Past Bills 14-10 to Maintain Top Spot in Conference, Division

With their Week Thirteen victory over the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots improve to 9-4, as they head into their bye week.

Though it may not have been the most aesthetically-pleasing contest, the New England Patriots made yet another statement to the Buffalo Bills, as well as the NFL. 

On a wintry, windy night in western New York, quarterback Mac Jones attempted only one pass in the first half, which was the fewest first-half pass attempt-count by any team since 1978. Jones would finish the night 2-of-3 for 19 yards. Still, the story on offense was all about the run. The Patriots rushed for 222 yards on 46 carries, paced by Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson. Cornerback Myles Bryant batted away Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen's last-gasp pass attempt near the goal line as the Patriots secured a 14-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

With the victory, the Patriots remain in the top spot in both the AFC East, as well as the AFC overall.

First-Half Highlights

With the Patriots and Bills feeling the effects of the high winds in Orchard Park, the Pats would strike first on Monday night. At third-and-five from their own 36 yard-line, Damien Harris would break for a 64-yard run to the endzone, facilitated by textbook blocking by fullback Jakob Johnson, left tackle Isaiah Wynn and wide receiver N’Keal Harry who brilliantly sealed the edge. Acknowledging the impact of the wind on the kicking game, New England opted for the two-point conversion. Brandon Bolden found the endzone to secure the two points

Patriots 8, Bills 0

The Bills would find their first points of the night on what was to be a Patriots drive. Following a 54-yard Matt Haack punt, N’Keal Harry fell out of position as he attempted to field it. Though he attempted to move away from the football, the ball hit the Pats’ receiver’s face mask. Buffalo took possession at the Patriots 14-yard line, and they would need only one play to find the endzone on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to receiver Gabriel Davis. Tyler Bass would connect on the extra point.

Patriots 8, Bills 7

New England would add to their lead as the first quarter gave way to the second. Mac Jones connected with tight end Jonnu Smith on a 12-yard reception that showcased Smith’s athleticism. Both Bolden and Stevenson would contribute solid runs, en route to the Buffalo 23-yard line. While the wind is typically unkind to kickers, veteran Nick Folk continued to prove his value and reliability by capping a nine-play, 52-yad drive with a 41-yard field goal.

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Patriots 11, Bills 7

End of First Half: Patriots 11, Bills 7

Second-Half Highlights

Buffalo would earn the first points of the second half with 6:35 left in the third quarter. The Bills would travel 46 yards on eight plays. Allen nearly had receiver Stefon Diggs on a deep shot into the endzone, but the talented wideout could not haul in the pass. Buffalo benefitted from a highly questionable unnecessary roughness call on cornerback Myles Bryant, gifting the Bills a fresh set of downs. Bass connected on a 35-yard field goal, cutting the Patriots lead to one point.

Patriots 11, Bills 10

The Patriots would respond as the third quarter ended, on the legs of rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson. With feature back Damien Harris ailing with a hamstring injury, Stevenson carried the ball four consecutive times to close the quarter, advancing to the Bills’ 11-yard-line. However, two straight run stops by linebacker Matt Milano pushed the Pats back eight yards. Folk connected from 34-yards, extending the Pats lead.

Patriots 14, Bills 10

Once again, the wind proved to be unforgiving, even for the home team. Following a missed 33-yard attempt by Tyler Bass, the Patriots were provided with a great opportunity to add to their lead. However, the Pats would muster only six yards on three plays. Buffalo drove 62 yards on eleven plays, highlighted by a brilliant 26-yard completion from Allen to Diggs to nearly bring the Bills to midfield. Running back Devin Singletary broke for a 17-yard run, after safety Adrian Phillips missed a key tackle. With Buffalo deep in New England territory, Phillips would atone for his earlier miscue by breaking up an Allen pass intended for Dawson Knox in the endzone. On 4th and 14, Allen’s pass attempt intended for Gabriel Davis would be broken up by defensive back Myles Bryant.

The Patriots would finish the formality and take a seven game win streak into their bye week.

FINAL: Patriots 14, Bills 10

Next Up:

The Patriots will experience their bye week in Week Fourteen, before returning to action on Saturday, December 18 at 8:20pm against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis, Indiana