OPINION: Patriots still not in same league as Bills

The Bills dominated every aspect of the game, while beating New England for a third-straight time

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - Well, that was easy.

The final score might suggest Thursday night's Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots game was a close contest, but it was not.

When the Bills took a 17-7 lead with five-and-a-half minutes left in the second quarter, it felt over. When the Bills capped off a 15-play, 94-yard, nearly nine-minute drive with a touchdown to extend the lead to 24-7 early in the fourth quarter, you could have changed the standings and given the Bills their ninth victory.

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The offense was efficient, the defense was dominant and the coaching staff put together a good game plan.

As was the case with the final two meetings between these two AFC East rivals last season, the Patriots are just not in the Bills league.

It's so much fun watching the Patriots struggle. Hearing Patriots fans boo their own team multiple times during this game was music to my ears.

The Bills left Foxboro, Massachusetts with a win for the third-straight season, which hadn't happened since the Jim Kelly era.

Buffalo's current franchise quarterback played a strong and smart game. New England played a lot of two deep safeties, challenging the Bills to either run the ball or consistently complete short-to-intermediate throws.

Josh Allen and the Bills were able to accomplish both of those things.

The run game wasn't great, but it was efficient. It kept New England's defense honest. It allowed the Bills to get into manageable down and distances, so they only needed short passes to move the sticks.

Devin Singletary and James Cook combined for 115 yards on 27 carries. Cook had his best game of the season with 105 yards on 20 touches (14 runs, six catches).

Allen was in control of the offense all night. I think he only made one throw that I would call a bad decision, and it was nearly picked off. Allen played the long game, and patiently moved the ball downfield.

The Bills had a 14-play touchdown drive and that 15-play touchdown drive that broke the Patriots' back.

Allen made a vintage Allen play on his touchdown pass to Gabe Davis, as he ran to the right, broke a sack attempt and threw the ball just before going out of bounds. What a throw it was, back against his body, and exactly where it needed to be, as multiple Patriots defenders were in the area.

But hey, that is what Allen does.

The Patriots still don't have anybody who can cover Stefon Diggs (of course they aren't the only team in the league with that issue). The No. 1 target for Allen had seven catches, and all seven went for a first down.

Diggs now has 91 catches and 10 touchdowns in 12 games this season. There's still five games remaining.

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Defensively, the Bills thoroughly outplayed New England. The defense had one bad play all game, the screen pass touchdown in the first quarter.

Playing without their best pass rusher, Von Miller, the Bills still harassed Mac Jones and recorded pressure on 39.5% of his drop backs.

Jones and the anemic Patriots offense did absolutely nothing after that early touchdown. On the next six drives before the garbage time field goal, the Patriots had a total of 89 yards.

Tremaine Edmunds' return to the lineup made a big difference for Buffalo. Edmunds continues to have his best season as a pro, as his presence makes the pass defense in the middle of the field much better.

The veteran linebacker was also part of why the Bills' run defense was effective on Sunday night. He was able to make the right read and stuff the run multiple times.

The Bills need to receive a huge amount of credit for what they just accomplished. Facing adversity after back-to-back losses to the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, the Bills bounced back with three wins in 12 days. None of those wins came at home.

I don't care who the opponents are, that is really hard to do in the NFL. Throw in the snow storm, limited practices, a short work week going into the Thanksgiving game and the continuing rash of injuries and illnesses, and it's super impressive.

Now we can all sit back, relax and enjoy the Sunday action. Let's go San Francisco 49ers (playing Miami) and let's go Cincinnati Bengals (playing the Kansas City Chiefs).

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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