Mac Jones and the New England Patriots were going to battle both the mighty Buffalo Bills and the elements tonight, as facing Josh Allen and a stacked defense in near-zero temperatures is not an ideal way to run an offense.
The Patriots’ key to victory today was making sure that Allen never gets in a rhythm. Considering how explosive this offense can be and what an amazing improviser Allen is, any little bit of momentum that Bill Belichick allows him to have could get this offense going.
That plan went out the window on the first drive. After several quick strikes down the field got the Bills in field goal range, Allen found paydirt on one of the most improbable, insane touchdowns of the year thanks to some lackluster pass defense.
With Allen floating around the backfield looking for an open man, he eventually decided to drop in a wobbly ball somewhere in the vicinity of tight end Dawson Knox. Against all odds, Knox managed to come down with the catch, giving the Bills a quick 7-0 lead in their rowdy home stadium.
On the next possession, Jones started off hot by converting one long third down with his arm and one with his legs. After a crucial Brandon Bolden drop, Jones’ next throw would extinguish any hope of the Patriots getting a score on their first drive of the game.
Jones went deep for Nelson Agholor on a go route, but the ball hung up in the cutting Buffalo wind just a bit too long. Micah Hyde took advantage by picking the pass off. If Agholor tracks that ball better, there is a chance he could recognize the path and make the grab before Hyde comes in.
Mac Jones and the New England Patriots got behind against the Bills.
On the next drive after the interception, Allen would march his troops right down the field once more, setting up a second touchdown pass to Knox in order to take a 14-0 lead. Devin Singletary’s touchdown run made it 20-0.
In such harsh conditions, winning the turnover battle is going to be an integral element in deciding who will win this game.
Jones and the Patriots have been at their best when they can get out to an early lead and allow the running game to take things from there. They won’t be afforded that same comfort tonight, as Belichick and Josh McDaniels will have to scheme their way back into this contest.