‘Monday Night Football' live updates: Patriots best Bills in 14-10 win, stats, news, highlights, analysis and more – The Athletic

The Patriots finished with three pass attempts, the second-fewest by a team in a game since the 1970 merger, and it was good enough for a 14-10 win over the Bills on "Monday Night Football."

New England is 9-4, has won seven games in a row and sits in the top spot in the AFC. Buffalo (7-5) would be a wild-card team if the playoffs began today.

This live blog follows everything Patriots-Bills as well as The Athletic's coverage from Buffalo.

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Missed out on Week 13? Check out all the biggest stories from the weekend.

New England 14, Buffalo 10 | BOX SCORE

(Photo: Rich Barnes / USA Today)
Mac Jones’ night was… historic.

His three pass attempts are the second-fewest attempts by a team in a game since the 1970 merger. pic.twitter.com/aTWO7Yj6VB
December 7, 2021 at 9:49 AM EST
Sean McDermott was still seething. Fifty-eight minutes after the Patriots finished a 14-10 win over the Bills, McDermott finally arrived for his postgame news conference. The frustration was still written all over his face, which was beet red from withstanding three-plus hours in 40 mph wind gusts. He had time to decompress before answering questions but still couldn’t help coming unglued at the mention of Bill Belichick’s name.
Read the full story below:
In Patriots’ latest win over Bills, Bill Belichick shows he’s living in Sean McDermott’s head
December 7, 2021 at 9:48 AM EST
Mac Jones, who on Monday night was the Patriots’ quarterback in name only, called it “crazy.”
David Andrews, who in his role as the Patriots’ center is the man responsible for putting the ball into the hands of the rookie quarterback, said he’d never seen anything like it.“And I’ve been playing football since I was 6 years old,” Andrews added.
And then there was Steve Grogan, the 68-year-old retired quarterback who was kicking back on his couch Monday night with a wry smile as the Patriots made exactly three — three — pass attempts in their 14-10 road victory over the Buffalo Bills at cold, snowy, windblown Highmark Stadium.
“There was no question in my mind from the very beginning they were doing the right thing,” said Grogan, speaking by phone from his home just outside Kansas City. “They had an excellent game plan.”
Read the full column below:
How Bill Belichick and the Patriots beat the Bills with only 3 passes, in an ode to the ‘Snowplow Game’
December 7, 2021 at 9:46 AM EST
With the temperature below freezing and winds gusting over 40 mph, everybody knew the Patriots were going to pound the ball at Highmark Stadium.
I knew it. You knew it. The American people knew it.
The Bills absolutely knew it, as evidenced by coach Sean McDermott’s decision to crowd the line of scrimmage with defenders. The Patriots — determined to crash right into them over and over — didn’t care how the Bills attacked. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones threw once in the first half, thrice all night.
In declaring that he wasn’t outcoached, McDermott presented a rather strong case that he truly was.

Read the full story below:
Bills sputtering toward the finish line after a crushing AFC East collision
December 7, 2021 at 9:44 AM EST
The Bills entered their “Monday Night Football” date with the Patriots with high hopes to reclaim the top spot in the AFC East. At the same time, they could have given themselves a much-needed victory over a playoff-caliber opponent — something that has evaded them in all but one of their seven victories.
Instead, the Bills fell flat when they needed a play down the stretch. With two red zone opportunities in the fourth quarter, the Bills came away with no points. The Patriots, throwing the ball only three times, defeated the Bills 14-10 to give them a firm grip on the division once again.

How did the Bills get to this point on Monday? What are some of the big-picture items approaching at a rapid pace? Here are seven observations from the Bills’ narrow loss to the Patriots.
A disconnect brewing between Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll? 7 observations from the Bills’ loss to the Patriots
December 6, 2021 at 11:49 PM EST
Below are the updated standings as the Patriots and Cardinals hold the top spots.

(Photo: Rich Barnes / USA Today)
NFL playoff picture: Updated standings as Patriots, Cardinals hold top spots
December 6, 2021 at 11:34 PM EST
It’s a first for Mac Jones and others.
Mac Jones showing a lot of love foe the Patriots’ offensive line being able to run when the Bills knew it was coming: “I’ve never been a part of something like that.”
David Andrews said he played in games when he was six years old where his team threw more than three times. “That’s why it’s memorable.”
December 6, 2021 at 11:28 PM EST
The Patriots used one of the most run-heavy game plans in modern NFL history to grind out a 14-10 win over Buffalo in the Week 13 Monday night matchup.

New England ran the ball 46 times and threw only three passes to avoid gusting winds that made putting the ball in the air a dangerous and unpredictable challenge. The three passes were the second fewest by a team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger (only the 1974 Bills had fewer, as they posted two in a win over the Jets that season).

Damien Harris led the game with 111 rushing yards on only 10 carries, with the most impactful of those being a 64-yard scoring play in the first quarter. The Patriots went for two on the conversion and made it on a successful run by Brandon Bolden to go up 8-0. That was a pivotal play, as it kept the Bills off pace on the scoreboard when they went for one following a first quarter touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis. A missed field goal by Tyler Bass in the second half also held Buffalo back, as it forced the Bills to go for a touchdown on fourth down on their last drive rather than being able to try a field goal to put them ahead. Patriots cornerback Myles Bryant made a superb play to leave his coverage and get into the passing lane to knock down Allen’s end zone throw to Davis and effectively clinch the win for New England.

The Patriots (9-4) have a bye in Week 14. Buffalo (7-5) travels to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers next week.

(Photo: Rich Barnes / USA Today)
December 6, 2021 at 11:15 PM EST
Incredibly creative approach by Bill Belichick to give Josh Allen a different look on the game-deciding play.
Another interesting element on fourth-and-14: Sean Davis was on the field due to Phillips' injury, so Davis blitzed. Undermanned, you'd think McCourty would stay in coverage, but he also blitzed. Interesting strategies to confuse Josh Allen.
December 6, 2021 at 11:07 PM EST
A great play by a no-name Patriots defensive back ends the Bills drive short of the end zone.
Fourth-and-14, Kyle Dugger (COVID-19 list) and Adrian Phillips (injured previous play) are both out, so Myles Bryant is on the field to break up the pass for the potential game winner. Peeled off his route to get underneath the throw and force the turnover on downs.
Belichick dials up the all out blitz to get the fourth down stop. #ForeverNE

📺: #NEvsBUF on ESPN
📱: https://t.co/wsVL8IokGf pic.twitter.com/eJ7BwilWuz
December 6, 2021 at 10:52 PM EST
An injury of note for the Patriots.

Matt Judon is in pain after that play. Trainers out to check on him.
Patriots injury update: RB Damien Harris (hamstring) will not return.
December 6, 2021 at 10:49 PM EST
New England finally loosens up a bit and has Mac Jones throw the ball on two out of three plays, but it results in a three and out and has to punt. Buffalo is driving at midfield after a great catch by Stefon Diggs.
Diggs working the sideline like only he does. Unreal.#BillsMafia @StefonDiggs

📺: #NEvsBUF on ESPN
📱: https://t.co/wsVL8IokGf pic.twitter.com/ZtNRhDSG3d
December 6, 2021 at 10:45 PM EST
Buffalo gets to the New England 6-yard line but a rush for zero yards, a sack, and then an incomplete pass to Dawson Knox forces a field goal attempt. Things go from bad to worse for Buffalo when Tyler Bass pushes the kick wide right, so the Patriots are still up 14-10 with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Bass wide right. Wind took that kick just like it was doing to a lot of the field goals during pregame warmups.
December 6, 2021 at 10:38 PM EST
Allen showing off his dual threat skills.
Biggest play of the night for the @BuffaloBills offense.

21-yard gain for @JoshAllenQB! #BillsMafia

📺: #NEvsBUF on ESPN
📱: https://t.co/wsVL8IokGf pic.twitter.com/vbfkp9bKiM
December 6, 2021 at 10:37 PM EST
Bill Belichick doesn’t care about play calling balance, he just cares about what will work in that game.
Back in 2006, on Monday Night Football, all the talk was about the way the Vikings' No. 1 run defense would stifle the Patriots. So the Patriots called 26 passes to 6 runs and built a 17-0 first-half lead.

Similar theme tonight. Rookie QB, crazy wind, Pats have 41 runs, 1 pass.
December 6, 2021 at 10:36 PM EST
The Scuba suit comes in handy tonight.
Mac Jones is wearing a SCUBA suit under his uniform. Tom Brady always wore one in cold weather, he passed the idea on to Brian Hoyer (who wears a SCUBA suit in cold weather), and Hoyer passed this on to Mac…

Part of the reason why it’s important to have a veteran in the room. pic.twitter.com/xNq5Ryx7bi
December 6, 2021 at 10:31 PM EST
Another drive that exclusively had run plays leads to a 34-yard field goal to put New England up 14-10.
#patriots so far:

42 offensive plays
41 runs

This is actually the training camp run-game work Belichick always wanted
December 6, 2021 at 10:26 PM EST
This game brings to mind a famous game where Paul Brown’s Cleveland Browns did not throw a pass and yet still beat Philadelphia 13-7 despite gaining only 68 offensive yards.

Per Stathead, that is the only game with one or fewer passes in an NFL game since 1950.

December 6, 2021 at 10:20 PM EST
Peyton is an appreciative person.

"Does Peyton write you thank you notes and buy you gifts every year" – Eli to @AqibTalib21 😂

📺: ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/T2KVMfQ6H7
December 6, 2021 at 10:15 PM EST
Harris comes up a bit lame midway through the third quarter, but not before racking up a triple-digit rushing yardage volume.
Damien Harris, with one hamstring, has 10 carries for 111 yards and a TD.
December 6, 2021 at 10:06 PM EST
The Bills were oh so close to scoring the go-ahead touchdown.
Joejuan Williams was on Stefon Diggs on that play. Josh Allen was quick to recognize the mismatch and tossed a catchable ball to Diggs. Slipped through his hands in the end zone.


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