The New England Patriots found a way to win Monday, fending off the Bills, 20-13, in Foxboro. Tom Brady finished 20-of-39 for 277 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and James White scored two touchdowns (one rush, one receiving) as the Pats improved to 10-0 despite being held to a season-low 20 points.
Boston Globe Patriots reporter Ben Volin said afterward that while the Bills’ defense delivered a strong defensive effort, the story of the game was more about the Patriots’ offense going in the wrong direction.
“Well, for me, I think it’s a little hard to say the Patriots’ offense went in the wrong direction when you factor in the injuries they suffered,” WBZ sports anchor Adam Kaufman said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Obviously going into this game, you’re missing 50 percent of the production that the Patriots had in their win over the Bills back in Week 2 with no Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis. This is the first game without Julian Edelman so to a certain degree, you’re kind of adjusting on the fly. I know they didn’t have him for much of that previous win against the Giants, but you don’t have him and you’re going in against a challenging defense. I don’t think much of the Bills’ offense, but the Bills’ defense does present a challenge – and then part-way through that game you lose two more receivers in Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson.”
Amendola, who had nine catches for 117 yards, exited in the third quarter with a non-contact knee injury, while Dobson, who had one catch for 17 yards, left with an ankle injury. The Patriots were held scoreless in the final 15 minutes, thus snapping a streak of scoring in 38 consecutive quarters.
“If (Volin) crafts it in such a way that the offense is going in the wrong direction simply because they’re suffering more and more injuries as the week goes on, then I agree,” Kaufman said. “But aside from that, I think it’s more of Bill Belichick trying to get a grasp on what he has to work with. . . . It’s one thing if you lose Danny Amendola when you have Julian Edelman. But when you’ve lost Edelman for any stretch of time – potentially the rest of the regular season at the least – and then you lose Amendola on top of that, it does change this offense quite a bit.”
The Patriots will have a short week to get things figured out. They travel to Denver to take on the Broncos (8-2) on Sunday Night Football in what could be their last true test of the regular season. After Sunday, the Pats host the Eagles (4-6), play at Houston (5-5), host the Titans (2-8) and close with a road game against the Jets (5-5).