The Buffalo Bills (6-2) ended an eight-year drought on Sunday by beating the New England Patriots (2-5) in Buffalo. The last time that the Buffalo Bills beat New England at home was in 2011.
This game was close throughout. Although Buffalo outlasted New England 24-21, both teams left us with five key takeaways from their Week 8 matchup.
5. The Buffalo Bills' run game stepped to the plate
The big weakness to the Buffalo Bills offense this season has been their running game. Quarterback Josh Allen is second in rushing touchdowns for the Bills. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss stepped up to the plate on Sunday and had decent games for Buffalo against New England.
Singletary carried the football 14 times for 86 yards. Although he did not reach the end zone, this was a good game for Singletary. Moss had the best game of his young career, carrying the football 14 times for 81 yards and two touchdowns. This could be a good sign for the Buffalo rushing game moving forward.
4. Cam Newton got some help from his running backs
The New England Patriots have been struggling offensively for the past few weeks. Quarterback Cam Newton has been trying to carry the load of the offense on his shoulders and lead the Patriots to victory. It became well known that Newton could not do it all on his own.
Against the Bills, running back Damien Harris cracked the 100-yard barrier for the second time this season. The second-year running back from Alabama found the end zone for the first time this season. Harris took a little bit of pressure off of Cam Newton, but it was still not enough. However, New England fans had to feel good about the running game against a good Buffalo Bills defense.
3. The New England Patriots' secondary shut down Buffalo's receivers
When people think about the Buffalo Bills, they think of a flight show. The Bills love to throw the football and are pretty successful doing it. But the New England Patriots did not let Josh Allen throw a single touchdown in this game.
The Patriots' secondary locked up the Buffalo Bills' receivers and held Allen in check throwing the football. Stefon Diggs had a good game for the Bills, catching six passes for 92 yards. Josh Allen's second-favorite target, Cole Beasley, was held to just two catches for 24 yards. The big key was that Allen only threw for 154 yards and threw one interception. The New England secondary kept them in this football game.
2. The Buffalo Bills need to worry about the Miami Dolphins
Buffalo has been trying to get out of the Patriots' shadow for years. The fear that Bills fans have is that they might lose focus on the rest of the AFC East division. The underrated Miami Dolphins, for example, only lost to Buffalo by a field goal when they played in Week 2.
Miami is starting to show promise with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins beat the Los Angeles Rams 28-17 on Sunday, moving their record to 4-3. If Miami stays hot and the Buffalo Bills lose a couple games down the stretch, it could make things interesting in the AFC East. A Week 17 matchup between the Dolphins and Bills could determine the division.
1. New England needs to start planning for the offseason
The New England Patriots have now dropped four straight games and it doesn't look like things are getting any better for them. The next three games for the New England Patriots are:
- Away vs New York Jets
- Home vs Baltimore Ravens
- Away vs Houston Texans
The New England Patriots should win two out of those three games, but they will need more production from their receivers. New England can beat the New York Jets, but the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans are going to key on Cam. It has been proven if you shut Cam Newton down the Patriots do not win games.
One thing is for sure: Bill Belichick and the New England fans miss Tom Brady more and more with every game that is played.