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"Is this one of the military academies?" - Shannon Sharpe baffled by New England Patriots run-heavy approach against Bills

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Nick Goodling
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The New England Patriots took the NFL into a time machine on Monday night. In 2021, the Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills in a game that felt like we were transported back into the 1970s.

Mac Jones threw just three passing attempts in a 14-10 victory in a game with wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour.

The Patriots' sharp change in playstyle shocked the entire NFL, including former player Shannon Sharpe (pun intended). Sharp tweeted after the game that he had never seen anything like it before in an NFL game.

His comments echoed what all viewers were experiencing and thinking.

Are we sure the Patriots are playing tonite or this 1 of the military academies? I’ve never seen what the Patriots are doing tonite in the NFL….. NEVER

Shannon Sharpe baffled by New England Patriots' run-heavy approach against Bills

Damien Harris set the tone in the first quarter with a 64-yard touchdown
Damien Harris set the tone in the first quarter with a 64-yard touchdown

The Patriots went into the game against the Bills with one goal in mind and that was to run the ball down the Bills' throat and limit Jones from having many chances to turn the ball over. Their 46 rushing attempts prompted Sharpe to tweet,

"Are we sure the Patriots are playing tonite or this 1 of the military academies? I've never seen what the Patriots are doing tonite in the NFL..... NEVER."

At one point in the game, the Patriots handed the ball off to running backs on 30 consecutive plays. By halftime, Jones had thrown just one pass, a 12-yard completion to Jonnu Smith.

In an era where only four teams average under 30 pass attempts per game, Bill Belichick went against the grain.

The Patriots' offensive line was more physical than the Bills' defensive line. They opened up numerous holes for Damien Harris and Rhemodre Stevenson to exploit.

Harris had 10 carries for 110 yards before exiting the game with a hamstring injury. His 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the biggest play of the game.

His score set the tone for the remainder of the game.

Going into Week 13, the Bills were second in the league in rushing yards allowed per attempt. They're now seventh as they didn't have any answers for the old-school football the Patriots deployed.

The Bills gave up 222 rush yards on 46 attempts (4.8 average).None of those are close to records for a Bills opponent. Tonight's game was more about the fact that the Patriots didn't even threaten to pass -- they just said everyone knows we're going to run & you can't stop it.

Only Belichick would trust his coaching and players enough to deploy such a strategy in today's day and age. But the Patriots are incredibly well-coached and head into their bye week in first place in the AFC.

This victory is one of the most impressive feathers in Belichick's cap.


Edited by LeRon Haire
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