By Gabriel Esparza
The opening drive started out so promising for the Bills! An opening 70 yard drive that ended in a field goal, not a bad start. Unfortunately for the Bills, the New England Patriots were on the other sideline.
On Sunday we saw a team on a mission. The brilliance of the Patriots franchise was on full display at the New Era Field. They won the field position battle, to give Brady a shorter filed to work with. Also defensively the Patriots were willing to give up some yards but near the goal line the defense stiffened up, Matt Patricia was going to trade giving up touchdowns for field goals. Offensively Brady systematically and methodically picked apart the Bills secondary. The wide receivers were able to quickly get open and Gronk was simply a match-up night. The play that stood out was Gronk dragging four players with him for an additional 10 yards, it was honestly unfair.
The absence of LeSean McCoy and missing Marquise Goodwin (and Sammy Watkins) was very notable, the final score would have been closer. But more importantly for the Bills, they will need their injured players to return if they hope to still make playoffs (which is still a good possibility). The playoff hopes of Buffalo will depend on the legs of LeSean McCoy.
Being at the game you saw the difference between the two football cultures. The Patriots always had their players ready, during a unit transition they were on the field first. The substitutions were more seamless, in between possessions Brady and Garoppolo were passing to each other, Tyrod was not. The punter, Ryan Allan was practicing his punts while arguably the best QB in history had the ball (not too many three and outs for Tom Brady), if anyone could afford to take it easy it would be the Patriots punter. Rex Ryan on the other hand either is unaware or lost his composure and challenged a play within the final two minutes.
These may seem like only small things, that’s precisely what they are! It is the great attention to detail and composure that helps to explain the winning culture of the Patriots. The Bills could learn from Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization, the talent is there for the Bills to take the next step as a franchise.