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Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: Monday Night Football 2020

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As the 2020 NFL season drew to a close, the Buffalo Bills were on a roll. They’d steamrolled a bevy of talented opponents, and it seemed no offense in the league could hold pace with them. That fact remained true on Monday Night Football in Foxborough, as they visited the New England Patriots. They’d already clinched a division title, but weren’t about to let up with the #1 seed still within reach. Conditions were clear and, on that cool December evening, Buffalo rolled over their hated division rivals.

The First Quarter

Iestyn T Harris on Twitter: “Quarter 1 of our late-season MNF visit to New England in 2020, more to come! pic.twitter.com/OckaYo8Nlr / Twitter”

Quarter 1 of our late-season MNF visit to New England in 2020, more to come! pic.twitter.com/OckaYo8Nlr

The Bills started out the game by allowing a quick field goal, before driving to the Patriots’ goal line and chipping in three points of their own. They forced a three-and-out, then the fireworks began. They appeared destined for a three-and-out of their own before Sean McDermott made a courageous call. On their own 35-yard line in the first quarter of a tied game, they went for a fake punt. It was an emphatic success.

They were immediately faced with another fourth down, but stuck to their guns as Josh Allen rolled out of the pocket on a faked handoff and zipped off down the sideline for 20+ yards. Zack Moss punched in the eventual touchdown and Buffalo took a seven-point lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Second Quarter

On the ensuing New England drive, Mario Addison was taken out of a would-be sack of Pats QB Cam Newton by a horse-collar from the left tackle, and Newton scampered to the end zone. They missed the extra point, and didn’t score another point all night. Continuing their theme of going for the throat, Buffalo overcame another fourth-down conversion on their next drive before Josh Allen found his blocking tight end, Lee Smith, for a wide open touchdown.

He passed up a wide open Stefon Diggs to hit Smith, but he wouldn’t miss on a chance to hit Diggs again, for the best was yet to come. Buffalo forced yet another three-and-out and, in only three plays, Allen hit Diggs twice: once for 17 yards, and secondly for a 50-yard touchdown that had him looking back at Patriots CB J.C. Jackson and laughing.

The Buffalo Bills got the ball back and kneeled out the half. The score was 24-9.

The End Game

Iestyn T Harris on Twitter: “And finally, the second half. You may notice that we leave out most of the fourth quarter- backups don’t generally make for excellent highlights.😉 pic.twitter.com/EDjhAJO9IF / Twitter”

And finally, the second half. You may notice that we leave out most of the fourth quarter- backups don’t generally make for excellent highlights.😉 pic.twitter.com/EDjhAJO9IF

The third quarter was more of the same. Allen kept going back to the well and Diggs made the most of his chances. He took in three more catches on the opening drive, including a ducking and weaving catch where he escaped his would-be tacklers for his second touchdown of the day.

A dominant defense forced four punts on four New England Patriot drives in the second half, and it was after the second of these punts that Buffalo’s last bit of offensive magic happened. The Bills started on their own five-yard line, and drove the entire length of the field, killing clock and moving the ball consistently with a healthy mix of runs and passes, amongst diverse play calls. From eight yards away, Allen rolled out to his left and, despite heavy pressure on the run, reset his feet and turned his hips to launch a cross-body strike to a diving Diggs for his third touchdown of the day.

The backups came in for more or less the entire fourth quarter, and even then New England had no answers. There were no garbage-time scores, no memorable moments, nothing to build on. The game was over, and the Patriots were thoroughly defeated.

Where Are We Now?

Much like last season, the Buffalo Bills now face the Patriots a second time… in Gillette Stadium… in Week 16, and Buffalo better be angry. The division is still in play, and a win this weekend is the single most important thing left that we need to get back to the top. With the playoffs closing in fast, Buffalo has all the pieces that they need to make a run… if they just stop getting in their own way. What happens this time, on a cool Boxing Day evening in Foxborough? Let’s find out.

If you’re enjoying the series, check out part one of our history against the New England Patriots, and last week’s edition against the Carolina Panthers. Come back next week for our history against the Atlanta Falcons!

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