The New England Patriots simply were outclassed by the AFC East champion Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen continued his MVP-caliber campaign by throwing for 320 yards and four touchdowns, and Buffalo improved to 12-3 on the season. Patriots QB Cam Newton threw for had only 34 yards passing on the night, though he did tally a rushing touchdown for New England's only TD of the game.
Newton was replaced in the third quarter by Jarrett Stidham, who completed 4 of 11 passes for 44 yards.
Here's how it all went down:
FINAL SCORE: Bills 38, Patriots 9
PATRIOTS RECORD: 6-9
- The Patriots' first drive of the game included a 29-yard run by Sony Michel, followed by a perfect throw from Cam Newton to Damiere Byrd on a trick play. Unfortunately for New England, Byrd dropped the pass near the goal line and it had to settle for a 45-yard field goal from Nick Folk. The Bills responded with a field goal of their own on their first drive. (3-3)
- Buffalo pulled off a successful fake punt late in the first quarter to keep their drive going, but it had its own case of the drops as it failed to haul in two would-be touchdown passes. Eventually, the Bills found their way into the end zone with a Zack Moss rushing TD. (10-3, Bills)
- Early in the second quarter, Newton did it himself with a touchdown run that tied the Patriots' franchise record for rushing TDs in a season by a QB (12). Folk missed the extra point. (10-9, Bills)
- The Bills answered by converting on a 4th and 2 during their ensuing drive, then they ended up in the end zone again with a Josh Allen touchdown pass to Lee Smith. (17-9, Bills)
- Bills star wide receiver Stefon Diggs made his mark later on in the second quarter with a 50-yard TD reception. (24-9, Bills).
- Diggs made his presence felt once again to begin the second half as he scored his second TD of the game. (31-9, Bills)
- The Bills scored again to begin the fourth quarter. Guess who? Yep, that's right. It was Diggs for his 3rd TD of the night. Allen scrambled out of the pocket and delivered a perfect throw to extend Buffalo's already-sizable lead. (38-9, Bills)
Sunday, Jan. 3: vs. Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)