Buffalo Bills make path to playoffs more difficult after loss to Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Kelvin Benjamin (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Kelvin Benjamin (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills could not overcome a reversed TD call in their loss to the New England Patriots Sunday, falling to 8-7.

Final. 37. 47. 16. 16

In 2017, the Buffalo Bills did not score an offensive TD against the New England Patriots in both of the teams’ meetings.

The lone TD for the Bills in this one was a pick-six by Jordan Poyer. The rest of the points came off field goals after some ineptitude from the red zone offense all game.

The Bills’ Kelvin Benjamin did seem to have a TD with full possession and both feet down. It was ruled a TD on the field but soon reversed after a really long review.

This play did not directly influence the outcome of the game but it halted all the Bills’ momentum.

The NFL’s ambiguous “catch rule” benefitted the Pats once again.

Buffalo got decent play from its defense but they eventually fried out.

The Bills found themselves tied or leading for most of the first half but were eventually exposed en route to getting blown out after a 16-16 tie.

The Bills did not have to win this game. There was no chance of mathematic elimination for them in Week 16.

However, the loss still hurts the Bills and the Bills Mafia.

Losing to the Patriots is kind of the standard. If the Bills are legit, however, this is the game to win.

Now, the Bills do not control their own destiny to the playoffs. They need to not only win but get some help in the form of a loss from the Titans & Chargers or Ravens.

Coach McDermott made another rookie head coaching mistake in this one. The game was much closer throughout than the score dictates so it was a big blunder.

Any team that has LeSean McCoy should go for it on essentially every 4th and short scenario. McDermott decided to try to settle for the three points and did not go for it on a 4th down deep in Pats territory.

Stephen Hauschka missed the field goal and the Bills walked away with nothing.

McDermott and staff went for it earlier in the game. Granted they didn’t get it but the inconsistent coaching is a huge flaw.

The coaching staff shows little to no faith in how they know how to win games. Being aggressive, then reverting back to playing conservative is not going to work.

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You need to take chances to beat the Pats. They stopped taking chances and that is when the Pats pulled away.

Overall, the Bills played the Pats just about as good as anybody has all year in the first half.  The better team won.

There were a ton of blown calls against the Bills that visibly had them rattled.

No one really expected anything less from the Bills, Patriots, and even officials.

The Bills still have a chance to make the playoffs and could close out the season with a winning record.

Next week, the Buffalo Bills head to South Beach to play the division rival Miami Dolphins. The game starts at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Next: Henrik Lundqvist needs help from the team around him

The Bills will try to ring in the new year by ending the longest playoff drought in North American sports.