The New England Patriots improved to 9-4 on the season and now hold a two-game lead in the AFC East following their win in Buffalo on Monday night.
It was an emasculating loss for the Bills, who had no answers for the Pats’ running game and couldn’t find any semblance of a rhythm on offense. On the rare occasion they managed to move the ball, New England held firm in the red zone.
Simply put, the Pats dominated every facet of this game. If not for N’Keal Harry’s botched punt return, it would’ve been a more lopsided scoreline.
Taking that into account, you can understand the uproar after Myles Bryant was flagged for a tacky roughing the passer in the third quarter that gifted the Bills an extra 15 yards, which meant EVERYTHING in these weather conditions.
To say this call almost screwed the Pats would be an understatement, because Allen, though near the sidelines, was still flying through the air attempting to reach for the first down when Bryant halted his momentum.
Myles Bryant got called for a bogus personal foul penalty on Josh Allen that nearly cost the Patriots vs Buffalo.
Fifteen-yard penalty for playing touch football. Got it.
All jokes aside, what else is Bryant supposed to do? Let Allen get the first down? The Bills quarterback was still very much making a move for the marker, even though his momentum took him out of bounds.
A play that should’ve resulted in a fourth down resulted in Buffalo being set up with a 1st and 10 at the Patriots’ 20-yard line. Maybe the Bills go for it and convert anyway, but would you really bet against this New England defense to come up short against Buffalo’s anemic rushing attack?
Buffalo would eventually settle for a field goal on the drive to make the score 11-10, but what if they scored a touchdown? We know these are hypotheticals, but it’s kind of infuriating the refs decided to make THAT call with so much at stake in terms of playoff seeding and the division standings.
You know the old saying, “Ball don’t lie”? Well, Bryant, though he had to wait a little longer than he would’ve liked, got the last laugh in this one, as he came through with a clutch pass breakup on 4th and 14 late in the fourth quarter that effectively ended the game.
We hate to highlight inept officiating in a game the Patriots ultimately won, but this needed to be addressed. In a season littered with offensive roughing the passer and unnecessary roughness penalties, this is right up there with the worst of them.
Luckily for the NFL, the Pats were able to see out the victory.