1. Christian Barmore 4th down encroachment
We’ve sung Christian Barmore’s praises throughout his dominant rookie season, but he picked a bad time to show his inexperience on Sunday.
On a 4th and 7 in the second quarter, Barmore, lined up directly across from the center, was flagged for encroachment. The penalty gifted Buffalo an extra five yards, making it an easy call for Sean McDermott to go for it.
These types of penalties almost always come back to haunt teams, and the Bills wasted no time making Barmore and the Patriots pay, as Allen connected with Stefon Diggs for a 23-yard gain on 4th and 2. Three plays later, Allen found Diggs for a 12-yard touchdown in the most predictable outcome ever.
Before Barmore could even blink, the Bills opened up a 17-7 lead right before the halftime intermission.
Would Buffalo have converted the 4th and 7 anyway? Maybe, but you’d obviously rather take your chances with that over a 4th and 2. Unfortunately for the Pats, Barmore’s eagerness to make a play for his team proved costly.
Again, Barmore is a huge reason why New England entered the weekend in first place in the AFC East. At some point, though, he was going to undergo a rookie learning curve. It just came at the wrong place and at the wrong time.