Here are some thoughts from the Buffalo Bills’ 40-32 loss against the New England Patriots Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium:
* My first point was going to be about the Bills doing too much talking and having it come back to bite them in a big way. I can’t say I thought that was a good look. However, it could be argued that Rex Ryan knew exactly what he was doing by making this game personal, because his players performed that way by rallying from a 24-point deficit at the end of the third quarter to make for a highly entertaining finish. The Bills backed up some of their tough talk by showing tremendous mental toughness and never completely unraveling even when it seemed as if they were doing exactly that via a flood of penalties and other displays of poor composure.
* Tom Brady still owns the Bills’ defense, regardless of who is coaching. He humiliated Ryan, who has a history of defensive success against them, by throwing for 466 yards and three touchdowns. The yardage was the most ever by a single quarterback against Buffalo. He consistently made huge throws and the Bills’ defense consistently failed to rise to the occasion as the Patriots built a 37-13 lead.
* Tyrod Taylor has grown up in a hurry as an NFL starting quarterback. He was having an exceptionally bad day, being sacked eight times for minus-53 yards and constantly harassed by the Patriots’ pass rush. He was intercepted three times and generally looked overmatched by the confusion Bill Belichick created for him with his scheming. But Taylor came back strong as the Bills poured it on at the end. He finished 23-for-29 for 242 yards and three touchdowns, and with a passer rating of 93.3.
* The Bills have a serious penalty problem. After being flagged an NFL-high 11 times in their season-opening victory against Indianapolis, they had 14 Sunday for 140 yards. Before leaving the game with a neck injury, safety Aaron Williams drew two personal fouls and was benched for a series after the second.