Long after most players had left the Buffalo Bills locker room, linebacker Nigel Bradham stuck around at his locker to explain this 40-point, 507-yard, 28-first down defensive debacle.
How does a defense that was so dominant one week look so lost the next? They confused Andrew Luck and were then burnt, repeatedly, by New England's Tom Brady.
For one, the team's expensive pass rush was rendered mostly useless by Brady's quick release. Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes didn't get to Brady much at all before Hughes' late strip-sack and made it seem like there wasn't much at all they could do about it. Bradham repeated that the Bills spotted the Patriots a "quick 21" and committed far too many penalties.
"He just gets the ball out quick," Bradham said. "He didn't really take any hits today. I know I didn't hit him and I didn't see him get many times. Jerry got the sack-strip, but other than that he really didn't take many hits today."
The Patriots decided to keep passing... and passing deep into the fourth quarter, too. That didn't surprise the linebacker at all.
Bradham sounded like a player who wanted to play New England again, immediately.
"They know what we have on defense," he added. "We're not slouches over there. They know next time that we'll be ready. ... They know that we had a lot of penalties early on. They got a quick 21. And that made a big separation in the game."
Bradham cited that any communication errors were rooted in the Bills trying to substitute players in when the Patriots did during their up-tempo, no-huddle attack. When the Patriots' players ran onto the field, they knew the play. Buffalo didn't. And the defense lagged behind all game. Cover corners played off receivers, giving them room underneath, and Ryan didn't blitz much.
"They just play a simple game," Bradham said. "They play a quick game, a simple game and try to get you with match-ups and quickness and obviously they were successful with it."
To the team and to the media, Rex Ryan took the blame for the loss. He pointed the finger back at himself, saying he was out-coached.
"I felt like the scheme was great," he said. "We knew what they were going to do in every situation. We just had those penalties and gave up those quick 21 points. We knew every time what they wanted to do in the red zone. They just got those quick 21 and separated on us."
Of course, that was not the case on Rob Gronkowski's two-yard touchdown reception. The tight end lined up in tight and motioned wide receiver. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore followed him, covered him and signaled for help inside from safety Duke Williams --- help that never arrived. Gronkowski ran an easy-does-it in route for the score.
It was the same old story for Buffalo's defense. Again, Brady took it to the Bills.
The team doesn't have a $100 million quarterback but they do have two $100 million defensive linemen. Yet on Sunday, the results were only worse --- Brady's 466 passing yards are the most ever against Buffalo.
They'll get another shot at the Patriots Nov. 23 on Monday Night Football.
"We know he's going to get the ball out quick," Bradham said. "So we've got to cover. We've got to play better coverage. Make him hold it. We have to figure out a way to make him hold it."
"We're a better defense than what we showed. I think we're a better team than what we showed. The penalties are what killed us."