At least the Chiefs lost.
If you’re looking for a positive to come out of Sunday for the Buffalo Bills, that’s about the only thing I can find to offer you. The 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots at New Era Field felt like Exhibit No. 1,000 in the never-ending dominance between the two teams. It feels like Buffalo is as far away as ever from offering any type of challenge to New England, which is cruising toward another AFC East title.
At 6-6, the Bills are still (infamously) “in the hunt,” but after getting no help around the league, I wouldn’t blame any fan who starts to turn their attention to 2018. The good news in that regard is the first-round draft pick the Bills acquired from Kansas City is getting better and better. After a 5-0 start, the Chiefs lost again Sunday to drop to 6-6. That has them tied for the division lead in the weak AFC West, but they are in a freefall. Here’s a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after Week 13:
• DT Adolphus Washington: He had a sack of Tom Brady and a tackle for a loss in what was the best game of his young career. Washington finished with a team-high four “stops,” according to the analytics website Pro Football Focus. Those are defined as solo tackles that represent offensive failures based on the down and distance.
• CB Tre’Davious White: Before taking a vicious cheap shot from Rob Gronkowski that left him in the NFL’s concussion protocol, the rookie cornerback was playing another strong game. White had an interception of Tom Brady and was targeted just three times in the game. The Bills’ cornerbacks did an admirable job against New England receiver Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola.
• LG Richie Incognito: PFF charged him with just one quarterback hurry allowed and gave him his highest overall grade since a Week 3 win over Denver.
• QB Tyrod Taylor: This has nothing to do with his injury, but rather is a reflection of his overall performance. From the minute he threw an interception at the goal line on the Bills’ first possession, it felt like New England was in control of the game. Taylor finished 9 of 18 for 65 passing yards and rushed three times for 32 yards. In seven quarters after returning to the starting lineup, he led the offense to 19 points. Those numbers make it easy to see why Taylor got benched by coach Sean McDermott in the first place.
• WR Jordan Matthews: Really, any of the receivers would fit here, since the group combined for five catches on 19 targets, producing just 57 yards. We’ll go with Matthews, though, since he’s supposed to be the team’s No. 1 option with Kelvin Benjamin out of the lineup. Targeted three times, he finished with one catch for 14 yards, and had a drop. It was another in a string of disappointing games for the soon-to-be free agent.
• S Micah Hyde: He led the Bills with a dozen tackles, including 10 solos, but Hyde was also charged with missing three tackles, according to PFF. He also gave up three catches to Rob Gronkowski on three coverage snaps, totaling 46 yards.