Even when the Patriots aren't at their best, they still have enough to beat the Bills.
Sunday's 24-12 loss dropped the Bills to 5-10 on the season. Tom Brady didn't look like his usual self, but he beat the Bills for the 30th time in his career, extending his own NFL record.
Vic Carucci summed it up nicely: "Despite looking less than machinelike at times and actually giving the Bills chances to hang around with three turnovers Sunday – chances the Bills squandered with dropped passes, a pair of turnovers, a horrific run defense, and a nonexistent run game of their own – the Pats (10-5) were able to comfortably win their 10th consecutive AFC East crown."
The win gave the Patriots their 16th consecutive 10-win season. The Bills are the only team in the NFL without a 10-win season over that stretch.
Brady wasn't good: Tom Brady threw for only 126 yards – his lowest since 2013 – and posted his lowest-ever passer rating in a win.
With pass game in crisis, Pats play smash-mouth ball: The Patriots always seem to be able to exploit the opponent's biggest weakness. Sunday, that was the run defense. The Bills sure seemed to miss Matt Milano.
Report Card: The offense got more F's this week. Not the what you want in the penultimate game of the season.
Keith Ford started over LeSean McCoy: McCoy said after the game he didn't start because of a disciplinary issue. “Coach, he just, we had a situation,” McCoy said. “He was totally right. I mean, it was a private situation. I'm a captain. I've got to be more accountable. Simple as that. He checked me, put me in my place. That was it.” Interesting development. As the Report Card mentioned, McCoy's "future with the Bills is looking cloudier with each passing week."
Jay Skurski's observations: How bad is Stephen Hauschka's injury? The Bills kicker admitted to still be dealing with a hip contusion, but he left a 43-yard field goal short in Sunday's game before hitting from 41 later on. If that's his range right now, maybe the Bills should let someone else handle kicking duties.
Charles Clay inactive vs. Patriots: Clay was a healthy scratch. The Bills can get $4.5 million of his $9 million cap hit off their books next season by cutting him.
Former UB punter Jake Schum lobbies for job: Dude didn't leave any room for misinterpretation, tagging the Bills in his tweet. (Speaking of punters, check out the tackle Falcons punter Matt Bosher made.)
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