The Patriots only managed two assists in Win Over Bills

Our NFL Playoff Calculator has an up-to-date overview of the latest playoff photo . Mac Jones, the New England Patriots rookie quar...


Our NFL Playoff Calculator has an up-to-date overview of the latest playoff photo.

Mac Jones, the New England Patriots rookie quarterback, threw a 12-yard pass to tight end Jonnu Smith in the first quarter Monday night against the Buffalo Bills. In the fourth quarter, he threw an incomplete pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor and a 7-yard accomplishment to running back Brandon Bolden.

What was so interesting about those three seemingly unimportant passes? They were the only ones that Jones pitched the entire game.

Facing the high winds in Orchard Park, NY, coach Bill Belichick turned his back on the clock and made the NFL a league racing again, and the Patriots beat the Bills, their AFC East title rival. The final score also looked like a throwback: New England 14, Buffalo 10.

“It was just a strange day” Jones said, adding: “I have probably never seen so much wind.”

Still, the thought of going back doesn’t really do justice to the strangeness of Monday night’s game. Even in the days of shattering football and 3-yard running games and a cloud of dust, NFL coaches and their quarterbacks still threw the ball every now and then.

An NFL team attempted three or fewer passes in a game just seven times in the 1940s, and only once each in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. But no team had done so since.

Until Monday evening.

Asked about the game plan, the laconic Belichick said only, “This is how it happened.” He attributed it all, in fact, to the weather conditions which he described only as “somewhat difficult”.

Was the innovative game plan successful? Not really, given the number of Patriots records that ended in three and-outs and punters. But in a broader sense, certainly yes, given the dashboard.

The Call to Play was sort of a microcosm of the Patriots’ season. Belichick was careful to give Jones a fairly unambitious menu. Jones has 384 passing attempts this season, below the average for a regular starter, but his 70 percent completion rate ranks third in the league.

Across the line of scrimmage, Josh Allen and the Bills opted for a more traditional, albeit not very effective, take-of-play pattern: he completed 15 of 30 passes for just 145 yards.

“It wasn’t that bad” Allen insisted on the wind after the game. “A few throws obviously, that could have affected. You have to play the conditions here.

It wasn’t just the passage that was affected. It was never clear, for example, where the kicks were going to go. Jake Bailey of the Patriots threw one that ran 71 yards and another that ran 15.

The last time a team attempted three or fewer passes in a game was in 1974, at the same stadium, in windy and rainy conditions. That day, the Bills’ Joe Ferguson attempted just two in a 16-12 win over the Jets. Both were incomplete. Instead, he handed 51 times, including 31 times to OJ Simpson.

Joe Namath generously threw 18 passes for the Jets, completing two. Many more have gone in unexpected directions. From an interception, Namath joked, “The best slider you’ve ever seen.”

However, all wins, no matter how strange, count as a single victory. Beyond its idiosyncrasy, Monday night’s game was crucial for the AFC East race. The Patriots are now 9-4, compared to the Bills’ 7-5, and appear increasingly well positioned to reclaim the division title they won 11 years in a row before handing it to the Bills this season. last.

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