Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Bills shut down by the Patriots, fall 23-3 at New Era Field

Tyrod Taylor leaves the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury

December 03, 2017 - 1:30 pm

After a big 16-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last week at Arrowhead Stadium, the Buffalo Bills were back home at New Era Field looking to pull off an upset against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. come to town for their first matchup of the season.

Although the Bills held the Patriots to just nine points through the first 30 minutes of play, the Patriots open things up in the third quarter with two rushing touchdowns from Rex Burkhead. The Bills offense comes up empty, scoring just three points in a 23-3 loss.

The Bills offense lost quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. Taylor originally hurt the knee on the first play of the game when he was sacked by Patriots linebacker David Harris. Taylor stayed on the field for the Bills until he re-aggravated the injury in the fourth quarter, and he was eventually carted off the sidelines.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bills lost defensive end Shaq Lawson, and cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Tre'Davious White in the loss. Lawson left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury, and had to be carted off the sidelines and into the locker room. Johnson hurt his left knee earlier in the same drive, but was able to walk off the field under his own power. White left the game and entered into the concussion protocol in the fourth quarter after taking a cheap shot from Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski after an interception.

Coming into Sunday's game, the Bills were already without the services of a few key offensive pieces for a second consecutive week. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was out once again after tearing the meniscus in his right knee two weeks ago against the Los Angeles Chargers. Running back Mike Tolbert would also miss his second straight week of action with his hamstring injury.

On the offensive line, Cordy Glenn missed his fourth consecutive game as he continues to be hampered with a foot / ankle injury. Also, John Miller is out once again as he rehabs an ankle injury.

The Bills also had several names listed on the injury report as questionable. Some of those players included were Jordan Matthews, Patrick DiMarco, Charles Clay, Eddie Yarbrough and Nick O'Leary. The only player listed that did not play on Sunday was O'Leary, who did not practice for most of the week with a back issue.

Here was the complete list of inactives:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today&#39;s Bills inactives. <a href="";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NEvsBUF</a> <a href=""">"></a></p>&mdash; Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) <a href=""">">December 3, 2017</a></blockquote>
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As for the Patriots, they were without the services of a couple of key players as well. Former Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan did not play due to a shoulder injury, while leading pass rusher Trey Flowers sat out with a rib injury.

In addition, former Bills running back Mike Gillislee was listed as inactive for the fourth straight week.

The Bills got the ball on the opening drive and ate over seven minutes off the clock as they moved the ball efficiently down the field. Buffalo got a nice run from LeSean McCoy on the drive, while picking up a couple of third downs.

The drive was thwarted, however, at the New England six-yard line when Taylor was picked off at the goal line by Patriots linebacker Eric Lee. Taylor was pressured on the 1st and goal play, and threw a floater into the arms of Lee.

The Patriots took the ball down the field on their first drive, and got as far as the Buffalo 31-yard line before failing to convert on a 3rd and 11. However, the Patriots put up the first points of the game with a 50-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.

On to the second quarter, the Patriots tack on to their lead after driving down the field to the Bills' five-yard line. New England got a big 44-yard run from Dion Lewis to get the Patriots inside the 10-yard line, but the Bills defense comes up big on a 3rd and goal as Kyle Williams sacks Brady back at the 13-yard line. Gostkowski adds three more points to the scoreboard to give New England the 6-0 lead.

The Bills respond on their next drive by moving down the field and getting into field goal range for Stephen Hauschka. Joe Webb continues to get used in many different ways in the game, this time running for 22-yards on a quarterback draw. Webb nearly made a great pass to running back Travaris Cadet in stride inside the Patriots' 20-yard line, but the pass was just out of reach. After getting to the New England 30-yard line, it was Hauschka who got the Bills on the board with a 49-yard field goal.

With time winding down in the first half, New England goes on another scoring drive that results in a 39-yard field goal from Gostkowski to make it 9-3. The Patriots were set up in good field goal position on the drive thanks to another big run against the Bills defense, this time from Burkhead.

The Patriots open the second half with their first touchdown drive of the game, capped off by a one-yard run from Burkhead. On the drive, Brady found Rob Gronkowski three times for 50 yards to get the Patriots in scoring position.

On that drive, Johnson and Lawson both left the field due to injury and did not return for the rest of the game.

After a huge loss on a 3rd down sack and a punt for the Bills, New England drives down the field once again and adds seven more points to the scoreboard. It is Burkhead finding the endzone again, this time from 14-yards out.

Early in the fourth quarter, Taylor was carted off the sidelines and to the Bills locker room with his knee injury and did not return to the game.

Nathan Peterman came in relief of Taylor with about 13 minutes to play in the game, and got the Bills into scoring position down 23-3. The Bills get to the Patriots' one-yard line, trying to get their first touchdown of the game and draw the game closer with time running out. On the 4th and goal chance, Peterman's pass to Zay Jones in the corner of the endzone was defended well by former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and the Bills turned the ball over on downs.

The Patriots start to move the ball down the field once again until Brady is picked off at the Buffalo 41-yard line by White. White was then drilled with a late hit from Gronkowski that landed him in the concussion protocol. Gronkowski was flagged for an unnecessary foul penalty after the interception.

The Bills offense turns the ball over on downs in their final two drives of the game, and all the Patriots take care of business to finish off the 23-3 win.

Buffalo now falls to 6-6 on the season, and will now get ready to face the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday at New Era Field. Kickoff next week is at 1 p.m. and can be heard on WGR and along the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.

Check out how the game unfolded below:


First Quarter:

  • 0-0 TIE (7:51) - Tyrod Taylor is picked off at the goal line by Patriots linebacker Eric Lee. Lee returns the interception eight-yards.
  • 3-0 Patriots (1:35) - Stephen Gostkowski's 50-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 14 plays, 59 yards, 6:21

Second Quarter:

  • 6-0 Patriots (6:26) - Gostkowski is good on a 31-yard field goal attempt.
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 59 yards, 3:21
  • 6-3 Patriots (3:11) - Stephen Hauschka converts on a 49-yard field goal attempt.
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 45 yards, 3:21
  • 9-3 Patriots (0:19) - Gostkowski's 39-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 10 plays, 55 yards, 2:50

Third Quarter:

  • 16-3 Patriots (9:02) - Patriots running back Rex Burkhead finds the endzone from one-yard out. Gostkowski's extra-point attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 10 plays, 70 yards, 5:58
  • 23-3 Patriots (1:08) - Burkhead breaks free again for a 14-yard touchdown run. Gostkowski's extra-point attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 9 plays, 78 yards, 4:38

Fourth Quarter:

  • 23-3 Patriots (8:47) - Nathan Peterman's 4th down pass to Zay Jones in the corner of the endzone is defended well by Stephon Gilmore, and the Bills turn the ball over on downs at the New England one-yard line.
  • 23-3 Patriots (4:50) - Tom Brady throws an interception to Tre'Davious White at the Bills' 36-yard line.
  • 23-3 Patriots (3:41) - Peterman throws a short pass to Travaris Cadet on 4th and long, and the Bills come up six-yards short and turn the ball over on downs.
  • 23-3 Patriots (1:05) - Peterman's pass to Zay Jones on 4th and 6 is defended by Eric Rowe, Bills turn the ball over on downs at their own 28-yard line.




Buffalo Bills:

Tyrod Taylor: 9 of 18, 65 yards, 1 INT

Nathan Peteman: 6 of 15, 50 yards

Joe Webb III: 0 of 1, 0 yards

New England Patriots:

Tom Brady: 21 of 30, 258 yards, 1 TD



Buffalo Bills:

LeSean McCoy: 15 carries, 93 yards

Tyrod Taylor: 3 carries, 32 yards

Joe Webb: 3 carries, 27 yards

Travaris Cadet: 4 carries, 22 yards

Nathan Peterman: 1 carry, 9 yards

New England Patriots:

Dion Lewis: 15 carries, 92 yards

Rex Burkhead: 12 carries, 78 yards, 2 TDs

James White: 5 carries, 18 yards

Brandin Cooks: 1 carry, 5 yards

Brian Hoyer: 2 carries, -2 yards



Buffalo Bills:

Zay Jones: 2 receptions, 22 yards

Deonte Thompson: 2 receptions, 21 yards

Charles Clay: 3 receptions, 20 yards

Travaris Cadet: 3 receptions, 19 yards

Jordan Matthews: 1 reception, 14 yards

Logan Thomas: 2 receptions, 10 yards

LeSean McCoy: 2 receptions, 9 yards

New England Patriots:

Rob Gronkowski: 9 receptions, 147 yards

Danny Amendola: 2 receptions, 34 yards

James White: 4 receptions, 32 yards

Rex Burkhead: 3 receptions, 25 yards

Brandin Cooks: 2 receptions, 17 yards

Dwayne Allen: 1 reception, 3 yards



Buffalo Bills:

Micah Hyde: 12 tackles, 1 pass defended

Jordan Poyer: 10 tackles

Adolphus Washington: 6 tackles, 1 sack

Tre'Davious White: 5 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT

Shaq Lawson: 1 sack

Kyle Williams: 1 sack

Preston Brown: 1 pass defended

Lorenzo Alexander: 1 pass defended

New England Patriots:

Malcolm Butler: 8 tackles, 1 pass defended

Eric Lee: 1 INT, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes defended

David Harris: 1.5 sacks

Stephon Gilmore: 2 passes defended

Kyle Van Noy: 0.5 sack, 1 pass defended

Malcom Brown: 0.5 sack


Total Yards:

Bills: 268
Patriots: 435

Passing Yards:

Bills: 85
Patriots: 244

Rushing Yards:

Bills: 183
Patriots: 191

First Downs:

Bills: 16
Patriots: 23


Bills: 3 for 34 yards
Patriots: 9 for 66 yards

Time of Possession:

Bills: 25:59
Patriots: 34:01

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