The Buffalo Bills visited the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, a venue where they had never won. In fact, Buffalo hadn't won in New England since 2000. That streak was in serious jeopardy when Buffalo had the ball at the New England 15-yard line with 33 seconds left in regulation, trailing only 37-31.
Ryan Fitzpatrick led Buffalo to 481 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. But for the Bills to win, he would need to lead them to a fifth touchdown. And that wasn't in the cards as Devin McCourty came up with a game-saving interception in the end zone to squash the Bills' final rally.
Buffalo played inspired but not very disciplined football. The Bills were hit with 10 penalties in just the first half alone, for 119 yards. Safe to say that at least three of the calls were questionable at best.
The Bills wound up with 14 penalties for 148 yards. The all-time franchise high was 159 yards, set back in 1970 against the Boston Patriots, per the CBS Sports broadcast.
New England had the No. 1 offense in the NFL, while the Bills defense was No. 31. New England averaged 76.6 plays per game, by far the most in the NFL. The defense held them to only 68 plays. The Bills outgained the Patriots by 134 yards, held the ball for seven more minutes and still lost. The difference was three turnovers for Buffalo compared to none for New England.
When you consider all the penalties, the turnovers and the poor history in Foxboro, it is amazing that the Bills still had a chance to win in the waning moments. Buffalo outplayed New England, but that doesn't mean anything in the standings. Only wins and losses matters.