On a day when everything pointed in the Bills direction—no Brady, no legitimate running threat, good weather—the Patriots proved once again that their organization is just better at understanding what it takes to win.
With Matt Cassell at quarterback and street free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis playing RB, the Patriots showed up, proving sometimes the team who wants it most actually wins.
Good teams know their talent, and the limitations of their talent, and coach to get the best from the eleven players on the field.
When Tom Brady went down, the Patriots didn't ask Matt Cassell to be Tom Brady, they adapted the offense. When three starting running backs went down, the Patriots didn't ask BenJarvus Green-Ellis to be Laurence Maroney or Lamont Jordan, they adapted the offense.
The Bills are another story. They continually attempt to put square pegs in round holes.
When Aaron Schobel went down, the team rotated Ryan Denney and Copeland Bryan. Denney is a fine rotational player, but Bryan is a consistent non-factor when he is on the field, and when either are playing, the defense remains out of sync.
When Josh Reed went down, neither James Hardy nor Steve Johnson were ready to contribute on the field, and as such, the offense has struggled mightily in both the running and passing games since Reed's injury.
Also, good defenses usually have good middle linebackers, and Paul Posluszny's reputation is much better than his actual play.
He consistently over-pursues the run, rarely is in proper position and is terrible defending the pass. For weeks, the Bills have been relying on Posluszny to make the defense go, and in the end it has been a reflection of his game play: mediocre.
The same can be said on the offensive line. It has been conventional wisdom for more than a year that Melvin Fowler isn't good enough, but is the team in such dire straits that Kirk Chambers should be starting at right guard?
Once upon a time, the Buffalo Bills were 5-1, a lock for the post-season, and Trent Edwards was on his way to league MVP. What a difference a month can make, as the 20-10 score indicates a game much closer than it actually was.
Yes, there is a lot more analysis which should occur from the game—from why certain players are even seeing the field to the complete lack of a running game. Still, I am tired of seeing the Bills get simply outclassed, out-coached, out-played, and end up losing to a team who simply has their act more together.
Sure, the Patriots should always be considered a legitimate threat, but the Bills lost today.
In the NFL, teams must adapt. Sometimes adaptation must happen during a drive, sometimes in games, and sometimes between weeks.
The Bills haven't successfully done any.
Welcome to last place in the division; get used to it.