Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott believes his team's "sloppy football" more than any brilliant coaching strategy from Bill Belichick cost it Monday's game against the New England Patriots.
McDermott told reporters after the game:
"Let's not give more credit than we need to give credit to Bill Belichick in this one. Whether it was Bill or anybody else, they beat us, right? But you sit here and you tell me when we start with an average starting field position of the 40-yard line and he starts with the 23-yard line—I'm rounding up in both cases—and we were 1-for-4 in the red zone and they were 0-for-1 in the red zone? You give me that ahead of time, I'd say I like my chances. I like my chances.
"I don't think, with all due respect, it's not a Bill Belichick-type thing. It's, what are you doing with the opportunities you got? What are you doing with the opportunities you got? We turned the ball over on the plus-30-something yard line. Sloppy football. Sloppy football. I'm very comfortable in that situation."
The Patriots earned a 14-10 win over the Bills in a hard-fought contest that was significantly impacted by inclement weather in Buffalo. New England attempted only three passes, relying on a ground game that picked up 222 yards.
The three pass attempts were the fewest in franchise history and the lowest number overall since 1974. With winds howling and precipitation at times pouring down, Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels devised a plan to essentially take quarterback Mac Jones out of the game and rely on their defense.
"We played kind of the way we felt like we needed to play to win. In the end, we scored enough points," Belichick told reporters.
"Just have to give the players a lot of credit for being tough, being disciplined, being resilient and dealing with a really good football team and conditions that were somewhat challenging."
The Bills were limited to 230 yards of total offense and converted scoring chances on just one of four red-zone trips.
New England's win moved Belichick and Co. to 9-4, putting them in the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture.