April 23, 2018

Patriots in driver's seat, Bills facing must win in finale

25 December 2017, 12:30 | Kristopher Drake

Winners and losers from Patriots blowout of Bills

Winners and losers from Patriots blowout of Bills

When the Patriots took the field for the second half of their Week 13 meeting with the Bills, they had two clear objectives: 1) Run the football and 2) get the ball to Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski almost had a second score when the Bills chose to go with the maybe-we-should-just-go-ahead-and-hug-him route.

The star second-round pick was one of the focuses of the game headed in, not just because of his Buffalo roots and his history against the Bills. "Come on, that was a touchdown". Four of their first five offensive touches went to running back Dion Lewis, and Gronkowski didn't see a target sent his way until the second-to-last play of the first quarter. The second step was his first with the ball in his grasp, and the third saw Benjamin put his foot down out of bounds.

"I mean definitely, but ref made the call and you've got to live with that", Benjamin said.

"I said it before and I'll say it again, that was a awful call", Taylor said. And as for Hughes' proclamation about the Patriots not winning, they did and they will continue to win.

New England converted 4 of 6 drives into the red zone into touchdowns.

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On Sunday, the Bills trailed 13-10 but were in position to take the lead before halftime.

Three weeks ago, the big tight end caught nine passes for 149 yards as the Patriots cruised to a road win in Gronkowski's old stomping grounds.

The Bills were forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal as the half expired.

The Bills then started to self-destruct.

Coaches everywhere seem to struggle with the notion of running for short yardage against the Patriots in key situations. This time around? He got a flag. and politely golf-clapped. A win Sunday would've likely catapulted the Bills into a playoff spot.

So, is there a reason for the success? Preparation, concentration and execution have gotten the job done more often than not. He said earlier this week that the knee will require surgery as soon as the season ends. "This was a huge win ... you think the Steelers one was huge, this was the same magnitude of a victory".

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