3 Patriots takeaways from bonkers Week 13 win over Bills on Monday Night Football
The New England Patriots Week 13 Monday Night Football matchup against the Buffalo Bills was all about handling the weather, and that’s exactly what Bill Belichick and Co. did to earn the victory. The 14-10 victory was a battle against the elements, but New England managed to enhance its lead in the AFC East with the key win. We have a few takeaways in mind from the windy Patriots-Bills matchup in Week 13.
It was all about the ground game for the Patriots on Monday night. In fact, quarterback Mac Jones threw just three pass attempts in the win, as conditions made it particularly difficult to throw with accuracy. Rather than risk errors from a rookie quarterback, Belichick opted for the ground and pound, utilizing the likes of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson to great avail.
Running into the bye with a W. pic.twitter.com/4FLz3cD7v0
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 7, 2021
The defense was locked in, too, forcing mistakes from Josh Allen while ultimately stifling the usually-potent Buffalo offense. They came up with big stops on third and fourth down, which was crucial considering the wind made kicking nearly impossible.
With all that in mind, here are some Patriots Week 13 takeaways from their pivotal win over the Bills.
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Patriots Week 13 Takeaways
3. Mac Jones is the ultimate team player
Look, no one is going to give Mac Jones any credit for his play in this win, and he probably doesn’t deserve much. But this rookie went out there, knowing damn well that he was barely going to be utilized, and still played every snap like it was his last. He clearly was on board with the game plan, putting the team ahead padding his personal stats — of which he recorded virtually none. Jones went 2-for-3 with 19 yards in the air on Monday, and rushed five times for -3 yards.
To say his role was minimal would be an understatement, but he bought into Belichick’s game plan and had a smile on his face throughout the game. That’s exactly what the players in the locker room want to see from a young quarterback, someone who is willing to lead in whatever manner is required. While his stats from Monday won’t be all too memorable, his maturity will go a long way with his teammates.
2. Rhamondre Stevenson is the real deal
Yes, it was Damien Harris who broke away for his career-long 64-yard touchdown run to open up the scoring in this one, but the workhorse back on Monday was Rhamondre Stevenson. He logged 24 carries for 78 yards, and while those numbers don’t jump off the page, the playing conditions have to be taken into account. Stevenson ran tough and helped keep drives alive for the Patriots throughout the game. The duo of Stevenson and Harris is one of the NFL’s most underrated tandems, but they showed that they can take over a game when called upon.
New England rushed the ball a total of 46 times on Monday. Considering 25 of those carries went to Stevenson, who was on the field for a career-high 63% of the offensive snaps, Belichick clearly sees something in the Oklahoma product. Whenever Stevenson has been given a sizeable workload this year, the 23-year-old has impressed, and he did it again on Monday.
1. New England’s defense proved it’s the best in the league
This matchup was a battle of two of the league’s premier defensive units. Both sides have been stingy throughout the season and are largely responsible for the success of their team. One defense would come out on top on Monday night, and the Patriots were the ones to do so. The Patriots surrendered just 230 yards to the Bills, limiting Josh Allen to 145 passing yards on 15-of-30 pass attempts. The Bills were also held to just 99 yards on the ground, despite Buffalo averaging 116.7 rushing yards on the year. Just about nothing was working for the Bills, who were held silent outside of a Gabriel Davis touchdown.
It was a complete performance from New England’s defense, and they showed just why they’re the most feared defensive unit in the NFL. A matchup with these guys is a dreaded situation for any quarterback, and they successfully staked their claim as the best bunch in football. They’ll be rewarded after the win by getting the week off with a bye, giving them the chance to unfreeze their feet ahead of the team’s Week 15 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.