Bills' McDermott downplays Belichick's impact in 'sloppy' loss to Patriots
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick turned back the clock with his game plan for a windy Monday night matchup with the Buffalo Bills, running the ball 46 times and throwing just three passes to secure a vital 14-10 win.
But Bills head coach Sean McDermott believes his team beat themselves rather than fell victim to a masterclass from the six-time Super Bowl champion.
"Let's not give more credit than we need to give credit to Bill Belichick in this one," said McDermott, according to NESN's Dakota Randall. "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? ... We turned the ball over on the plus-30-something-yard line. Sloppy football; sloppy football. I'm very comfortable in that situation."
While Mac Jones was essentially a bystander in the prime-time matchup, the Bills asked Josh Allen to throw 30 times. The Buffalo quarterback had his chance to steal the victory but couldn't connect with tight end Dawson Knox for the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes.
The Patriots ended the game with 222 yards and one touchdown on the ground, which marked the second time in three weeks that the Bills' defense allowed a 200-yard rushing day, following a dominant performance from the Indianapolis Colts and Jonathan Taylor in Week 11.
Buffalo was also unable to establish its own running game to ease the pressure off Allen in the difficult weather conditions, producing 99 total rushing yards - with 39 coming from the quarterback.
New England moved to 9-4 with the win, claiming the No. 1 spot in the AFC and further strengthening its position in the division. Buffalo fell to 7-5 and has now lost three of its last five games.