FOXBORO — When all was said and done at Gillette Stadium , the Patriots narrowly escaped the Bills with a win, thanks in large part to a penalty-ridden Buffalo team Sunday. The Bills racked up 14 total penalties for a total of 148 yards and still managed to gain 481 yards of offense, including 162 on the ground against the league’s eighth-best rush defense.
On the first offensive series alone for the Bills, a third-and-1 situation turned into a third-and-26 after three consecutive flags were thrown ‘ two for a false start and one for holding. It was certainly an indication of the way things would turn out.
After the game, Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson said that some of the defensive pass interference calls against his team were ‘bogus,’ because the same calls could have gone both ways yet it seemed like the yellow laundry didn’t fly as much for the home team.
‘We’d go down and have a fade rout, and the guy’s, he’s holding me too,’ Johnson said. ‘I’m not saying that his was a pass interference either, but if you called it on Stephon [Gilmore], you have to call it on their defensive player also.
‘It’s something that we’ve got to fix as far as offsides go. We’ve got to fix that on our own. But some of the calls were pretty weak, and some of it was football.’
Gilmore said afterwards that he didn’t know what else he could do to try and defend the throw, and tried to explain the pass interference call on him.
‘I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what else I can do,’ Gilmore said. ‘On the first penalty, he ran into me, and the ball bounced off of him. On the second penalty I was running with him and he tripped on my feet, and they threw the penalty on me.’
There is no timely penalty in the NFL, but for the Bills it seemed that some of the flags thrown came at points during the game when the Patriots struggled to get offensive production. Safety George Wilson said that ultimately it came down to the fact that they put themselves in a tough position to win based on their foul trouble.
‘They started calling the game real closely on their own,’ Wilson said. ‘[The Patriots] weren’t moving the ball with offensive production. It wasn’t anything they were doing to us; we just have to be smarter and not put ourselves in that position.’