|Bill Belichick short and sweet about his team’s ‘pretty obvious’ no-show against Bills||10.02.16 at 7:02 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick usually takes his time and addresses the media after taking a shower and getting cleaned up.
He wasted no such time Sunday in trying to explain the 16-0 stinker to the Bills, coming to the podium in under five minutes after the final gun.
“Well obviously we didn’t do much of anything well enough to win today, so we’ve just got to do a better job, turn the page here,” Belichick said in his opening remarks. “We think we’re a better team than we showed today but we just didn’t do anything well enough today. So, we’ll get back to work and get ready for Cleveland.”
It was a frustrating day for Belichick and his staff as there were mental and physical mistakes from the opening kickoff, which included a near-kneel down at the 1 by rookie Cyrus Jones. It got so bad that Belichick slammed his Surface tablet in anger after the 7-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to LeSean McCoy.
“Yeah, they’re good players,” Belichick said. “We obviously didn’t do a good enough job of it.”
The mistakes continued immediately after the Jones kick return. Jacoby Brissett found Julian Edelman on the sideline for a pitch-and-catch that turned into a 90-yard gain. It was wiped out by defensive holding and pass interference by Chris Hogan.
“Yeah, we just didn’t have a very good day today,” Belichick said of the 90-yard gain for naught.
“It wasn’t good enough in any area,” Belichick said. “Obviously, we were in a lot of third-and-longs so that wasn’t good. A lot of third-down problems are related to first and second-down and it wasn’t good enough on third-down. It’s pretty obvious.”
Then came the questions about the decision to hold back Jimmy Garoppolo and make him inactive.
“When we made him inactive,” Belichick said.
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FOXBORO — How did that happen? The Patriots get shut out at home for the first time in 23 years and the first time ever at Gillette Stadium. WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price have the recap of the ugly affair inside Gillette Stadium.
FOXBORO – For one day, Rex Ryan got the better of Bill Belichick. And how.
Tyrod Taylor threw for a touchdown to LeSean McCoy and Dan Carpenter added three field goals to lead the Bills to a 16-0 win over the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. It was the first home shutout suffered in the Bill Belichick era in Foxboro and the first at Gillette.
It was a bad flashback for many Patriots fans to Jan. 16, 2011 when Ryan’s Jets shocked the Patriots, 28-21, in the AFC divisional round at Gillette.
The Patriots finished the Tom Brady suspension with a 3-1 record and now get ready for Brady’s return next Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns. The Bills won their second straight and are now 2-2.
Jacoby Brissett got the start and played the whole game with a wrap on his injured right thumb. Brissett finished 17-of-27 for 205 yards. Martellus Bennett caught five passes for 109 yards.
The Bills came out with a point to prove from the start, and it started with safety Robert Blanton shoving Jacoby Brissett in pregame warmups, a move that Patriots president Jonathan Kraft denounced before the kickoff.
The first half was an abject disaster for the Patriots. It was as miserable as the weather.
The defense couldn’t get off the field as the Patriots allowed the Bills to convert four of their first six third downs.
The Patriots were a mess from the very start Sunday. Cyrus Jones took the opening kickoff five yards deep and came out with a great deal of hesitation, nearly taking a knee at the 1. The drive started at the 9. Jones took the next kickoff and ran into Matthew Slater, with the drive starting at 14. The day would end appropriately for Jones, who fumbled the last punt of the day in the final minute of the game but recovered.
Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy kept the Patriots defense off-balance the entire first half. Taylor was 17-of-22 for 165 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to McCoy in the right flat that got scoring underway on Buffalo’s first drive of the game.
Bill Belichick slammed his Surface tablet on the sidelines after the play. There would be more frustrations to come.
Brissett found a spark when he connected with Bennett on a perfectly-placed lob down the right sideline in double coverage. Bennett went up and caught it and rambled 58 yards to the Bills 17. But then the Patriots, with the help of confusion from the officials, self-destructed.
On third-and-1 from the Bills 8, the Patriots attempted to run a quick snap. But as the play was run, referee Pete Morelli blew the play dead, announcing to the crowd, “the officials were not in position to officiate the play.” David Andrews was then called for holding, pushing the Patriots back to the 18. On the next play, Brissett scrambled straight ahead and was drilled by Zach Brown. He fumbled and the Bills recovered.
The Patriots lost for just the 11th time in 44 games with extra rest under Bill Belichick.
The Bills added two more field goals of 34 and 43 yards from Dan Carpenter to claim a 13-0 halftime lead.
The Bills had 251 yards of total offense, the Patriots 98. Buffalo had the ball for 19 minutes, 49 seconds. The Patriots owned possession for just 10 minutes, 11 seconds.
|Jonathan Kraft returns fire at Rex Ryan for cheap shot, blasts lack of discipline: ‘That’s why Rex is Rex, Bill is Bill’||at 12:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It didn’t take long for Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft to fire back at Rex Ryan for the cheap shot that safety Robert Blanton took at Jacoby Brissett in warmups Sunday.
Blanton came over and shoved the Patriots quarterback as he was running warmup sprints with Malcolm Mitchell. Blanton came over and shoved Brissett in an apparent attempt to protect the Bills’ side of the field, a common practice in NFL warmups. Tom Brady commonly takes similar pregame runs and there’s never a problem.
But Sunday there was.
Appearing on the Patriots pregame radio show, Kraft had his chance to respond minutes after the confrontation.
“I didn’t see what happened but I heard about it,” Kraft said. “But that gets back to Rex. I think if you are less-than-disciplined in your personal approach, your team will take on the attitude of the coach. I think for different people, different strategies work. I guess you’d have to ask Rex but my guess is that Rex probably loves that. That’s why Rex is Rex and that’s why Bill is Bill.
“I think within in the division, you always have three [other] teams and the intensity of those competitions is always higher. A, the games count as two, effectively in the win-loss column and you see each other twice and knowing each other, breeds that contempt, and it feeds the rivalry and it’s good for the league.”
Kraft said he doesn’t have a personal relationship with Rex Ryan but does with Rob Ryan, a former Patriots assistant in the 2000s.
“Other than Rob, no. I loved Buddy growing up,” Kraft said. “I thought Buddy was awesome and when Rob was here, Rob was great. I’ve never any interactions with Rex. I think he’s amusing but I’ve never had any interactions with him.”
FOXBORO — It appears there’s one more twist to the Patriots quarterback drama.
Jaboby Brissett will start at quarterback against the Bills and Jimmy Garoppolo will be inactive. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jimmy Garoppolo was expected to start, according to WEEI’s Kirk Minihane on Friday but Garoppolo apparently suffered a setback in the 48 hours leading up to the game. Brissett suffered a sprained thumb in the 27-0 win over the Texans and will make his second straight NFL start.
With Garoppolo inactive, this leaves the Patriots with Julian Edelman as their best option behind Brissett, should Brissett get injured or become ineffective.
Brissett and Garoppolo practiced all week with the team but both were officially listed as limited all week and were questionable coming into the contest.
Brissett was 11-of-19 for 103 yards against the Texans in the Week 3 win. Garoppolo would be missing his second straight game since Kiko Alonso drove his right shoulder into the turf on Sept. 18 in the Patriots’ 31-24 win.
FOXBORO — Cloudy skies and temperatures approaching 60 degrees are expected at Gillette Stadium for the final game of the Tom Brady suspension.
Wind is not expected to be a factor and there is no significant precipitation in the forecast.
Entering the final game without Brady there is, ironically enough, a major question over who will be the starting quarterback.
WEEI’s Kirk Minihane reported Friday that Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to return from a one-game absence due to a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder and make the start. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Patriots won’t make a final decision until Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett make it through pre-game warmups.
Brissett suffered a sprained right thumb in the win over the Texans on Sept. 22.
Both quarterbacks practiced all week but were limited.
Another player could make his return as Dont’a Hightower is hopeful to start after suffering a right knee injury in Week 1 against the Cardinals.
The Patriots are off to a 3-0 start for the tenth time in team history and the sixth time under Bill Belichick. The undefeated September was the 22nd perfect month in the Belichick era and the most of any team since 2000.
The Patriots are 13-1 lifetime at Gillette Stadium against the Bills, with Buffalo’s only win coming in the 2014 season finale when Jimmy Garoppolo played the second half and the Bills came away with a 17-9 win. The Patriots had already clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs on their way to capturing Super Bowl XLIX.
|Chris Hogan keeping it real to pay back Rex Ryan, Bills: ‘It’s all business for 60 minutes’||10.01.16 at 10:54 am ET|
FOXBORO — To Chris Hogan, this weekend’s game against the Bills isn’t about facing old teammates – it’s all business.
The Patriots receiver, in his first season in New England after four with the Bills, is getting to face many of his former mates on Sunday on the Gillette Stadium turf.
“This isn’t about me going against the Bills,” Hogan said Friday after the final full practice before taking the field Sunday. “This is about the Patriots playing the Bills, a [division] opponent and a big game for us as a team. Get this and get another win under our belt and just keep playing the way we have been playing in special teams, offense, defense.
“If we keep playing that we do, we have some really special things happening here. So, that’s where we’re focused on. I’m not focused on my relationships or I’m going back to play an old team. It’ll be great to see those guys at the end of the game but it’s all business for 60 minutes.”
From 2012 through last season, Hogan built relationships and a spotless reputation in the Buffalo community after kicking around with the 49ers, Giants and Dolphins after attending Penn State (lacrosse) and Monmouth (football).
“I will be forever grateful to them,” Hogan said. “That organization gave me my first chance. That’s really where I started my career. I was there for four years. I established a lot of relationships with those guys and to this day, I still do [have relationships]. I will always look back on my careers as that’s where I started.
“Those guys are all my friends. But we’re playing a game now. Once the whistle blows, for 60 minutes I’m going to be playing football. Afterwards, we can talk and do all that. My focus is doing my job and taking advantage of all my opportunities out there.”
When he wasn’t spoofing Julian Edelman, Rex Ryan was paying tribute to another Patriots receiver. Ryan had Hogan for just one season but was impressed with what he saw. But the Bills made the financial decision not to match the three-year, $12 million offer sheet from the Patriots in March and Hogan switched teams in the AFC East rivalry.
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