The Buffalo Bills entered the final game of the regular season with nothing to play for. The New England Patriots, however, had everything to play for. If the Patriots won the game, they’d finish in the second seed in the AFC and have a first-round bye. If they lost the game, though, they would be delegated to the fourth seed and would have to play next weekend.
The stage was set for the Bills to play spoiler to their division rivals. In order to play spoiler, though, they’d have to do it with a backup quarterback. This is the same backup quarterback that led the Bills past the Miami Dolphins last weekend 19-0.
The weather seemed to fit the Bills’ style of attack as well. It poured rain during the entire game and since Buffalo likes to utilize both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in its attack, it was set up nicely for them. However, New England is the one that came out and ran the ball.
The Pats ran the ball for 267 yards in the 34-20 victory over the Bills while Tom Brady only threw for 122 yards. This was a complete role reversal for the Pats’ offense but it was effective against the Bills’ defense. The Bills finished 6-10 on the season and missed the playoffs for a 14th consecutive year. This is the longest active drought in the NFL.
There are some bright spots to take away from this season though. The defense played extremely well for most of the year and the offense has some bright spots to build around. E.J. Manuel seems to be a good young quarterback and Thad Lewis has been solid in the backup role.
It’ll be interesting to see how the front office approaches the draft and the offseason. For now, though, we have to sit back and wait at least one more year for the playoff drought to end in western New York.