FOXBOROUGH, Ma. – The Buffalo Bills started a fight before the game and then finished it, outplaying the New England Patriots in cruising to a historic 16-0 victory on Sunday.
The Bills (2-2) won their second straight since switching offensive coordinators and scored the franchise’s first road shutout since Nov. 4, 1990. Buffalo handed the Patriots, 3-1 during Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension, their first shutout loss in the 15-year history of Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots’ previous home shutout loss was in 1993 and the last time the team went scoreless was in 2006.
The Bills limited the Patriots, who started rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett for the second game in a row, to 13 first downs and 1 of 12 on third-down conversions.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 246 yards and a touchdown and ran for 28 yards. Dan Carpenter kicked three field goals for the Bills, but the story of the game was the Buffalo defense.
Linebacker Zach Brown was in on the biggest play of the game when he drilled Brissett in the second quarter to force a fumble and halt New England’s deepest penetration in the game. The home team got into Buffalo territory three times in the game.
Things got so frustrating for Patriots coach Bill Belichick that in the first quarter he slammed his tablet to the ground. Things didn’t get much better. The Patriots, coming off of a shutout of the Houston Texans in Week 3, fumbled five times and had nine penalties.
Brissett, playing with his injured right thumb bandaged was jogging down the sideline when the Bills took issue with where he was on the field and safety Robert Blanton shoved him, starring a fracas.
The Bills were equally rude to the rook once the game began.
Brissett, apparently the less-injured of the Brady backups, allowing him to play and Jimmy Garoppolo to be inactive, did some things right but made several mistakes. He finished 17 of 27 for 205 yards, with tight end Martellus Bennett gaining 109 of those yards on five catches – the fourth 100-yard game of his career.
Buffalo also held LeGarrette Blount, the AFC Player of the Month for September, to 54 yards on 13 carries.
Taylor competed 27 of 39 passes, including seven passes for 89 yards to wide receiver Robert Woods. LeSean McCoy ran for 70 yards on 19 carries and caught a 7-yard touchdown pass that opened the scoring on Buffalo’s first drive.
NOTES: Patriots QB Tom Brady’s four-game suspension ends Sunday. He is eligible to practice Monday, his first permitted team activity since Sept. 4. … A pregame melee on the sideline, started by Buffalo S Robert Blanton with a shove of QB Jacoby Brissett, saw Brissett continue his jog as the skirmish continued. Saying “it goes back to Rex,” Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, speaking on the team’s radio pre-game show, added, “That’s why Rex is Rex and that’s why Bill is Bill (Belichick).” … LB Dont’a Hightower returned to the New England lineup after being out since suffering a knee injury in the opener. … TE Rob Gronkowski, who played sparingly in his 2016 debut Sept. 22, has his first reception of the season Sunday. …The Bills placed WR Sammy Watkins (foot) on injured Saturday, got OT Cordy Glenn back after he missed two games with an ankle injury. CB Ronald Darby (hamstring) also returned, while receiver Greg Salas (groin) missed his second straight game. … Bills RB Reggie Bush was inactive for the first time. He dressed Sept. 25 but did not play.