By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Here’s something that simply has not been said too often about the 2020 Patriots: They came out guns-a-blazing on offense.

Sparked by a 27-yard kick return by Donte Moncrief and a 29-yard run by Sony Michel, the Patriots found themselves on Buffalo’s side of the 50-yard line in a hurry.

And on a second-and-13 from the Bills’ 36-yard line, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels dipped right into his bag of tricks. Cam Newton pitched right to Michel on a sweep. But the running back pulled up and lateraled all the way across the field to Newton.

From there, Newton had the option to either run the ball or throw a pass. Considering wide receiver Damiere Byrd was wide open, the choice was easy: let if fly.

And Cam did.

And the pass was right on the money.

All Damiere Byrd had to do was haul it in, and the Patriots either would have had a first down inside the 5-yard line or a touchdown lead.

Alas … Damiere Byrd let the ball hit him in the face.

Right in the kisser.


Newton settled for a short completion on the resulting third-and-16, and the Patriots settled for a 45-yard field goal from Nick Folk.

The gaffe may not have mattered in the long run, though. The Bills would go on to win 38-9.