BOSTON (CBS) — When the Patriots ran all over the Bills a few weeks ago, handing Buffalo an embarrassing loss on their home field, Bills head coach Sean McDermott had no desire to sing Bill Belichick’s praises. Asked about the psychological warfare that goes into a head-to-head matchup with Belichick, McDermott didn’t feel the need to give the Pats head coach any credit for his game plan or the victory.
It came off as extremely dismissive and a bit whiny at the time.READ MORE: Las Vegas Raiders Reportedly Preparing To 'Make A Run' At Josh McDaniels
“Let’s not give more credit than we need to give credit to Bill Belichick in this one. Whether it’s Bill or anybody else, they beat us,” McDermott said after Buffalo’s 14-10 defeat to the Patriots on Monday Night Football. “When we start with average field position of the 40-yard line and he starts with the 23-yard line, and we were 1-for-4 in the red zone and they were 0-for-1 in the red zone — if you give me that ahead of time, I like my chances. With all due respect, it’s not a Bill Belichick-type thing.
It was interesting because the Bills and the Patriots were set to meet again in a few weeks, and McDermott essentially gave Belichick plenty of “bulletin board material” for their Week 16 rematch. But McDermott did ease off that stance quite a bit leading up to Sunday’s game in New England, and after his Bills got the best of Bill and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon to retake control of the AFC East, McDermott was singing a much different tune about Belichick when chatting with MMQB’s Albert Breer.
After beating Belichick and the Patriots, 33-21, McDermott had nothing but praise for Belichick. He even said that trying to beat Belichick makes him and every other head coach better.READ MORE: Patriots Reportedly Sign Special Teamer Harvey Langi To One-Year Extension
“I’ll talk about that quote, first of all,” McDermott said to Breer. “I know what I meant to say, and I have the utmost respect for Bill. And it was more about what I and our team didn’t do. And things sometimes take on a life of their own, I guess. But look, Bill Belichick makes me a better coach. He’s the standard. And so he just … he challenges even the opposite coach to continue to grow. It’s so hard to beat his team.
“And at the end of the day, I’m just very thankful for the opportunity to bring our team here, and I thought our guys played really hard today,” he added about Sunday’s win.
Both teams now sit at 9-6 on the season, though the Bills have the upper hand in the AFC East thanks to their 4-1 record against the divisions. (New England is 3-2 against the AFC East.) Buffalo just needs to win home games against the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets to clinch its second straight AFC East title.MORE NEWS: Devin McCourty Will Take Some Time Before Making A Decision About His Future
After dropping his first six matchups with the Patriots, McDermott has now won three of his last four meetings with Belichick and New England.