By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Over the past six weeks, Bills quarterback has been pretty average when he’s not playing against the Patriots.

In four games vs. Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta, and the Jets (three of which were played at home), Allen threw seven touchdowns and five interceptions, completing 56.6 percent of his passes and posting a 73.8 passer rating. In two games vs. the Patriots, Allen threw eight touchdowns with zero interceptions, completing 70.8 percent of his passes and posting a 134.1 passer rating.

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It’s been a bit difficult to figure out exactly how that happened.

But Patriots safety Adrian Phillips has an idea. And it has more to do with the Patriots’ mental status during their 47-17 beatdown in Buffalo than it has to do with Allen.

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“I think physically, we were there. I think mentally, we just weren’t in the right space to go out there and make those plays,” Phillips said Monday afternoon. “And I think Buffalo was, and that’s why they got us — or at least their offense. I can’t speak for the other side of the ball, but their offense was there mentally and physically. And for us, we just dropped the ball on that part. And I think that’s what the difference was. But kudos to them. They showed up and obviously we didn’t.”

The how and the why of the Patriots not being mentally in the moment for a playoff game is a bit of a head-scratcher, considering the obvious stakes and considering the amount of work that went into arriving in that moment. Nevertheless, a veteran defender — who just signed a contract extension to remain in New England for the foreseeable future — says that was the case.

That’s likely a factor as to why Phillips doesn’t see a major gap between the Patriots and Bills in the AFC East, despite the result of Saturday night’s game.

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“They built up a nice roster but I don’t think the gap is huge at all,” Phillips said. “They just made the plays that were out there to be made and we didn’t make ours. And it’s gonna be fun for the next few years, and we’ll look to see how it is at the end of those years. But I don’t think it’s a gap at all. I will always ride with what we got on this side and I think that we’re better than everybody else. We just got to go out there and prove it.”

CBSBoston.com Staff