FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WIVB) — The Bills completed a tough stretch in the schedule by winning their third straight road game in 12 days. Sean McDermott’s team dominated the Patriots on both sides of the ball on their way to a 24-10 win.
Here are my 4 observations from Thursday’s win.
- Cookin’ up something new: Entering the game, James Cook had a total of 55 touches in 11 games but was a focal point in Ken Dorsey’s game plan on Thursday night. The rookie running back had 14 carries and six receptions for 105 yards. It was a new and much-needed wrinkle in the Bills’ attack.
- Neutralizing Judon: The Bills offensive line did a pretty good job of slowing down the NFL’s leader in sacks. The dynamic pass rusher came into the game with 13 sacks but was unable to get to Josh Allen. Their success against Judon is even more impressive when you consider the Bills were without starting left tackle Dion Dawkins. The Bills did a variety of things to slow Judon including double teams and chipping him with a back. He did draw one holding call but never made a splash, game-changing play.
- Secondary storyline: Tre’Davious White’s snap count went way up following his season debut in Detroit. He played 15 snaps against the Lions and 33 snaps versus the Patriots. It was good to see him get in the mix with a pass defended and four tackles. Xavier Rhodes got his first start at cornerback for the Bills. Dane Jackson rotated in at cornerback but his snap count went down significantly compared to what we’ve seen this season. It was a rough night for Damar Hamlin who missed a few tackles that led to big runs and was ejected in the fourth quarter for a hit in the endzone.
- Stats and stuff: The Bills’ third down defense was great as the Patriots finished 3-for-12 on third down — and two of those conversions were when the game was in hand. Tremaine Edmunds looked great after missing the last game with an injury, finishing with a team-high six tackles. Stefon Diggs hauled in his 10th touchdown of the season and is now over 1,200 yards receiving. AJ Epenesa and Shaq Lawson stepped up in Von Miller’s absence and made some big plays. The two defensive ends combined for five tackles, three tackles for loss, and a sack. Drops continue to be an issue as Gabe Davis, Diggs, Dawson Knox and Devin Singletary all dropped passes that were very catchable, something they need to continue to try to clean up.
Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more of his work here.