After coaching his team to a vital 14-10 win over the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night, Bill Belichick underlined the level of respect he has for his AFC East competitors.
“It was really good to come in here and win. Make no mistake about it: Buffalo’s a really good football team,” Belichick told reporters in a postgame press conference. “They’re well-coached, got a lot of good players, and they play hard and are tough.”
“Good to get the win, really proud of players,” Belichick added. “These guys did a good job on all three units. We played kind of the way we felt like we needed to play to win. In the end, scored enough points. There was a lot of situational football. I thought we, for the most part, handled [it] pretty well.”
The Patriots utilized a basic approach on offense, as rookie quarterback Mac Jones threw just three passes in the entire game. New England harnessed an effective ground game, running 46 times for 222 yards.
Asked if he’d ever been a part of a game with so few passing attempts — at the professional, college, or high school level — Belichick even managed to find some humor.
“Yeah I don’t know,” said Belichick before briefly cracking a smile. “We didn’t throw the ball much in high school.”
A major factor in the game was the weather, with wind gusts making both passing and kicking difficult.
Yet while the Patriots were able to be efficient — Nick Folk went 2-2 kicking for New England — the Bills weren’t able to match the same pace. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass missed a fourth-quarter 33-yard field goal that would’ve cut the Patriots’ lead to one point.
“It was definitely swirling, and kicking up at the closed end to the right of our bench was tough,” said Belichick.
With a singularly focused game-plan centered on the running game, New England was able to find success because of the collective blocking that came from multiple positions.
“Everybody really tried to do a good job; the offensive line, the tight ends, the receivers, they were blocking for us all day,” Belichick noted.
“Obviously the backs ran well,” said Belichick. “Good job, offensively. Josh made a couple good adjustments in the running game like he always does. That defensively helped us too. We felt confident in it, and stuck with it.”
Asked how he feels with the team now sitting at 9-4 following a seven-game winning streak, Belichick kept his focus looking forward to the team’s next game against the Colts on Dec. 18.
“We got a big one against Indianapolis and they’re obviously a good football team so we’ll turn our sights to them,” said Belichick. “I don’t really worry about what happened in the past. We’ll just get ready for Indianapolis. They’re tough and that’ll be a tough matchup for us.”
The Patriots now head into the team’s bye week as the top seed in the AFC prior to the clash with the Colts in Week 14.
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