Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised the Buffalo Bills Saturday after his team was soundly defeated in an NFL wild-card playoff game, 47-17.
“Congratulate Buffalo on the win today. Obviously they did a great job. We just couldn’t keep up with them tonight,” Belichick said.
“Well coached, team executed well,” Belichick added. “And we just couldn’t do much of anything. So we’ll just pick up the pieces, go back to work here, and find a way to be more competitive.”
The Patriots head into the offseason following the second-worst loss of the Belichick era.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen played a nearly flawless game, completing 21 of 25 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 66 yards rushing on six carries.
Asked where he would rank Allen’s performance in the scope of his career, Belichick reiterated his general thoughts about the Bills as a team.
“They played well tonight,” he said.
On the other side of the ball, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones ended his first playoff game with 238 yards passing, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. His first interception came on New England’s opening possession, when it briefly appeared that Patriot wide receiver Nelson Agholor would be open in the end zone.
Bills safety Micah Hyde sprinted over to make a perfectly timed interception of Jones in the end zone. Still, as Belichick noted, Hyde’s incredible play to generate a turnover was just one of many moments that went badly for New England.
“There are a lot of plays that didn’t go well tonight, so I guess that’s a pretty long list,” he said.
Despite the early postseason exit, Belichick’s Patriots — starting a rookie quarterback — managed to win 10 games and return to the playoffs after missing out a season ago. While it could be seen as a meaningful accomplishment, Belichick was in no mood to savor regular season success.
“We didn’t play well tonight,” he said.
Before leaving the podium, Belichick reiterated his succinct summary of how the game played out.
“They played well. We didn’t. They deserved to win.”