The Buffalo Bills had hoped to record the biggest upset in their franchise's history. Instead, they were left to explain the biggest margin of defeat in team history.
Sunday's 56-10 loss to the unbeaten New England Patriots (10-0) at raucous Ralph Wilson Stadium in a game switched to prime time and televised nationally dropped the Bills to 5-5 and snapped their four-game winning streak.
As much as it hurt to be embarrassed by their AFC East rival again -- Buffalo has dropped 14 of 15 games to New England -- coach Dick Jauron and his players were focusing on the next phase of their season, trying to still make the playoffs.
Buffalo is very much alive in the AFC wildcard race with remaining games against Jacksonville, Washington, Miami, Cleveland, the New York Giants and Philadelphia. The Jaguars (7-3), who host the Bills Sunday, are a team Buffalo has to catch.
"It hurts to lose the football game but our pride is still there and we'll come out next week and play hard and give ourselves an opportunity to win that game," strong safety Donte Whitner said. "We made a lot of mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes. We didn't have any turnovers and we didn't get off the football field."
New England quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss had their way with a Bills defense that had made great strides in recent weeks. Brady passed for 373 yards and five touchdowns, four to Moss, and the Patriots scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions.
Offensively, the Bills didn't come close to keeping pace. Star rookie running back Marshawn Lynch missed the game with a severe ankle sprain, leaving quarterback J.P. Losman a one-dimensional target for New England's defense, which sacked him four times and intercepted him once, setting up one score.
The Patriots also returned a fumble by rookie running back Dwayne Wright for a touchdown.
The Patriots, who outscored the Bills 94-17 in sweeping the season series, outgained Buffalo in yardage 510-229, in total plays 70-49, and first downs 30-14.
"We just have to go right by it and get ready for the next one," Jauron said. "They really struggled to get to 5-4 going into this game and we're 5-5 coming out of it. We have six games to go to determine if we go any further and that's our goal. We're deeply disappointed but we have to get by it."
The Bills have to make a couple of offensive decisions for the Jaguars game; whether to keep Losman as their starter and if it's prudent to play Lynch, whose ankle is still likely to be less than completely healed.
--QB J.P. Losman threw for 173 yards and a 47-yard TD in Sunday's 56-10 loss to New England, but made enough errors to leave his status as the team's starter in question for next week's showdown against Jacksonville. Losman tossed a bad interception and misfired on several more passes.
--RB Marshawn Lynch was a pre-game scratch with a severely sprained ankle. Lynch did not practice all week. His status for next week's game at Jacksonville is unclear.
--RB Anthony Thomas earned the start in place of an injured Marshawn Lynch (ankle), who did not dress, and finished with 31 yards on 11 carries.
--WR Roscoe Parrish caught a 47-yard TD pass in Sunday's loss, his first scoring catch of the season.
--TE Kevin Everett, who suffered a spinal cord injury in the season opener against Denver on Sept. 9, has been released from a Houston rehabilitation center. He taped a message for fans, teammates and supporters that was played in the stadium before Sunday's Bills-New England game.
--MLB John DiGiorgio led the team in tackles with 11.