"I'm very sick of it"

Buffalo's decade-long frustrations against New England continued Sunday, as the Bills fell, 17-10...

The Bills were officially eliminated from playoff contention for a franchise-record 10th consecutive season with Sunday's 17-10 loss to the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

But beyond that, interim coach Perry Fewell was likely eliminated as a serious candidate to coach the team in 2010. Fewell, the club's well-respected defensive coordinator who is 2-3 as Dick Jauron's replacement, will be given a formal interview for the job. But beating New England would've been an undeniable feather in his cap.

Owner Ralph Wilson relishes beating teams in the AFC East, something the Bills did better in 2009, but not enough to avoid a complete overhaul of the franchise. Buffalo, 0-6 in the division last season, finished 2-4 this season, splitting games with Miami and New York but being swept by New England for a sixth consecutive season.

The Bills' losing streak to the Patriots hit 13 games and they end the decade 2-18 against them.

"We had a lot of confidence coming in," said Fewell, whose Bills (5-9) failed to take advantage of a very beatable 9-5 New England team missing four starters along its offensive and defensive lines. "We believed we could beat this football team today."

What proved to be the Bills' undoing and a negative reflection on Fewell were Buffalo's 11 penalties for 124 yards.

An opening-game drive that lasted 14 plays and chewed up nearly 10 minutes stalled with a false start penalty at the Patriots' 2-yard line and the Bills settled for a field goal. In the first half alone, Buffalo was whistled for eight penalties, including two for pass interference that set up short touchdown plays for Tom Brady.

"When you play a team like New England that's dominated us over the last 12, 13 ball games, you can't make those type of mistakes and expect to win," Fewell said. "When we do that, we kill ourselves."

And so was killed yet another Bills season.

The only drama left is a shot at ending Indianapolis' undefeated season, should it still be intact, on Jan. 3 at home. The Bills play at Atlanta this week.

"I'm very sick of it," safety Donte Whitner said of Buffalo's losing streak to New England. "They have a little swagger about themselves after they've beaten us so many times. We just have to go out there and beat them to take the smiles off their faces."

Brady threw for just 115 yards and one touchdown, with his biggest plays coming on pass interference calls against Randy Moss and Wes Welker of 43 and 21 yards. Otherwise, the Bills defense held New England to 224 yards offense and 5 of 12 on third down.

Buffalo's offense, however, could muster just 241 yards and was 2 of 12 on conversions. It also gave up six sacks, three to Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

TRENDING: The Bills' losing streak to the Patriots hit 13 games. Their record for the decade against their AFC East rival was 2-18.

BY THE NUMBERS: 26 -- Buffalo recorded its 26th interception of the season, the eighth-best total in club history and most since 1967.


--QB Trent Edwards replaced a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter but lasted just four plays before leaving the game with an ankle injury after being sacked. He completed one pass for minus-1 yard. If Edwards' injury is serious enough, the backup for Sunday's game at Atlanta would be Brian Brohm.

--CB Terrence McGee left the game with a shoulder/arm injury. He was starting just his second full game since mid-season knee surgery. His status will be updated Wednesday.

--LB Paul Posluszny recorded his third interception of the season and second in two games. He's the first Bills linebacker since Bryce Paup in 1995 with interceptions in consecutive games and the first with at least three picks since London Fletcher-Baker in 2006.

--WR Josh Reed led the team with four catches for a season-best 63 yards, setting up the team's lone TD with a 17-yard catch late in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the game, he dropped what could've been a certain TD pass at the Patriots 3-yard line. His 311 career catches are fifth all-time on the Bills.

--RG Richie Incognito, the controversial veteran cut by St. Louis last week and signed by the Bills, debuted for the Bills at right guard. He was flagged for two penalties but wasn't ejected and gave the team a needed energy boost.

--RG Kendall Simmons, the veteran free agent who was beginning to solidify Buffalo's line with three consecutive starts, was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. His battle with injuries in recent seasons makes re-signing the one-time Pittsburgh Steelers mainstay a questionable move in the offseason.

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