Buffalo Notes: Final Thoughts

The loss to the New England Patriots was a complete breakdown for the Bills who hoped their earlier outing against them would be repeated. The Bills lost in a close one 16-21 October 30th giving them reason to think they could be competitive. The game was anything but, as many fans found out, leaving the stadium early. There were some good things that happened other than the final score. Get inside for some final notes on the Bills loss to their division rival.

--Nine games were played at cold-weather sites on Sunday, and the team with the most rushing attempts won every game. Eight of those were home teams, the exception being the Bills, who had just 12 rushing attempts for 14 yards, both season lows.

Willis McGahee, who was knocked woozy while throwing a block in the first quarter, finished with eight carries for 3 yards, career lows as a starter. The Patriots consistently played eight men at the line and run-blitzed a ton to stop McGahee and pressure quarterback J.P. Losman, who was wildly off the mark with many of his throws in the snow and cold. He was 1-for-9 at one point. Still, the Bills did not show any commitment to running the ball and winning the physical battle up front.

"If you're not completing any passes, the defense is not going to get out (of the box). They didn't have to the whole game," coach Mike Mularkey moaned.

Said McGahee when asked if the coaches stuck with the run enough: "I'm pretty sure they are (committed to the run). We needed to run early and score. But they (the Patriots) played good ball. That's a good defense."

New England entered the game ranked 17th against the run and 31st against the pass.

--Buffalo's 1-7 slide since a brief two-game win streak in October includes three losses by five points or less. However, the Bills also have suffered blowout losses to Oakland, San Diego and New England. Coach Mike Mularkey felt the close defeats hurt a lot more in the big picture.

"We were minutes away from being in a game (on Sunday vs. the Patriots) for first place in the division, instead we're not," he said. "Those close losses I think over time they can just work on you a bit. I know everyone is very disappointed. I know the fans are, but not as disappointed as our team, our staff, our organization is. We had high expectations, and we're going to try and finish strong. We're going to try and play better, get better, and finish this thing off right."

--Defensive tackle Tim Anderson, a second-year pro out of Ohio State, had his best game with seven tackles, a tipped pass and a couple big stops behind the line of scrimmage. But he was more concerned about the final score and the fact Buffalo's losing streak had hit four games.

"I feel like it negates how I played," Anderson said. "I've always felt that way, regardless of what level I've been at. I'm more disappointed in the fact that we lost the game, and how I played isn't really a big deal."

--The Bills have gone 43 games without an individual 300-yard passing game. The last quarterback to top 300 yards was Drew Bledsoe, 314 yards at Jacksonville on Sept. 14, 2003.

--Losman's 51-yard TD pass to Josh Reed with 2:14 to play, which was more run than pass, was only the second touchdown Buffalo has scored in the fourth quarter this season. The Bills have been outscored 103-32 overall in the final 15 minutes. Many observers feel coach Mike Mularkey's demotion of long-time strength and conditioning coach Rusty Jones last year has a lot to do with Buffalo's fourth-quarter collapses. Jones resigned and joined the Chicago Bears, who are 9-4 and lead the NFC North.

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