After the loss in the wild Monday Night Game against the New England Patriots, the Buffalo Bills’ nerves are on edge. While many fans and pundits blame Bill Belichick’s conservative game plan for the win, Bills coach Sean McDermott wants none of it.
Munich – A Monday Night Game that many fans will remember for a long time.
In the New England Patriots’ 14-10 win over the Buffalo Bills, one player in particular dominated the action: the never-ending wind, which caused problems for the players throughout the entire game.
While the Bills tried with all their might to mercilessly pull off their game plan despite gale-force winds, the Patriots chose a different approach. Given the conditions, coaching legend Bill Belichick relied almost exclusively on the running game. 46 run attempts were matched by just three attempted passes – yet this tactic was enough to win the game.
What sounds like a brilliant move to many fans, Head Coach Sean McDermott did not want to let it go so easily.
McDermott mourns possibilities
“Let’s not put Bill Belichick any higher than he deserves at this point anyway,” the 47-year-old chided at the post-game press conference, “Whether it was Bill or anybody else in the end. They beat us, that’s enough,” McDermott remarked, visibly annoyed.
For him, it wasn’t down to the game plan, it was down to the execution. “If they told me before the game that we were going to start on average at the 40 yard line and he was going to start at the 23, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. We took one of four redzone opportunities, they didn’t take their only one,” he said of his team’s supposed lack of chances.
“With all due respect, that wasn’t on Bill Belichick. In the end, it’s about what you do with your opportunities. And what did we do with it? Lost the ball on the 30-yard line. It was just sloppy football,” he concluded.
Bills beaten again in the run game
At the end of the game, the Patriots stood at 222 rushing yards as a team. Bill Belichick often put a sixth offensive lineman on the field to create even more space for the much-busy running backs. German fullback Jakob Johnson was also in the lineup as an extra blocker on half of all snaps.
In fact, though, the Patriots weren’t the first team to make life difficult for the Bills in the running game. A fortnight ago, McDermott and Co. were mercilessly overrun by the Indianapolis Colts – back then, the Bills defence even had to swallow 264 yards and four touchdowns in the running game.
So Belichick apparently not only took his cue from the weather, but mercilessly exploited an already well-known weakness of the Bills. The difference: The weather conditions played a role in the sense that the Bills had few answers ready on the offensive side – and gave away their own opportunities.