Patriots’ Season Ends in Blowout in Buffalo


Timothy Ludwig

Bills cornerback Micah Hyde jumps up to make a great endzone interception over Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.

Quinn Sheehan, Contributing Writer

The New England Patriots were one of the NFL’s biggest surprises this season. After finishing 7-9 in 2020 with quarterback issues plaguing the team, Bill Belichick and the Pats returned a year later and proceeded to go 10-7 with rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the defense coming up big game after game. In early December, the team sat at 9-4 after a 7 game winning streak. However, the Patriots would struggle at the end of the season losing 3 of their last 4 regular-season games. 

This put the Patriots as the 6 seed in the AFC and set them up for a matchup against the division rival Bills in Buffalo for the wild card round. New England had gone into Buffalo and beaten the Bills during their 7 game winning streak, but the Bills got the best of the Pats in Foxboro two weeks later. Due to splitting the season series and the teams being very familiar with one another, most expected the game to be a hard-fought playoff battle between two hated rivals. However, this was far from the case, to say the least.

As the game kicked off, temperatures reached -5℉ with the wind chill. These freezing conditions compelled many to further believe that the game would be a close contest, but it immediately became apparent that this would not be true. The Bills took the opening drive of the game all the way down the field and scored a touchdown thanks to an incredible pass from Josh Allen to Dawson Knox. The Patriot’s first drive was going well until an amazing interception in the endzone by Bills safety Micah Hyde ended the drive. From there, it was all Buffalo as they carried a 27-3 lead into halftime and eventually won the game 47-17. The Bills scored every single time they held the ball apart from their last drive where they ran out the clock until the game ended. 

This was no doubt a tough pill to swallow for the Patriots as this embarrassing loss came to one of their most hated rivals and a team that the Pats will likely see in many big games to come in the future. When asked what the biggest reason behind the Patriot’s loss was, Hingham High School senior Ian Grady said, “I think the Pats started off slow like they have done a lot recently and they couldn’t keep up with the Bills offense.”

As the Bills move onto the divisional round to play the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots start their offseason. Last offseason saw the Pats make multiple notable moves so it will be left to be seen if Bill Belichick continues that strategy this offseason through trades, free agency signings, and the draft. Some key players such as Devin McCourty, Dont’a Hightower, and J.C. Jackson are set to become free agents this offseason so the team will have some big decisions to make regarding the roster. When asked what the Patriots should do this offseason in order to improve the team, HHS senior Will MacLachlan responded, “To start off, I think they need to hit on the draft and probably take a linebacker in the first round and a wide receiver or even quarterback in the second round as Mac still has a long way to go. I also think that they should try to get a slot receiver and I’ve heard they might get Calvin Ridley which is a move I don’t mind.” In a crazy season for the NFL, the Patriot’s season matched this craziness with many ups and downs, but the team appears to be trending upwards after a down year last season. This year, the Patriots have proved that they can remain competitive without Tom Brady and it seems that they will continue to be competitive as long as Bill Belichick is the head coach. A long offseason now awaits the Patriots and their fanbase as they wait patiently for the start of another exciting season in the fall.