When the Patriots and Bills first met in the 2021 NFL season, it was expected to be a divisional settlement. It certainly turned out that a strong wind, which reached speeds of 50 miles per hour in the gusts, turned the game into a short slugfest.
The Bill managed to throw the ball because Josh Allen has one of the strongest arms in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Patriots didn’t trust rookie Mac Jones to carry the load, so they relied heavily on their running game. In fact, 93.9 percent of their offensive games were running games.
Somehow the Patriots still managed to pull themselves out. They beat the Bills by 11 yards and beat them 14-10 on the leaderboard. Jones threw only three passes in total, which is the least since Joe Ferguson threw three passes in the 1973 Bills win.
Let’s revisit Mac Jones’ historical game and why exactly the Patriots refused to throw it with him during that “Monday Night Football” showdown.
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Why Mac Jones threw so few passes vs. Bills in week 13?
Jones threw only three passes against Bills due to the weather. Conditions for the evening – characterized by strong winds blowing all night and potentially reaching up to 50 miles per hour – would make it difficult for Jones to throw the ball accurately and could result in bad throws and turns.
As such, Bill Belichick decided to keep the ball on the ground and ensure that Jones didn’t have to make too many big games to stay in the game.
“We didn’t know what it would be,” Belichick said of the game plan. “That’s the way it turned out.”
Indeed, the Patriots have found much success on earth. During the competition, they ran 222 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per attempt. They wore the Bills’ defensive front and were able to lead three scoring runs during the game. It included a 64-yard touchdown run by Damien Harris.
Jones didn’t mind taking on a limited role. He knew his experienced coaching team knew what he was doing.
“Coach Belichick and Coach Josh (McDaniels) have been in all sorts of elements that exist and know what it means to win,” Jones said. “I think we knew that sticking to the ball would be fine.”
Jones also thought that the game plan with the dominance of the country was good and praised his teammates for its implementation.
“We had a game plan and of course it changes a bit with the elements. But at the end of the day, I think we had the look we were looking for to play with the ball, and we just kept going.” Jones said at his post-match press conference. “Like I said, the assault line made holes, and these guys were running hard, not to mention that the entrances got there and blocked it, too. Everyone played their part, and it was just great to watch and see how everyone was doing.” . “
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Mac Jones highlights pass attempts vs. Bills
Below you can see all three Mac Jones attempts to pass against the Bills.
Jones’ attempt at the first pass came at the end of the first quarter. He found Jon Smith wide open near the first mark down and managed to get him within range so he could play with the ball. The throw wasn’t nice because of the wind, but it did.
Jones’ second throw came at 6:50 in the fourth quarter. The Patriots ran the ball 34 times in a row before let Jones try a pass in the form of a game. He tried to get it to Nelson Agholor, but it was broken.
Jones’ attempt at the final pass came right after Agholor’s incomplete. He launched a short screen for Brandon Bolden. This was his last attempt last night and he completed 2 of 3 passes in 19 yards.
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Statistics Mac Jones vs. Bills
Jones’ numbers against the Bills were not impressive in two games. This is understandable given that the Bills allowed only one touchdown and six interceptions in five games against rookie quarterbacks this year, but they are still a deviation from his numbers against other teams.
In fact, what Jones did in two games against the Bills has faded compared to his annual averages in one game.
|Mac Jones||% completion||Overtaking yards||Pass TDs||Eavesdropping|
|vs. accounts (total)||45.7||164||0||2|
|vs. other teams (per match)||69.1||242.3||1.3||0.7|
Of course, Jones threw only three passes in week 13, but his overall record against the Bills over 35 assists is far from sparking. That means the Bills have the best defense and have allowed the least yards in the NFL this season, so Jones is far from the only player to fight them.
Still, Jones will have to do a little better as a quarterback for the Patriots to beat the Bills in a wild card round. They will still rely heavily on the running game, but the percentage of completion below 50 and no touchdowns are unlikely to shorten this match.