Sunday, December 29, 2013
Halftime thoughts: Patriots 16, Bills 3
By Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Offering some halftime thoughts as the Buffalo Bills trail the New England Patriots 16-3:
1. This one has unfolded about as expected. The Bills came into the game with the NFL's 20th-ranked run defense and they've looked even worse in that phase Sunday. The Patriots have already gained 173 yards on the ground, including a 36-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount. He is averaging 7.9 yards per carry, while Stevan Ridley is pacing the Patriots with an 8.0-yard average.
2. Also as expected, the Bills' red zone offense -- which entered the game 31st in the league -- hasn't come through. The Bills crossed midfield on their first three drives but stalled out. They are 0-for-1 in the red zone, settling for a field goal on their first possession.
3. Thad Lewis' stat line today: 3-for-8 for 62 yards. Even with the slick conditions today, it's tough to win on the road with a 65.6 passer rating. Whether it's Lewis or EJ Manuel, the Bills have issues at quarterback.
4. Something to monitor: Safety Jairus Byrd left late in the first quarter with an ankle injury. He will not return. Byrd will be the Bills' biggest-name free-agent this offseason. He dealt with foot soreness earlier this season that kept him out of the first five games.