by Rena Spengler
Wild Card Round: Bills vs. Patriots
Two weeks before the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, the Bills had beat the Patriots in the regular season with a 33-21 score. They sealed their AFC East title once again, and won their last two games of the season with ease. Then came the news: the Bills would once again face the Patriots in the Wild Card round at Highmark Stadium. With the game being on a brutally freezing 5 degree night, fans and critics alike excited, and both teams having something to prove, everyone was beyond ready for this matchup.
By January 15th at 8:15pm, you could feel the electricity from the excitement as the game began. With 9:45 left in the first quarter, the first Bills’ touchdown came from a phenomenal throw by quarterback Josh Allen to tight end Dawson Knox in the end zone, taking the score to 7-0. With 5:48 left in the first quarter, the Patriots marched their way downfield to the Buffalo 35 yard line. With quarterback Mac Jones launching the pass towards the end zone, Bills’ safety Micah Hyde intercepts the ball in the end zone. With 40 seconds left in the first quarter, the Bills get their second touchdown with yet another Josh Allen pass to Dawson Knox in the end zone, bumping the score to 14-0.
The Bills wasted no time in the second quarter, driving their way down the field to get their third touchdown of the night with running back Devin Singletary rushing his way into the end zone, making the score 20-0 with a blocked extra point by kicker Tyler Bass. With 1:53 left in the second quarter, the Bills have their fourth touchdown with Singletary rushing into the end zone, making the score 27-0. With 6 seconds left before the half, the Patriots kicker Nick Folk puts the Patriots on the board with a field goal, making the score 27-3.
The Patriots have the ball first in the third quarter, with the second quarter having ended with them getting their first points in the game. With 12:53 remaining in the third, Mac Jones’ pass is tipped and lands in the arms of Bills’ cornerback Levi Wallace, causing the second turnover for the Patriots. With 8:48 left in the third at a first down and 20 yards, Josh Allen launches a pass downfield to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, resulting in the Bills’ fifth touchdown in the game, with the score going to 33-3 with another missed kick by Tyler Bass. With 4:12 left in the third, the Patriots get their first touchdown of the game with Mac Jones passing to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne in the end zone, taking the score to 33-10.
The Bills made their mark once again early on in the fourth quarter. With 13:22 remaining, they have their sixth touchdown of the night with Josh Allen throwing to wide receiver Gabriel Davis in the end zone, making the score 40-10. With 8:37 left in the fourth, the Bills get their seventh touchdown of the night with a short pass by Josh Allen to offensive tackle Tommy Doyle, bumping the score to 47-10. This was also Doyle’s first NFL touchdown. With 1:44 left in the fourth, the Patriots get their second touchdown of the night with a Mac Jones pass to Kendrick Bourne in the end zone, making the final score 47-17.
So… why is it a favorite?
This game will be one of my (and thousands of other football fans) favorite games because this was one of the most historic games in NFL history. The Bills made history in the football league in two ways. This was the only game where every offensive play resulted in a touchdown, with no field goals or safeties. Also, this was the biggest loss for the Patriots in Bill Belichick’s history of coaching, with them losing by a deficit of 30 points. Whether someone was watching this as a Bills fan, Patriots fan, or a fan of any football team, this was a phenomenal game to experience.