Despite all Ryan’s talk, outcome still the same
Rex Ryan was at it again on Sunday, talking about how badly he was outcoached by Bill Belichick.
"This loss is squarely on one man’s shoulders," he said. "It’s on my shoulders. Belichick out-coached me, no question about it, and that’s how it ended up."
That’s usually always going to be a given.
It gives you the feeling, despite the shootout nature of the fourth quarter of New England’s 40-32 win over Ryan’s Buffalo Bills that it’s the same as it ever was.
The noise, both in the stands and in all the week’s bluster, meant nothing.
The AFC East is not something the New England Patriots really need to worry about. At least not the Buffalo Bills.
You can move Rex Ryan around the division but the result will still be the same. He has no real quarterback to take charge, no team discipline, and Sunday was a great indication of how things will go the rest of the way.
That’s partly because of coaching. That’s partly because of the quarterback. They say the coach and the QB are the two most important things for a football team. Let’s see, Ryan and Tyrod Taylor, or Belichick-Brady? Who would you take?
Brady threw an amazing 59 times, second most in his career. He threw for 466 yards, most anyone has against the Bills, and all the bluster this week about Buffalo’s great defense was just a bunch of hot air.
"We ignore all the outside noise, and focus on our job each week," said Patriots receiver Danny Amendola, whose fantastic catch late in the game helped preserve the win.
"It took everybody," Brady said after. "We knew that’s what it was going to take."
Sure, the Bills showed some life. They took an early lead, and they also came back with three straight TDs after the Patriots had grabbed a commanding 37-13 lead. Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich explained after the game that once the Patriots had a feel for the Bills after that first series, they were all set.
"We knew we needed to respond," Ninkovich said. "The quicker the better."
They just allowed Taylor too many chances to get out of the pocket in the fourth quarter as he tried to turn their own defensive aggressiveness against them.
Ninkovich’s words showed a player who has been well coached. The Bills coaching? Buffalo’s 14 penalties for 140 yards tells you just how undisciplined they were. The Patriots almost got caught up in that with 11 penalties themselves, but didn’t quite get that bad.
Belichick was right when the coaching question was brought up afterward and he said "It’s our players. They probably overcame some not-so-great coaching on my part."
Maybe he was talking about the way the Patriots didn’t milk the clock more with a fourth quarter running game. But, as Belichick said for the umpteenth time on Sunday, "I think we did what we thought was best to win the game. That’s what we always do."
What the Patriots always do is beat the Bills when it matters, no matter who is coaching them. Even with an offensive line that was missing some parts, they managed to hold off what is supposed to be one of the best defensive lines in football. More bluster.
"They played great," Brady said. "They’ve been coming together since the spring."
Hey, the Bills gave it a shot. They’ll come to Gillette on the Monday night before Thanksgiving and there will be all sorts of turkey jokes from Ryan then. And the result will be the same.
"I think," Brady said, "the execution is ultimately what it comes down to."
This will be a dull week coming up, with Jacksonville next on the slate. Brady will throw his 400th career TD pass, there will be smiles galore at Gillette.
But they probably won’t be as wide as they were around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tom King can be reached at 594-6468, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.