The New England Patriots took down the undefeated Buffalo Bills in a divisional defensive bloodbath 16-10 to improve to 4-0 on the season.
The defense continued its roll while the offense stalled. In the end it was just enough.
Here are the winners and losers of today’s matchup.
Winner: J.C. Jackson
What a block executed by J.C. Jackson for only the second punt block returned for a touchdown in the Belichick era.
Jackson on top of that recorded his first interception of the season which was the second overall on the day for the team.
The cornerback then had a tremendous toe-tapping interception which was his second on the day and season.
No sophomore slump for the Maryland alum so far.
Loser: Tom Brady
Do not shoot Patriots fans. Brady did not have his best day. At the end of the first quarter, Brady completed just four passes on 11 attempts for 46 yards.
The six-time Super Bowl champion was overthrowing receivers most notably Phillip Dorsett twice in the first quarter alone.
He threw his first interception right to safety Micah Hyde which was one of his worst passes in recent memory.
Brady was never comfortable for an extended period of time and could not get anything rolling.
Everybody has a bad day. Even the best.
Winner: Special Teams
What separates the Patriots from everyone else is the detail and attentiveness towards their special teams.
After Jackson blocked the aforementioned punt, Slater was right there to recover and score his first touchdown of his career.
It is the small details that make the difference.
Loser: Stephen Gostkowski
Regardless of how many field goals and extra points he made today. Gostkowski has now missed more extra points this season than any other.
Whatever he has to figure out, get to the bottom of it because sooner or later changes will be made.
Winner: Jamie Collins
Jamie Collins is an otherworldly presence that somehow gets better by the week.
Collins was spying quarterback Josh Allen the entire game and never let him turn on the jets.
Collins has been stellar and is one of the biggest defensive forces in the NFL. He also added another interception to his stat line.
Loser: Josh McDaniels
The play-calling and decisions made by the Patriots offensive coordinator was needless to say, abysmal.
Poor clock management in the last four minutes with two pass plays and less than 200 yards of total offense puts McDaniels in the loser column.
Winner: Kyle Van Noy
Van Noy took over for Dont’a Hightower as the leader of the defense in his absence and had an amazing performance.
With seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, Van Noy was a part of a two-headed monster at linebacker with Jamie Collins.
Van Noy made the last defensive play hitting Matt Barkley causing a Jamie Collins interception.
The Patriots are now pace for over 70 sacks this season.
Winner: Jake Bailey
Bailey had as good of a performance for a punter that I have ever seen.
One example was the over 50-yard punt in the fourth quarter that completely switched the field position.
His hang time is superb and is one of the most valuable players of this defensive showdown.
One could also argue that he is one of the best punters in the NFL today.