ORCHARD PARK NY - DECEMBER 26: C.J. Spiller #21 of the Buffalo Bills makes a catch against Kyle Arrington #27 of the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26 2010 in Orchard Park New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson hauled in five passes for 58 yards on Sunday, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards on the season. That's about all that went well for Buffalo on Sunday, as they were thoroughly outclassed by the visiting New England Patriots, getting blown out of Ralph Wilson Stadium by a final score of 34-3. New England has now won 15 consecutive games against Buffalo.
The game boils down to one stat: Ryan Fitzpatrick turned the ball over five times (three interceptions, two lost fumbles) and C.J. Spiller added two more lost fumbles, the last on a muffed punt in garbage time. Seven turnovers against the Patriots is never a good idea, and those negative plays directly led to 21 points for the visitors.
Fred Jackson carried the ball five times for 50 yards on the opening possession of the game as the Bills quickly bolted out to a 3-0 lead. It was all downhill from there, as Jackson only carried eight more times (for 31 yards) in the ball game. Meanwhile, the Patriots got 220 total rushing yards as a team, and Tom Brady was his usual self, throwing for three touchdowns, two to local product Rob Gronkowski.
If this game was supposed to be a measuring stick for the "progress" Buffalo made after its 0-8 start, then it's clear that the Bills fell well short of minimum requirements to hop on the roller coaster that is NFL respectability.
Buffalo is now 4-11, and they'll wrap up their 2010 campaign next week against the New York Jets.