It was a common theme in the preseason, and the hope that all of the penalties would dissipate when the regulars got more comfortable consistently playing alongside one another will have to be put on hold for at least one more week.
Buffalo committed 12 penalties (10 accepted for 75 yards) against the Patriots, and it seems like most of them brought their respective drives to a screeching halt, and giving the ball back to Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. Here is a quick break down of how the penalties affected the game.
- Patriots 1st and 10 at their own 14. Encroachment on pretty much the entire D-Line. Pats converted the 1st and 5 on their next play and punted 7 plays later. Inconsequential.
Bills 2nd and 8 at BUF 43. False Start - Scott Chandler. Instead of 2nd and 8, Buffalo is forced into 2nd and long, thrown and incomplete pass, then a screen to Spiller for 0 yards and punt. The Bills probably have way more options for a 2nd and 8 play than a 2nd and 13 play. May have impacted play selection
- Bills 4th and 13 at BUF 38. After the previous drive stalled out Buffalo is forced to punt. NE returns the punt to their own 35, but a facemask penalty on Moats moves them to the 50. Bills D hold for 9 plays allowing only 20 yards, but the short field gives the Patriots 3 points. Points off penalties
- Bills 1st and 10 at BUF 31. On the third play of the drive, Manuel hits Woods for a 19 yard gain up to the 50. The play is called back on hands to the face by Glenn. Instead of 1st and 10 at the 50, the Bills now have 1st and 20 at their own 21. A 3 yard run, a -2 yard completion and incomplete pass later, the Bills are forced to punt. Drive stopper.
- Patriots 1st and 10 at NE 46. Offsides - Hughes. Penalty is declined after a 14 yard swing pass to Vereen. Incosequential
- Patriots 1st and 10 at BUF 29. 12 men on the field accepted after a Vereen 5 yard run. Patriots are given 1st and 5 at the Bills 24, but fortunately Ridley decides the ball is too heavy and lets Searcy run it back 74 yards for the TD. Luckily this one didn't have an impact.
- Patriots 3rd and 4 at NE 33. Encroachment - K. Williams. Patriots get a free 3rd down conversion, and punt 5 plays later from the Bills 37 yard line to pin the Bills at their own 11. Free 1st downs are never good. May have impacted field position.
- Bills 2nd and 8 at BUF 38. Short pass to Spiller for 8 yards and first down brought back on an illegal block in the back by Scott Chandler. Instead of 1st and 10 at the Bills 46, they have 2nd and 11 at their own 35. Next play Goodwin fumbles. Turning a first down into a 2nd and long 13 yards closer to your endzone. Awesome.
- Patriots 3rd and 10 at BUF 47. Offsides - Hughes. The penalty was declined after Vereen went for 19, but giving the Patriots another chance at 3rd down had they not converted would have been brutal.
- Bills 3rd and 1 at BUF 42. Hands to the face - Urbik. Manuel flares a pass out to Freddy, which goes for 15 yards and a first down. The penalty however, negates that play, and instead of 1st and 10 at the Patriots 43, we not have 3rd and 11 at our own 32. Next play goes for 8 and we punt. Biggest blunder of the game in my opinion. Up by 4 and driving late in the 3rd. The play would have put us close to field goal range with a fresh set of downs.
- Bills 1st and 10 at NE 42. Holding on Graham. CJ runs for a 4 yard loss and the penalty is declined. Inconsequential because we got stopped.
- Bills 4th and 12 at NE 44. Illegal formation - Moats. After going 3 and out on the previous drive Buffalo punts. The punt is downed at the Patriots 10, and 5 yards are tacked onto the spot. Patriots take over 1st and 10 from their own 15. Patriots end up kicking a 33 field goal 10 plays later. I don't think that can be attributed to the penalty without some wild stretch of the imagination.
There it is. 12 penalties, 10 were accepted. By my unofficial tally, if you take into account the amount of yards that were negated by penalties, the 10 accepted penalties took away two first downs, 117 (75 in penalty yards, and extra 42 in yards that were gained but called back) and gave the Patriots a free 3rd down conversion. Also, of the 4 penalties committed while the Bills had possession of the ball, they converted 0 first downs after those penalties on those respective drives. It's hard to sustain drives with stupid mistakes, and Buffalo made that very clear on Sunday.
Hopefully this gets taken care of this week at practice.