The Buffalo Bills exorcised and eviscerated some demons on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots in a 38-9 win that started out close, but quickly became a blowout. The Patriots’ offense couldn’t string drives together—or finish them—and their defense wasn’t able to stop Buffalo’s passing attack. As has been the case all season, the rookies were contributors, but not decisive factors in the game. More about how each rookie performed against the Patriots below.
DE A.J. Epenesa
The Patriots attacked him early in the run game with some read-option plays, which the rookie pass rusher defended reasonably well, although some of the play calls left him with no ‘good’ option to take. He was called for roughing the passer against Jarrett Stidham in the third quarter, which wasn’t great but can be forgiven as the game was in hand and he showed good burst on an inside move. In general, against the pass he was winning his fair share of battles even if never got a chance to finish.
RB Zack Moss
Another short but productive day for Moss with 12 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown. Most of his best runs came late in the first quarter, which saw him bulldozing his way through the middle against some lighter nickel and dime defenses. Moss also benefited from some inexperienced New England linebackers, notably on his touchdown run in the second quarter. With Terez Hall choosing the wrong gap, the rookie runner was virtually untouched until it was too late on his five-yard run.
WR Gabriel Davis
The rookie started hot on the first drive with two intermediate catches, but cooled off rapidly as the game went on. Ultimately finishing with three catches for 33 yards, Davis could have had a much bigger day if the Patriots didn’t call a timeout at exactly the right moment to prevent a long touchdown catch, and also if Allen properly leads him away from coverage on a deep shot in the third quarter.
QB Jake Fromm
As with the previous games, Fromm was again a healthy scratch. This has remained the case throughout the season.
K Tyler Bass
Another perfect game for Bass, with a single field goal made to go with five extra points. His is now seven points away from breaking Steve Christie’s single-season points record of 140.
WR Isaiah Hodgins
Hodgins remains on Injured Reserve. He recently had surgery on his shoulder.
CB Dane Jackson
As has been the case the previous games, Jackson did not see the field against the Patriots with both Josh Norman and Levi Wallace now healthy. He remained on the practice squad as a “protected player.”
TE/FB Reggie Gilliam
Unfortunately for him, Gilliam was held out of the New England game while dealing with both knee and hamstring injuries.