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Buffalo Bills 17, New England Patriots 7: Second-half open thread

The Bills are in command this time around

The Buffalo Bills are heading into the locker room with a 17-7 halftime lead over the New England Patriots in their bid to take over the AFC East. The Bills’ defense has held Mac Jones and the Patriots’ running game in check, while Buffalo’s offense has taken a massive step forward from their performance in the blustery loss earlier in the month. Controlling the game practically from the start, the Bills have held a strong advantage in field position.

Even with two starting receivers on the COVID list, Buffalo’s passing game looks a lot better than it did a few weeks ago. Josh Allen is calm and controlled, avoiding mistakes against the airtight New England defense, and he’s used his mobility to find open throwing platforms in and around the pocket. He has two passing touchdowns so far today. The Bills had one drive end with a short field goal, and another drive failed on downs at the one-yard line. With Devin Singletary (four carries, 13 yards, five catches, 39 yards) also looking good, there’s balance on this team.

Buffalo’s defense is still holding up well against the Patriots’ offense, even with Mac Jones throwing more than three times today. It helps that the Bills’ offense showed signs of life, building an early lead to force New England to pass. Jones is a little scattershot today, and the Bills already have an interception.

Near the end of the half, the game got a little chippy, with Jerry Hughes tackling Jones out of bounds, the referees choosing not to flag him, then flagging a Patriots lineman for unsportsmanlike conduct. Hopefully things don’t spiral in the second half.

With the Bills receiving the opening kickoff of the second half, there’s a good opportunity to score and open the margin beyond anything the Patriots can close. Hold the lead, and they’re in the drivers seat for the AFC East. Here’s your discussion thread for the rest of the game. Go Bills!