The Buffalo Bills notched their first AFC East win in convincing fashion in front of a national audience when they beat the New England Patriots 24-10 on Thursday. The score margin was “only” 14 points, but the difference between the two teams on the field was much larger.
One stat from Thursday’s game that points to the differences in the teams is the time of possession. The Bills held the ball for 38 minutes and eight seconds. They’re one of 15 teams to have a time of possession over 38 minutes (in a non-overtime game) so far this season. Those 15 teams are 13-2 in those games. The only two teams to lose those games are the Bills in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4 against the Bills. Since 1983, teams are 663-80 (0.892 W-L%) when totaling 38 or more minutes of possession.
Time of possession on its own can’t tell us the whole story, as exemplified by the Dolphins and Ravens games, but time plus the score margin shows how dominating of a performance the Bills had over the Pats on Thursday.