FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots certainly are not without their issues, but they got back in the win column Sunday with a 24-12 win over the Buffalo Bills.
The Patriots clinched an AFC East championship and playoff spot for the 10th straight season. It’s their 16th AFC East title in 18 years.
The Patriots’ 10th win of the season comes after two straight losses. The Patriots are now 10-5 on the season.
Here’s who helped the Patriots most in the win:
RB SONY MICHEL
The rookie running back had his fourth 100-yard game of the season and his first since the Patriots came off their bye in Week 12. Michel ran hard through some wide-open rushing lanes.
He had 18 carries for 116 yards with a touchdown.
CB JC JACKSON
The undrafted rookie cornerback intercepted his third pass of the season. He read Bills quarterback Josh Allen perfectly, came off his coverage and picked off a passing attempt to wideout Zay Jones.
Jackson was only targeted once. He didn’t allow a reception. It’s almost incredible how great Jackson has been this season as an undrafted free agent.
SS PATRICK CHUNG
Chung allowed just one catch on four targets for no yards. He was also a force in the run game, making open-field tackles on Allen and running back LeSean McCoy.
CB STEPHON GILMORE
Gilmore let up just four catches for 39 yards on nine targets. It was odd to see Allen target Gilmore so heavily. Gilmore, at least early in the game, shadowed rookie receiver Robert Foster.
CB JASON MCCOURTY
The vet allowed one 6-yard catch on seven targets with an interception and pass breakup. He also forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Malcom Brown. It was his best and most productive game of the season coming off two games in which he struggled.
Cornerback Jonathan Jones was flagged for defensive pass interference but allowed just one catch on four targets for 11 yards.
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
It wasn’t a perfect game for Edelman. He was flagged twice and dropped a pass, but he had six receptions for 70 yards with a touchdown and returned two punts for 37 yards.
Without Edelman, the Patriots would have had absolutely no semblance of a passing attack. The rest of the Patriots’ offensive weapons combined for 56 yards. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Chris Hogan had no catches.
Quarterback Tom Brady was just 13-of-24 for 124 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. One interception careened off Gronkowski’s hands. The other came on miscommunication between Brady and running back Rex Burkhead.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images