As Matthew Slater put it, Sunday’s tilt at New Era Field was a “knock-down, drag-out.”

The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills quickly engaged in a defensive slugfest as the pair of AFC East squads put their undefeated records on the line. Buffalo had every opportunity to pull off the upset on its home turf, but it was the reigning Super Bowl champions who ultimately were victorious when all was said and done.

Unlike their prior three contests, the Patriots did not excel in all three phases. New England received strong performances from its defense and special-teams units, but Tom Brady and Co. simply couldn’t get anything going from wire to wire. Colin Cowherd highlighted the Patriots’ seemingly nonexistent offense against the Bills while playing the “3-Word Game” on Monday.

“Patriots-Bills: Didn’t need Brady,” Cowherd said on FS1’s “The Herd.” “He was actually bad. Josh Allen, sacked four times, picked three times. By the way, some key statistics that New England’s very good in: sacks. They’ve always been good at getting pressures, now New England’s getting sacks. They’ve forced the most three-and-outs. That means they’re making teams really uncomfortable. Yards per drive, New England leads in that, too.”

New England’s offensive woes certainly were not lost on Brady following the game. The 42-year-old admitted to having “mixed emotions” about the Week 4 victory, as he was pleased his team earned the win but was nowhere near satisfied with how the offense performed. In turn, Brady on Monday challenged the Patriots’ veterans to step up as the club tries to find a rhythm and take off.

There’s a good chance Cowherd’s latest three words for the Patriots will be applicable in Week 5, as well. Given how lousy the Washington Redskins have looked through four weeks, New England probably won’t need an otherworldly performance from Brady in order to claim victory in the nation’s capital.

Thumbnail photo via Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Images