Rob Ninkovich, unlike Sean McDermott, believes coaching was a prevailing factor in the Patriots’ win over the Bills on Monday night at Highmark Stadium.
Bill Belichick and his staff drew up a risky-but-effective game plan, leaning almost entirely on the running game amid brutal weather conditions in Buffalo. The Bills, meanwhile, failed to adjust during the Week 13 primetime contest and also made some questionable in-game decisions, like challenging the spot of a Mac Jones fourth-down quarterback sneak.
McDermott’s all-around showing Monday prompted Ninkovich to go on a tirade of sorts Wednesday.
“Their mind is gone,” Ninkovich said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “I could say another phrase. We all know what that phrase is. You fill it in. Mind is gone. They’re not going to win this next game. It’s over with. What are we doing? What are we doing, head coach? C’mon. What are we paying you — I don’t know. A lot of money. These head coaches, I’ll let ya. Let’s challenge another QB sneak and see if we get the turn. Like, what are we doing? How about I question your playcalling? How about I question a lot of things you did? Yeah, let’s challenge a muddle of a first down by the Patriots to see if they didn’t get the first down. That’s a terrible challenge. The head coach messed up. Give Bill the credit. He actually told you what he was going to do all day. OK, we’ll run the ball. Can you stop us? No. Guess what? In Foxboro? One hundred to nothing.”
The Bills-Patriots game at Gillette Stadium that Nikovich mentions will be played Dec. 26. If New England downs Buffalo for the second time in four weeks, McDermott’s team very well could be fighting for its playoff life in Weeks 16 and 17.