Tom Brady’s thorough dominance of the Bills during his time with the Patriots is difficult to put into words.
So, stats will have to do.
Running roughshod over the AFC East was a hallmark of Brady’s 20 years in New England. And no divisional opponent felt the combined wrath of Brady and Bill Belichick more so than Buffalo, which surely shed no tears when the greatest quarterback in NFL history departed Foxboro to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
Brady made 35 starts against the Bills while playing for the Patriots and won a whopping 32 of them. For comparison, he went 30-8 against the New York Jets — including 1-1 in postseason games — and 24-12 against the Miami Dolphins. Brady went undefeated against the Bills in 15 of his 18 seasons as the Patriots’ starting quarterback.
Preposterously, Brady and the Patriots managed a 16.1 average margin of victory in those 32 victories. An incredible 12 of those wins came by 20 or more points, including six victories by at least 30 points. The most egregious shellacking was a 56-10 road win during the ill-fated 2007 campaign.
You can click here to watch comical highlights from the game.
As for the three losses, the first came in the 2003 season opener. As many New England fans remember, the Patriots released star homegrown safety Lawyer Milloy less than a week before the game, and Milloy joined the Bills just in time to enjoy a 31-0 home victory over his former team. New England suffered a loss to the then-Washington Redskins three weeks later, and after that rattled off 21 consecutive wins, including a victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Brady’s only other losses to the Bills were a three-point defeat in 2011 and an eight-point loss in 2014. New England made it to the Super Bowl in both seasons, including winning it all in 2014. So, every time Brady lost to the Bills, a Super Bowl appearance followed a few months later. Perhaps the embarrassment of losing to Buffalo was all the motivation Brady needed to summit the NFL mountain.
Obviously, Brady’s stats against the Bills were flat-out ridiculous.
He completed 738 of 1,154 passes for 8,669 yards (only the Jets surrendered more) and 70 touchdowns to go along with 25 interceptions. He earned a passer rating of 100 or higher 17 times while just five times earning one lower than 64.6.
Here’s Brady’s average game against the Bills while playing for the Patriots:
Completion percentage: 64
Passing yards: 248
Yards per completion: 11.7
Passer rating: 97.2
These days, the Bills have a quarterback in Josh Allen who largely can go toe-to-toe with Brady. But that was far from the case before Allen was drafted by Buffalo in 2018.
From the time Brady took over as the Patriots starter to the time he left Foxboro, the Bills went through 18 starting quarterbacks, including such luminaries as Alex Van Pelt, Kelly Holcomb, Brian Brohm, Thad Lews and Jeff Tuel. Not exactly a Murderers’ Row.
Time after time, Brady carved up Buffalo’s defense while the Bills trotted out a quarterback who barely could function. The games usually were over by halftime.
We likely never will see another team and quarterback dismantle an opponent as consistently as Brady and the Patriots did when facing the Bills. And yet, Brady and Belichick’s dominance over Buffalo isn’t even the most impressive thing they accomplished during their remarkable time together.