Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) makes a catch for a touchdown in front of New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones (31) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Bills shut down Patriots’ offense in one-sided win

Josh Allen threw for two touchdowns and the Buffalo Bills cruised to a 24-10 victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday night in Foxborough, Mass., in a rematch of an AFC wild-card game last season.

Allen completed 22 of 33 passes for 223 yards to lead the Bills (9-3) to their third straight win. James Cook rushed for a game-high 64 yards on 14 carries, and Stefon Diggs had seven catches for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Mac Jones finished with 195 yards and a touchdown on 22-of-36 passing for New England (6-6), which dropped its second straight game. Rhamondre Stevenson totaled 78 yards from scrimmage (54 rushing, 24 receiving), while cornerback Marcus Jones was the team’s leading receiver with two catches for 51 yards and a TD.

Buffalo outgained the hosts 355-242 in total yards, and after allowing a touchdown in the first quarter, surrendered only Nick Folk’s 39-yard field goal with 1:53 left to play.

The Patriots tallied just 31 yards in the third quarter, and Buffalo made them pay at the start of the fourth.

Buffalo’s Devin Singletary ran for a 1-yard touchdown to cap a 15-play, 94-yard drive that consumed 8:55, putting the game out of reach at 24-7 early in the fourth quarter.

In the second quarter, after Josh Uche’s strip-sack of Allen, Matthew Judon recovered the loose ball to set New England up at its own 42. The Patriots moved into field-goal range with a chance to pull within 17-10 before the break, but Folk’s attempt from 48 yards clanged off the crossbar.

New England mixed up its offensive personnel to respond to Tyler Bass’ 48-yard field goal that opened the scoring, as Mac Jones threw a screen to Marcus Jones, who dashed 48 yards to the end zone.

It took the Bills just 4:50 to reclaim the lead, though, as Allen hit Diggs for an 8-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter to put Buffalo up 10-7.

Allen extended the lead with 5 1/2 minutes left until halftime, eluding pressure, scrambling to his right and tiptoeing along the sideline before finding Gabe Davis for an 8-yard score.

–Field Level Media

May 23, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) walks to the practice field for the team's OTA at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots OL Trent Brown (illness) late add to injury report

The New England Patriots added Trent Brown to the injury report Thursday with an illness, making the Pro Bowl left tackle questionable for the team’s game hours later against the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Mass.

The Patriots have already ruled out tackle Isaiah Wynn with a foot injury. Marcus Cannon (concussion) is on injured reserve. Yodny Cajuste (calf) also is questionable.

Brown has started 10 of 11 games he’s played in this season.

Patriots starting cornerback Jalen Mills (groin), starting wideout Jakobi Meyers (shoulder) and safety Jabrill Peppers (illness) also were listed as questionable on Wednesday’s injury report. Offensive lineman David Andrews (thigh) is expected to play.

–Field Level Media

Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson is tackled by Bills Jordon Poyer after a short gain.  New England ran the ball 47 times in a 14-10 win.

Patriots get first shot at Bills since lopsided playoff game

Last time the New England Patriots clashed with the Buffalo Bills, they found themselves caught up in one of their most unforgettable games in recent memory.

But for all the wrong reasons.

Buffalo displayed sheer and utter dominance in the AFC wild-card game back in January, but now the Patriots will finally get a chance to avenge that loss on Thursday night when they face the Bills in Foxborough, Mass.

New England (6-5) never found out how to contain Buffalo’s high-powered offense in the 47-17 setback in last season’s playoffs, allowing seven touchdowns on all seven of the Bills’ possessions. The only “stop” the Patriots could muster was at the end of the game, when backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky kneeled to run out the clock.

Josh Allen threw for 308 yards and more passing touchdowns (five) than incompletions (four) that day.

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson is eager to get back out on the field against Buffalo (8-3) to try and rinse the loss out of New England’s system.

“I’m not gonna just dwell on something that’s in the past, but it was definitely in my mind how we ended the season off last year,” Stevenson said. “I feel like we get a chance to go out there and put a different game on film.”

The meeting with the Bills caps a hectic portion of the schedule for the Patriots, as they will be playing their third game in 12 days. New England pulled out a 10-3 win against the New York Jets on Nov. 20 before falling 33-26 to the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving.

It will also be the first time in franchise history that the Patriots play back-to-back Thursday nights.

Things have been hectic for Buffalo over the last two weeks as well, as it had its game against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 20 moved to Detroit due to record snowfall, and then had to square off against the Lions, again in Detroit, just four days later.

The Bills won both games and now sit in a tie for first with the Miami Dolphins atop the AFC East. But their hold on the division could be in jeopardy as they approach a critical three-game stretch.

Buffalo will face the three other teams in the division over the next three weeks, beginning with New England before returning home to face the Jets and Dolphins.

“We just got to look at it one game at a time. We got this one (against the Patriots) and take care of the rest when it comes about,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said. “Obviously big division rival game this week, and like I said we’re excited to play on the road (in) New England.

“This is what NFL football’s about.”

For the inaugural game of the gauntlet, Buffalo could be without linebacker Von Miller, who missed Tuesday’s practice with a knee injury. Offensive tackle Dion Dawkins (ankle) and tight end Quintin Morris (illness) also didn’t participate.

Running back Damien Harris (thigh), safety Jabrill Peppers (illness) and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) missed the Patriots’ practice on Tuesday. A thigh injury forced center David Andrews to be limited along with receiver Jakobi Meyers (shoulder) and cornerback Jalen Mills (groin).

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai (48) reacts after the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Chargers 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pats sign LB Jahlani Tavai to 2-year extension

The New England Patriots agreed to a two-year, $4.4 million extension for linebacker Jahlani Tavai, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The deal runs through the 2024 season.

Tavai, 26, has started the last seven games for the Patriots and has 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits in 11 games this season. He has played 366 snaps on defense and 210 on special teams.

A second-round pick by Detroit in 2019, Tavai has 168 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 55 games (23 starts) with the Lions (2019-20) and Patriots.

He is currently playing in the final season of his four-year, $6.9 million rookie contract.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) runs with the ball while New England Patriots safety Adrian Phillips (21) defends during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins, Vikings overtake Patriots in fourth quarter

Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Adam Thielen, as the Minnesota Vikings earned a 33-26 win over the New England Patriots on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

Cousins, who capped the scoring with a 15-yard TD pass to Thielen with 9:34 left to play, completed 30 of 37 passes for 299 yards and an interception for the Vikings (9-2).

Justin Jefferson hauled in nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown, and Dalvin Cook rushed 22 times for 42 yards.

Jefferson finished the night with 4,248 receiving yards, the most ever for a receiver in his first three NFL season. The old mark was set by another Viking, Randy Moss, who amassed 4,163 receiving yards from 1998-2000.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was also impressive, finishing with a career-high 382 yards and two touchdowns on 28-for-39 passing, as New England (6-5) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.

Five Patriots receivers finished with at least 60 yards in what was a balanced passing attack.

Hunter Henry hauled in a 37-yard touchdown reception to close New England’s first drive of the second half, putting the Patriots up 23-16. However, that advantage lasted just 13 seconds, as Kene Nwangwu took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the end zone.

Henry seemingly caught another touchdown pass on New England’s next drive, but the ruling on the field was reversed, forcing the Patriots to settle for a 25-yard Nick Folk field goal.

Greg Joseph’s 36-yarder for Minnesota then made it 26-26 at the beginning of the fourth.

Late in the second quarter, Folk booted a 40-yard field goal to put New England up 13-10, but the Vikings responded. Cousins threw a 1-yard scoring strike to T.J. Hockenson, but Joseph missed the extra point.

New England then drove deep into Minnesota territory, and Folk’s kick was good from 23 yards out with three seconds left to send the teams into halftime with the score 16-16.

Minnesota carved up the Patriots’ defense on the opening drive of the game, using eight plays to move 80 yards for a 7-0 lead. Cousins closed the march with a 6-yard TD pass to Jefferson.

It didn’t take long for New England to respond, though, as it scored just 2:19 later when Jones connected with Nelson Agholor for a 34-yard touchdown. Folk added a 34-yard field goal later in the opening quarter.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and forces a fumble during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings hungry for holiday reset, host Patriots

If Marcus Jones hadn’t returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown with five seconds remaining in regulation last week, the New England Patriots may have found themselves in the same salty mood the Minnesota Vikings bring into their holiday meeting.

The Vikings (8-2) followed an overtime win over AFC heavyweight Buffalo with a 40-3 basting at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, leading them to eagerly shuffle into Week 12 preparation and a primetime date with the Patriots (6-4).

Despite recording just 10 points, New England still managed to pull off a 10-3 win over the Jets. The Patriots’ defense was suffocating, holding New York to just 2 yards total offense in the second half and 103 for the game.

New England has stirred up a winning recipe on defense. The Patriots allowed six points and 224 yards in the past two games, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows the Vikings pose a serious threat to that success.

“They’re really good,” Belichick said. “It starts with (Kirk) Cousins, outstanding quarterback, has had tremendous production throughout his career. Again, this year (Dalvin) Cook’s one of the top running backs in the league. They’ve got a wealth of talent at the skill positions and a lot of guys to stop. So yeah, they’re as explosive as anybody we’ve seen.”

Belichick credits a man he once interrogated in a job interview, Minnesota first-year coach Kevin O’Connell. The former quarterback first met Belichick as a pro prospect and passed that interview — he was drafted by New England in 2008.

“He’s done a heck of a job and climbed through the coaching ranks quickly,” Belichick said of O’Connell. “Based on the way the Vikings are playing this year, you could see why he’s done it. He’s done a great job.”

Minnesota converted just 1 of 11 third-down attempts and gained 183 total yards against the Cowboys. Cousins threw for 105 yards, wide receiver Justin Jefferson managed three receptions for 33 yards and Cook added 72 on the ground.

The Vikings’ offensive line, shuffled with left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion) exiting in the second quarter, couldn’t stop the Dallas pash rush and surrendered seven sacks. Darrisaw had a documented concussion in Week 10 before being cleared to play Dallas. He was already ruled out for Week 12.

“We’ve got to learn from this,” O’Connell said. “We’ve got to use this as an opportunity to grow as a football team and handle adversity the right way.”

Although it’s a short week, the Vikings are embracing it, and are looking forward to getting back out on the field to avenge the ugly loss against the Cowboys.

“We don’t like what happened (Sunday), but we have a chance to move on faster than normal,” Jefferson said. “We don’t have time to really think about the loss (or) have time to figure out what was going on. It’s a quick turnaround.

“We’re so glad that we can play Thursday, get this loss out of our minds and get back to where we would like to be.”

Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. missed Monday’s practice with a knee injury and linebacker Za’Darius Smith (knee) was limited.

Center David Andrews (thigh) missed the Patriots’ practice on Monday. Linebacker Josh Uche (hamstring), receiver DeVante Parker (knee), offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn (foot) and Jones (ankle) were limited participants.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) runs with the ball against New York Jets cornerback Michael Carter II (30) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Jones scores late punt-return TD to push Patriots past Jets

Marcus Jones returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown with five seconds remaining as the New England Patriots picked up their 14th consecutive win over the New York Jets, escaping with a 10-3 victory on Sunday afternoon in Foxborough, Mass.

In a game that featured 17 punts, Jones provided the only touchdown to lead the Patriots (6-4) to their third straight win. New England’s defense was suffocating, holding New York (6-4) to just 2 yards of total offense in the second half and 103 for the entire game.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones completed 23 of 27 passes for 246 yards, while Damien Harris finished with 65 yards on eight carries. Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for just 26 yards but added another 56 on six catches.

Zach Wilson threw for just 77 yards on 9-for-22 passing. He also ran for a team-high 26 yards, while Michael Carter went for 19 yards on eight carries. New York’s defense stood strong as well, sacking Jones six times.

New England appeared to score the game’s first touchdown with 10:27 remaining in the fourth when Kyle Dugger sacked Wilson, Wilson fumbled and Davon Godchaux scooped up the loose ball at the Jets 10 and walked into the end zone.

However, Wilson ended up being ruled down, keeping things knotted at 3-all.

Both teams punted on their first two drives, but Nick Folk broke the scoreless tie at the beginning of the second quarter with a 24-yard field goal to punctuate a 14-play, 74-yard drive. New York quickly evened the score, though, thanks to Greg Zuerlein’s 45-yarder on the ensuing possession.

Folk had a chance to give the Patriots a lead before the break, but his kick clanked off the crossbar from 44 yards out with 2:49 left in the first half.

New England totaled seven first downs through the first 30 minutes of action, while the Jets managed just four as the teams combined for 252 total yards of offense.

Folk also missed from 43 yards out with 9:08 left in the third.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots center David Andrews (60) on the sideline during the first half of a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots C David Andrews (thigh) exits game vs. Jets

New England Patriots center David Andrews exited Sunday’s game against the visiting New York Jets in the first quarter with a thigh injury.

Andrews sustained the injury during a 7-yard passing play with 2:21 left to play in the opening frame. He was helped off the field by trainers and didn’t appear to be able to put weight on his leg.

After spending some time on the sideline, Andrews was taken down the locker room and was seen grimacing. His return is questionable.

James Ferentz took over at center.

Andrews, 30, has made eight starts this season after starting all 17 games last year. He is in his seventh season with the Patriots and was making his 94th start in 97 games on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots punter Jake Bailey (7) warms up before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Pats place P Jake Bailey on IR, promote Michael Palardy

The New England Patriots placed Jake Bailey on injured reserve Saturday and promoted fellow punter Michael Palardy from the practice squad.

Bailey has a back injury and will have to sit out at least four games. His earliest return would be in Week 16 at the Las Vegas Raiders.

Bailey, 25, is averaging a career-worst 42.1 yards per punt this season. He also handles kickoffs for the Patriots and has 28 touchbacks on 44 kicks through nine games.

Palardy, 30, was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 1. He has a career average of 45.2 yards on 321 punts with the Carolina Panthers (2016-19) and Miami Dolphins (2021).

Coming off their bye week, the Patriots (5-4) host the New York Jets (6-3) on Sunday afternoon. New England won the first meeting, 22-17, in Week 8 in East Rutherford, N.J.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; East Rutherford,NJ, USA;  New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) scrambling in the second half against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets take another shot at ending Patriots’ hex

When the New York Jets clashed with the New England Patriots in Week 8, it looked as if the Jets were in prime position to shake a 12-game losing streak against their AFC East rivals.

New York was riding a four-game winning streak, quarterback Zach Wilson was playing with confidence, and the Jets were playing at home — which happens to be the only place they’ve been able to win a regular-season game against New England over the past 13 years.

The result? A 13-game losing streak against the Patriots.

However, New York will have another chance to snap the skid when it travels to Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday for a meeting with the Patriots.

Both teams are coming off their bye week.

The Jets (6-3) bounced back from their loss against New England (5-4) with an impressive 20-17 home victory over the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 6.

James Robinson scored his first touchdown as a Jet late in the third quarter against Buffalo. After Tyler Bass’ field goal leveled the game at 17-all, the Jets’ Greg Zuerlein made good on a 28-yarder with just under two minutes remaining for the winning points.

With the Jets coming off the win and a week of rest, coach Robert Saleh said his team is better than it was the last time out against the Patriots.

“I feel like we’ve gotten better every week,” Saleh said. “It still comes down to being able to execute and do our job and do right longer. You’d like to think with every passing day, you get a little bit better.”

Getting better as the season progresses has been something New England has been able to accomplish, as the Patriots have won four of their past five games after a 1-3 start.

The Patriots went into their bye week on a high note following a 26-3 romp over the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Matthew Judon and Josh Uche headlined a masterclass defensive performance, as they each recorded three sacks. Jonathan Jones blocked a punt and returned an interception 17 yards for a TD as New England prevented the Colts from converting any of their 14 third-down opportunities.

It might be harder for the Patriots to apply pressure against New York, though, as New England coach Bill Belichick noted that the Jets have tuned up their offensive line since the teams last met.

“They played Buffalo — that’s the only game we’ve seen — (and they) did a good job defensively against a very explosive Buffalo offense,” Belichick said. “Did a good job in the kicking game, protecting the ball, especially their quarterback.”

The Sunday game will open a busy stretch for the Patriots, who will play three games in a 12-day span. Following the meeting with New York, New England will visit the Vikings on Thanksgiving before returning home to play the Bills on Dec. 1.

“We’re focused on the Jets right now,” Belichick said. “Worry about next week next week.”

Defensive lineman DaMarcus Mitchell could miss the beginning of that stretch, as he did not practice on Wednesday due to an illness. Fellow defensive lineman Christian Barmore (knee), safety Kyle Dugger (ankle) and Uche (hamstring) were all limited.

Wide receiver Corey Davis didn’t participate in the Jets’ practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (elbow) and guard Nate Herbig (shin) also sat out.

–Field Level Media