FOXBOROUGH, MASS - A late-game push by the Buffalo Bills wasn't enough to overcome special teams errors and a big game from the New England Patriots RB Legarrette Blount as they lost their season finale 34-20.
New England ran for 267 yards total, with Blount leading the team with 189 yards. That's a career high for him. One key factor in New England's success is that Buffalo was without DT Marcel Dareus for the first half due to disciplinary issues. The Patriots ran for 173 yards during that time.
Several mistakes on the Bills special teams also played a role in the loss. Dareus was called for an offside penalty in the fourth quarter during a Patriots field goal attempt. The penalty resulted in a New England first down, which was followed by a RB Shane Vereen touchdown catch on the next play.
The special teams miscues continued on kickoff returns. Blount had consecutive returns of over 60 yards immediately following two consecutive Bills touchdowns. The Patriots scored a touchdown and a field goal following those returns. Blount finished the day with 334 all-purpose yards.
Buffalo's offense got going late, but was largely ineffective for the majority of the game. Before the consecutive touchdown drives the Bills had gained 164 total yards.
Bills running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller were a big reason for the late-game change. The two combined for 246 all-purpose yards and Jackson's 37-yard reception early in the fourth quarter set up his five-yard touchdown run later that drive.
Bills QB Thad Lewis was serviceable in the loss, finishing 16/29 with 247 yards and one touchdown.
Ultimately, the Bills actually outgained the Patriots with 393 yards to New England's 382.
The Bills finish the season with a 6-10 record, the same record they had last year.