Winners and losers from Patriots’ gritty win against the Bills

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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
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  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
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Myles Bryant saves the day.

The New England Patriots played what will likely be their most memorable game of the regular season in a windy mess against the Buffalo Bills.

Bill Belichick led his team to a gritty 14-10 win and cemented the Patriots as the No. 1 seed in both the conference and division. Damien Harris’ 64-yard touchdown gave the Patriots the advantage early and they were able to hold on throughout the ugly conditions — which included snow and wind up to 55 mile per hour winds.

The Patriots had one pass attempt in the first half and finished the game with only three pass attempts total. Defensively, New England stopped the run and did enough to win with the few points that were scored.

Here’s the winners and losers from the game.

WINNER: RBs Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson

As aforementioned, Harris’ 64-yard sprint through the middle of the field broke the game open. Jones threw one pass attempt in the entire first half and three attempts in the game — the Patriots wouldn’t have created much offense at all without Harris. He left the first half with nine carries for 89 yards and the score, while totaling as season-high 111 yards and the one touchdown in the game.

Harris sustained a hamstring injury at the end of the first half and that left room for Rhamondre Stevenson, who picked up his slack. The rookie carried the ball 24 times for 78 yards and his grit killed a ton of clock in the third quarter — the final time the Bills had the ball with the wind against their back in the game.

These are the type of plays Stevenson had throughout the game.

LOSER: WR N'Keal Harry

Overall, N’Keal Harry didn’t have a bad game as he was a key blocker — especially on Harris’ touchdown. But, his mistake as a punt returner led to the Bills’ first and only touchdown. The Bills began with the ball on the Patriots’ 14-yard line and immediately threw a slant for a touchdown to Gabriel Davis.

Here’s how close the ball was while hitting Harry’s face mask.

WINNER: DT Davon Godchaux and defensive line

Davon Godchaux, who had ten total tackles, led a Patriots defensive line that held the Bills to 99 rushing yards on the night. The Patriots allowed 270 rushing yards against the Tennessee Titans’ backup running backs and they had a much better performance in a night where running was the emphasis.

Matthew Judon had a sack and moved his total on the season up to 12.5. The Patriots set the edge perfectly and limited Josh Allen to 39 rushing yards — overall, it was a great night in the trenches.

WINNER: Offensive line

The Patriots don’t total 222 yards with their lead back injured in the second half without a dominant offensive line. Buffalo knew what was coming the entire night and Josh McDaniels’ offense pounded the ball relentlessly. This will be imperative with the cold months coming ahead.

WINNER: S Adrian Phillips

Adrian Phillips stepped up in a major way with Kyle Dugger’s absence.

He had five tackles and two crucial deflections against Dawson Knox — his second PBU prevented a touchdown that would’ve changed the complexion of the game.

Phillips’ left the game with a knee injury, but his presence will be crucial for the Patriots going forward.

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