Mac Jones, the New England Patriots’ rookie quarterback, threw a 12-yard pass for a tight end Juno Smith in the first quarter Monday night against the Buffalo Bills. In the fourth quarter, he threw an incomplete pass to wide receiver Nelson Agulor and completed 7 yards to restart Brandon Bolden.
What was so interesting about those three passes that seemed insignificant? They were the only ones who threw Jones every match.
In the face of strong winds in Orchard Park, New York, coach Bill Belichick turned the clock, way back and made NFL The league is on again, and the Patriots beat the Bells, their rivals for the East Asian title. The end result also looked like a bounce: New England 14, Buffalo 10.
‘It was a strange day’ Jones said, adding, “I’ve never seen this much wind, probably, never.”
However, the concept of turning back the clock doesn’t do justice to the oddity of the Monday night game. Even in the days of reckless football, 3-yard runs and a cloud of dust, NFL coaches and quarterbacks still throw the ball every once in a while.
An NFL team attempted three or fewer passes in a game only seven times in the 1940s, and only once in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. But no team has done so since.
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Until Monday night.
Asked about the game plan, Laconi Belichick said Just, “That’s the way it went.” In fact, he returned everything, in fact, to the weather conditions that he described only as “fairly difficult.”
Was the innovative game plan a success? Not really, given the number of Patriot engines that have finished in three workshops and three. But in a bigger sense, yes definitely, given the scoreboard.
The call to play was kind of a microcosm of the Patriots season. Belichick was keen to give Jones a somewhat unambitious menu. Jones has made 384 pass attempts this season, which is below average for the average starter, but his 70 percent completion rate ranks him third in the league.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Josh Allen and the Bills went with the traditional call-in system, though not very effective: He completed 15 of 30 passes for just 145 yards.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Allen insisted on the wind after the match. “A couple threw obviously might have been affected. You have to play the terms here.”
It wasn’t just passing who was affected. It was never clear, for example, where the kicks would go. Jake Bailey of the Patriots fired a missile that traveled 71 yards, and another that traveled 15 yards.
The last time a team attempted three or fewer passes in a game was in 1974, on the same field, in windy and rainy conditions. That day, Bills’ Joe Ferguson only tried twice in a 16-12 win over the Jets. Both were incomplete. Instead, he handed 51 times, including 31 times to O.J. Simpson.
Joe Namath brilliantly threw 18 volleys and completed two. Many others went in unexpected directions. from one objection, mocked namath“Best slider I’ve ever seen.”
All victories, no matter how strange, count as one win. Besides its peculiarities, Monday night’s match was crucial to the East Asian race. The Patriots are now 9-4, versus 7-5 at the Bills, and appear increasingly well placed to reclaim the division title they won 11 years in a row before handing it to the Bills last season.
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