Safety Adrian Phillips signed a three-year extension with the Patriots, so he’ll be sticking around New England for a while and will be a key part of their push to reclaim the top spot in the AFC East from the Bills.
Buffalo has won two straight division titles and Saturday night’s 47-17 win was more one-sided than even a 30-point margin would suggest. The Bills scored touchdowns the first seven times they had the ball and the clock ran out during their eighth possession. The Bills also didn’t punt during a 33-21 win over the Patriots in Week 16, so there would seem to be a pretty large divide for the Patriots to close ahead of next season.
Phillips was part of the defense that couldn’t come up with a single stop on Saturday, but he doesn’t agree that the Bills are well ahead of their divisional rivals.
“They built up a nice roster, but I don’t think the gap is huge at all,” Phillips said, via Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “They just made the plays that were out there to be made, and we didn’t make ours. . . . I don’t think it’s a gap at all. I will always ride with what we’ve got on this side. I think that we’re better than everybody else. We’ve just gotta go out there and prove it.”
The Patriots were in position to prove themselves at 9-4 coming out of their bye week, but they lost three of their last four regular season games before going down again in Buffalo. That leaves the team with plenty to work on this offseason if they’re going to prove Phillips right about how they stack up with the division champs.