On Thursday night, will the Patriots force the Bills to punt?

Buffalo Bills Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium
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When the Bills and Patriots met on a windy night in Buffalo in early December 2021, Buffalo punted five times. In a pair of 2021 rematches, both of which Buffalo won, the Bills punted a total of zero times.

Coach Bill Belichick, one of the great defensive coaches of all time, was asked about that dynamic during a Monday appearance with The Greg Hill Show on WEEI.

Here was the very pointed question: “The last two meetings against the Bills did not go your way. Two full games without forcing a punt. How personally do you take the inability of this defense to stop Josh Allen, and is that part of the motivation as you prepare for Thursday night, to host those Bills?”

In response Belichick said this: “Yeah, well, again, it’s a big challenge playing Buffalo. We’ve got to — we need everybody to play well. I mean, we had them in punt formation on the first series of the game in the second game and gave up a fake punt. So, you know, I don’t really put that on the defense. But, regardless, they moved the ball consistently on defense. We certainly didn’t make them punt in the playoff game. So, yeah, it’s — we know it’s a big challenge, and we’re going to have to play better than we played against them in the last two [games] in every area of the game.”

Belichick, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of football dating back decades, has his facts confused. The Bills did not run a fake punt in either the Week 16 game or the wildcard playoff meeting. The fake punt happened during the second drive of a game in New England played in Week 16 of the 2020 season, a Monday night game the Bills won, 38-9.

So in eight quarters of football against the Bills, Belichick has forced zero punts. And zero punt formations. We’ll see whether that will indeed change on Thursday night, in what will be a very significant AFC East battle.

75 responses to “On Thursday night, will the Patriots force the Bills to punt?

  1. Bills will punt, and fans of Belichick the garbage will talk about how the team has improved because of the garbage.

  2. If the Bills go three and out on their first possession, Patriot fans will claim a victory.

  3. BB got the Bills to spend a 6th round pick on a punter, and he won’t even let them use one!

    LOL!

    Keep playing checkers Bills fans..:

  4. Why are you looking ahead to Thursday already when you have an exciting primetime matchup tonight? The skip to the front of the head coaching line Jeff Saturday against Hall of Famer Mike Tomlin. The Steelers will win by at least 3 touchdowns as Tomlin shows just how great of a coach he really is! GO STEELERS!

  5. Biggest game of Mac Jones career. The Bills have some injuries to key players. Let’s see how he responds.

  6. First want to say I am a avid Pat’s fan This team used to be great against average or below average teams but now because of the loss to Chicago they will likely miss the playoffs. The Pat’s secondary is exposed if you are able to shut down Judon and the pass rush. The offense has NO comeback mentality, if they get down they are cooked. Is it Mac Jones? The coaching? or both? Would like to say both, but even last year with McDaniels they could not bounce back once behind. This team has been a shell of itself since 2019, the offensive talent excluding Stevenson, Henry and Parker is average at best. The offensive line is like swiss cheese. Said 7-10 at the start of the season and that is still looking good. AND, by the way, the bills will punt but the Pat’s will get bulldozed.

  7. The Patriots will force the Bills to punt on Thursday, but Buffalo will still win. The question is, how many points will the Bills win by?

  8. Given the state of the Bills offense and the Pats D, i would say if there is a Prop bet on
    Buffalo punting, take that bet.

    This is not the same Bills offense as last year. Inconsistent, lots of turnovers and of course more importantly, no Brian Daboll. All that said, this is a huge game for Buffalo in terms of playoffs, they are 0-2 in the division, and have to then play at home against the Jets and Dolphins the next two weeks after, with an away date at Cincy coming up after that with bears sandwiched in between. This is by far and away the most important stretch of games the Bills have coming up if they want to hope to 1. win the division and 2. possibly compete for home field (unlikely)

  9. Oh good… this is where the “elite” New England defense gives up 30 plus points…

    And wonders why bottom feeding offenses don’t make it to the playoffs.

  10. Tom Brady says:
    November 28, 2022 at 12:49 pm
    Pats gonna pop champagne like the ’72 Dolphins when they finally get Buffalo to punt

    ——

    Tom , you should really be more worried about scoring the mystical 24 points you need to win some games… 18 points a game? Sheesh

  11. The Patriots have done a lot of winning over the years. The Bills have not won squat yet. It’s all about the Super Bowl for the Bills. Beating the Patriots is an expectation but has nothing to do with their season being a success or failure.

  12. I am wondering if Mac Jones is going to find himself benched on Friday morning. Yes, he is playing better but still not playing like a franchise QB. A messy Thursday Night performance could be the end of the Jones Era.

  13. William Lee says:
    November 28, 2022 at 12:15 pm
    Bills will punt, and fans of Belichick the garbage will talk about how the team has improved because of the garbage.

    ————-

    Hmmm. William Lee. Bill Lee. Billy. Ohhhhhh… the redneck?

  14. Macnoodle arm will be lucky to have 110 yards passing. 2-3 of his completions will be to Buffalo defenders. Bills win big 45-3. The soft Patsys will be filling out the draft board in about 2 weeks. They will miss on the first 2 picks as usual. It’s over.

  15. I’m so happy Cheatin Tom Brady is no longer on my team. 🙂

    I like QB’s who aren’t weakling arms who throw 2 yard passes and count on elite teammates and coaching to be good.

  16. Seems as though you have your facts confused also. How could you play a game in early December 2021 and then have a pair of rematches in the same month? Proofread!

  17. BB got the Bills to spend a 6th round pick on a punter, and he won’t even let them use one!

    LOL!

    Keep playing checkers Bills fans..:

    44 Flushes should tell you BB AINT PLAYING CHESS…and he ain’t coaching very well without Brady….and NKeal Harry of course.

    But ya they will make the Bills punt for a change.

  18. cakesw says:
    November 28, 2022 at 12:53 pm
    Oh good… this is where the “elite” New England defense gives up 30 plus points…

    And wonders why bottom feeding offenses don’t make it to the playoffs.

    52Rate This

    —————–

    Is this the part where we need to point out Minnesota was gifted 2 TDs and had NE taken one off the board for 17 point swing or are you going to lie and pretend the Pats D allowed 30 points last week when they only allowed 26, and got PORKED on an obscene amount of missed calls from Carl Davis held blatantly on Hockenson’s TD, the Ham hold on Dugger somehow missed even though he was trying to get to the returner and was being held badly, and then of course the Henry TD, that was magically not called a TD by rule even though the rule was changed in 2018 after incessant whining by cheating franchises who just wanted they wanted?

    Are we taking being genuine and fair or using misinformation and lying like you people do? Hmmm?

    Is it really a lot to ask for my team to not be cheated blatantly during a football game or are you just a phony and want it to happen due to jealousy of the Patriots?

    Hmm?

  19. New England will be the grand spoilers for the Bills as payback for last year. Handing them two loses in December and getting them bumped from the playoffs. Early season Super Bowl favorites, Bills fans will be “Wait.., what?” when the Fins win the Division and the Patriots go in as a wildcard.

  20. As a Pats fan that postseason game last January was the most embarrassing performance in the team’s history. And that includes the 42-10 shellacking they took in the SB against the Bears.

  21. Most cush job in the NFL: Bills punter. That’s the goal for any good offense. Keep your punter on the sideline. In the 2 consecutive seasons the Browns only won 1 game, they punted 96 times. That record will stand until the earth crumbles.

  22. >> the Pat’s will get bulldozed.

    The Bills are a great team that has won against a lot of strong teams, *but* are they dominant? The last four weeks they beat the lions by a field goal, beat the browns by a touchdown, lost to the Vikings by a field goal (the Patriots were back and forth with the Vikings last week), and lost to the Jets by a field goal (the Patriots beat the Jets twice). The Patriots have been middling so far, *but* they have flashed in each aspect of the game (offense, defense, and special teams). The problem is they haven’t done all three in the same game. So, I would say that Buffalo definitely should be the favorite, *but* I can see the Patriots upsetting them if they can get good performances from all parts of their team at the same time.

  23. jameshodges says:
    November 28, 2022 at 12:44 pm
    The Patriots will force the Bills to punt on Thursday, but Buffalo will still win. The question is, how many points will the Bills win by?

    ———————-

    This.They will get their punt SO whoop-dee-doo, and it will not be any big deal because what counts is game outcomes.

    Pats are improved and will make a show of it, but allowing both teams do bring their ’A’ game the Bills are the tougher A game. If one or the other team does not bring their A game then anything goes.

  24. Tom Brady says:
    November 28, 2022 at 12:49 pm
    Pats gonna pop champagne like the ’72 Dolphins when they finally get Buffalo to punt

    ———————-

    We can’t match that. The 72 Dolphins champagne is still being popped by their fans even now.

  25. Both defenses are about equal and have roughly the same amount of points against. Bills offense is obviously much better than the Patriots and have more talented players. I give the Pats the edge in special teams and coaching. Bills should win but will have to punt several times

  26. The NE defense did not look so “Elite” against the Vikings.
    The Dallas defense, in comparison, DID.

    So, begs the question… is everyone continuing to heap praise on how “genius” BB is and how fantastic the Pats defense supposedly is, when in fact they could not seem to even PRESSURE Cousins, while Dallas had him under pressure on pretty much EVERY Snap?

    I’m getting a little fatigued listening to how great NE defense is. Not seeing it.

  27. tingelhoff53 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 1:40 pm
    The NE defense did not look so “Elite” against the Vikings.
    The Dallas defense, in comparison, DID.

    So, begs the question… is everyone continuing to heap praise on how “genius” BB is and how fantastic the Pats defense supposedly is, when in fact they could not seem to even PRESSURE Cousins, while Dallas had him under pressure on pretty much EVERY Snap?

    I’m getting a little fatigued listening to how great NE defense is. Not seeing it.

    02Rate This

    —————-

    Does this include the refs cheating for a total of a 14-17 point swing? NE’s D allowed 26 points while being cheated continuously throughout the game. The reason NE “had no pressure” on Cousins is because they were being held constantly. There’s video evidence of this all over the internet.

    It just didn’t magically occur. Even the Hockenson TD had Carl Davis held blatantly to avoid the sack.

  28. It’s very possible that Belichek never wins a playoff game in his post Brady career. It’s quite possible he never even makes the playoffs again.

    Also, the Patricia and Judge experiment needs to end. Neither are qualified to call plays for the offense.

    He’s Jerry Jones without Jimmy Johnson. Sure diehard fans will talk about those wins for the next 25 years of futility but Jerry Jones has yet to admit that he couldn’t have won those dusty trophies without Johnson. What is it, 3 playoff wins in 27 years?

  29. I’m getting a little fatigued listening to how great NE defense is. Not seeing it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Watch the game against Jets, say the fans of Belichick the garbage. They have said it since the end of 2001 season.

  30. The Pats won’t force the Bills to punt, but it will be highly recommended after numerous, sack-induced, 4th and 19s.

  31. KP says:
    November 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm
    William Lee says:
    November 28, 2022 at 12:15 pm
    Bills will punt, and fans of Belichick the garbage will talk about how the team has improved because of the garbage.

    ————-

    Hmmm. William Lee. Bill Lee. Billy. Ohhhhhh… the redneck?

    +++++++++

    Read the title of the article : On Thursday night, will the Patriots force the Bills to punt?

    Who would raise such a question if he thinks Belichick is NOT a garbage?

  32. tingelhoff53 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 1:40 pm
    The NE defense did not look so “Elite” against the Vikings.
    The Dallas defense, in comparison, DID.

    So, begs the question… is everyone continuing to heap praise on how “genius” BB is and how fantastic the Pats defense supposedly is, when in fact they could not seem to even PRESSURE Cousins, while Dallas had him under pressure on pretty much EVERY Snap?

    I’m getting a little fatigued listening to how great NE defense is. Not seeing it

    ———

    NE’s defense plays really great at times. But it is typically against lesser teams and young QBs.

  33. Is it really a lot to ask for my team to not be cheated blatantly during a football game or are you just a phony and want it to happen due to jealousy of the Patriots?

    Hmm?

    Someone living in a reality he created isn’t entitled to ask silly questions about fantasy events. Your persecution complex is as stale as BB playing chess…you need new material…fire your undertaker who has been writing your recent trash.

  34. What is the line on how many picks the little weakling crybaby Mac Jones will throw? I’m all on that

  35. nhpats2011 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:11 pm
    tingelhoff53 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 1:40 pm
    The NE defense did not look so “Elite” against the Vikings.
    The Dallas defense, in comparison, DID.

    So, begs the question… is everyone continuing to heap praise on how “genius” BB is and how fantastic the Pats defense supposedly is, when in fact they could not seem to even PRESSURE Cousins, while Dallas had him under pressure on pretty much EVERY Snap?

    I’m getting a little fatigued listening to how great NE defense is. Not seeing it

    ———

    NE’s defense plays really great at times. But it is typically against lesser teams and young QBs.
    —-
    Barmore is missed hopefully he raises them to the next level. Nice to see Wise having a great year. This will be a great test vs a QB who is not afraid to run. They flunked the last one badly (Fields).

  36. This Bills fan is VERY nervous about this game. It will be a close game. Allen’s elbow is an issue.

  37. I do get a chuckle out of the Bills fans. Spent 20 years waiting to get on top of the Pats. Only to now be looking up at the Dolphins. Hahahahahaha. But hey, at least you didnt punt the last 2 games. Most teams have a parade for a Lombardi, the Bills went 2 games without punting. Pop the corks

  38. Remember when everybody wanted to pull the cord on Josh Allen and Tua after year two?? Mac is a ten year starter. Dang, the guy completed 87% and threw for almost four hundred on Thursday. He’s done far more with far less than the other two guys did in their first 25 games.

  39. Is it really a lot to ask for my team to not be cheated blatantly during a football game or are you just a phony and want it to happen due to jealousy of the Patriots?

    Hmm?

    —————————————

    So you are saying that the Patriots “elite” defense was blatantly cheated when they got steamrolled by…

    Cowboys, Colts, Bills and Dolphins Last year???

    And now the Vikings and Ravens this year too ??

    Wow… and to think… the NFL only cheats for the other team when the other team has a decent offense..

    What are the chances ???

    I will tell you thi though… if New England can back into the playoffs and play a few teams starting Rookie 3rd string QBs…

    They will be really dangerous.

  40. GoodellMustGo says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:20 pm
    nhpats2011 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:11 pm
    tingelhoff53 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 1:40 pm
    The NE defense did not look so “Elite” against the Vikings.
    The Dallas defense, in comparison, DID.

    So, begs the question… is everyone continuing to heap praise on how “genius” BB is and how fantastic the Pats defense supposedly is, when in fact they could not seem to even PRESSURE Cousins, while Dallas had him under pressure on pretty much EVERY Snap?

    I’m getting a little fatigued listening to how great NE defense is. Not seeing it

    ———

    NE’s defense plays really great at times. But it is typically against lesser teams and young QBs.
    —-
    Barmore is missed hopefully he raises them to the next level. Nice to see Wise having a great year. This will be a great test vs a QB who is not afraid to run. They flunked the last one badly (Fields).

    ———

    Agreed. They are actually catching the Bills at a good time. Von Miller being unavailable is big. Lots of other guys out too. And Josh Allen is still not right. How injured is he….who knows but he is certainly not near 100%. Now is the best chance the Pats have to steal a game from the Bills.

  41. Never mind will the Bills punt. With the extensive experience of the offensive coaches and steller play from the O line, how many times will my Pats punt ?

  42. What did the Bills win after their big “no-punt” game that they now hang their hats-of-glory on?

    Super Bowl?

    What. . . No Super Bowl?

    How many trophies have they won in 62 years of existence?

    C’mon! None?!? How does a team NOT win a trophy in 62 years?

    You’d think you could win one by accident in that amount of time!

    How many times have they beaten the Pats in their last 40 meetings?

    OMG!

    Punts? We’re talking about punts?

  43. If the Bills beat the Pats this week what’s the over/under on them making the playoffs? BB can play checkers at home during the playoffs.

  44. Jimmypinthe416 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:19 pm
    Tb6 needs to stop watching football. He obviously is triggered.
    _____________
    He has an obvious psychological disorder.

  45. How many trophies have they won in 62 years of existence?

    C’mon! None?!? How does a team NOT win a trophy in 62 years?

    You’d think you could win one by accident in that amount of time!
    _____________
    Do a little research on the AFL and you will discover that you are wrong, oh so wrong.

  46. They will force a punt or few but it won’t matter. Bills will still win and pats will go home feeling down.

  47. billz68 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:49 pm
    Regarding William Lee…how about Billy Lee from the Jeans commercials?
    —————————————————-
    Is it a non-speaking role?

  48. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    November 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm
    I am wondering if Mac Jones is going to find himself benched on Friday morning. Yes, he is playing better but still not playing like a franchise QB. A messy Thursday Night performance could be the end of the Jones Era.

    ————-

    I was leaning that way before the last game, but I think that was a mini break through and he will probably either get the rest of the season, of if they are truly out of the playoff hunt, maybe they give Zappe a run.

    Given the way the Bills have played lately against teams that the Patriots handled, I expect it could be closer than the Bills would like, but the Bills will certainly expect to win.

  49. billsaredue says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:26 pm
    This Bills fan is VERY nervous about this game. It will be a close game. Allen’s elbow is an issue.

    ———–

    I think it comes down to the Patriots defense. If the Patriots defense look like they did against the Jets it will be a close game. If it looks like it did against the Vikings it might not be.

    The Patriots offense showed signs of life, and the Bills defense is depleted, but I still don’t see the Patrots getting more than mid 20s. The Patriots D will have to hold the Bills to 27 at most to have a shot I think. It will be tough.

  50. billz68 says:
    Regarding William Lee…how about Billy Lee from the Jeans commercials?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Never thought Belichick ever tried to be funny.

  51. lowlyfinfan88 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:43 pm
    If the Bills beat the Pats this week what’s the over/under on them making the playoffs? BB can play checkers at home during the playoffs.
    ——————-
    This is as close to a must win game as it gets for NE without being an elimination game. IMO

  52. billz68 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 3:00 pm
    Ooops…that’s BUDDY Lee…Bills will get a W. Maybe a close game?

    ——-

    Bills should win. I’ll be happy if Pats keep it close or force a punt! 😁

  53. Tb6 needs to stop watching football. He obviously is triggered.
    _____________
    He has an obvious psychological disorder.

    /—-

    In all fairness, that’s pretty rampant on this site

  54. Anything can happen on these Thursday games. Roger made sure they’d have double the primetime exposure late in the year.

    A close defensive game. NE 15 Bills 13

  55. williamshatnerstoupee says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:55 pm
    Jimmypinthe416 says:
    November 28, 2022 at 2:19 pm
    Tb6 needs to stop watching football. He obviously is triggered.
    _____________
    He has an obvious psychological disorder

    ———
    He proved that when he refused to honor his net

  56. All I’m going to say is, they need to run the table including Buffalo to make the playoffs from here out. Or, if they lose, lets stop the experiment that made the offense WORSE with better players.

  57. I think teams get jobbed all the time with bad calls. It’s part of the humanness of the game. Fans need to stop making excuses- especially some pats fans in this article.
    Someone here was saying that Belichick is pretty good at confusing young QBs. Veterans Not so much.

  58. How stupid do you have to be to believe the refs are trying to make you lose? The Bills play checkers? They sure are good at it. Force the other team to toss the chess board and play their game. Patriots aren’t that good. Many lucky breaks and BTW, half the team has been injured, and are almost back to full speed. I guess praying for injuries is a sure way to pay a price. Some guys just don’t know football.

  59. The Patriots lost a winnable game in Minnesota last week which certainly has a negative effect on their playoff goal. That means they are going to have to win a game that maybe was perceived to be unwinnable, or less winnable. That can certainly happen, as it’s a matchup game, and then there is the any given Sunday angle. But it has to happen. Losing in Minnesota, but winning vs Buffalo would actually be better for NE (assuming for now they were only allowed to win one of the two games), because I bel9ieve NE’s path to the playoffs will come via a tie breaker given the log jam in the AFC. A win vs Buffalo is a division win, and a conference win, and both records will be a huge factor in 3+ way tie breakers and subsequent head to head/division record tie breakers between AFC East teams. Currently, the Patriots have an edge in those categories, and they have head to head games against many of their playoff competitors remaining. So, it’s all in front of them. They could fight their way in, or crash and burn. The good news is the offense showed serious signs of life last week. The bad news is that the defense and special teams, which had been winning them games, did not have their usual results for the last game. Had either been just a bit more successful, they likely win that game. They need to have all three phases play well, and that hasn’t really happened yet this season. More will be revealed.

  60. Love that the Bills are doing well and Allen looks like the real deal BUT these whiny Bills fans are just insufferable…. Win something, for love of God, before you anoint yourself the next great team….. Until then…. Wide right is your team legacy and Scott Norwood your team mascot!!

  61. thaswussup says:
    November 28, 2022 at 11:58 pm
    The Patriots lost a winnable game in Minnesota last week which certainly has a negative effect on their playoff goal. That means they are going to have to win a game that maybe was perceived to be unwinnable, or less winnable. That can certainly happen, as it’s a matchup game, and then there is the any given Sunday angle. But it has to happen. Losing in Minnesota, but winning vs Buffalo would actually be better for NE (assuming for now they were only allowed to win one of the two games), because I bel9ieve NE’s path to the playoffs will come via a tie breaker given the log jam in the AFC. A win vs Buffalo is a division win, and a conference win, and both records will be a huge factor in 3+ way tie breakers and subsequent head to head/division record tie breakers between AFC East teams.

    Patriots lose on Thursday and they are 2-2 in the division with games vs MIA and @ BUF which isn’t a great place to be. They also have the worst record in the division vs the NFC East which won’t help in common games tiebreakers.

    Zappe and the offense having 1st and 10 from midfield in OT needing a FG to win in Lambeau and getting nothing might really come back to bite them.

  62. GoodellMustGo says:
    November 29, 2022 at 9:50 am
    thaswussup says:
    November 28, 2022 at 11:58 pm
    The Patriots lost a winnable game in Minnesota last week which certainly has a negative effect on their playoff goal. That means they are going to have to win a game that maybe was perceived to be unwinnable, or less winnable. That can certainly happen, as it’s a matchup game, and then there is the any given Sunday angle. But it has to happen. Losing in Minnesota, but winning vs Buffalo would actually be better for NE (assuming for now they were only allowed to win one of the two games), because I bel9ieve NE’s path to the playoffs will come via a tie breaker given the log jam in the AFC. A win vs Buffalo is a division win, and a conference win, and both records will be a huge factor in 3+ way tie breakers and subsequent head to head/division record tie breakers between AFC East teams.

    Patriots lose on Thursday and they are 2-2 in the division with games vs MIA and @ BUF which isn’t a great place to be. They also have the worst record in the division vs the NFC East
    —-
    NFC North.

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