Run Defense Improves
The last two weeks against Miami and Pittsburgh - the run defense was terrible. This week the run defense improved. For the first time in four weeks, Danny Shelton was active. The big nose tackle made his presence known.
"Honestly, it felt like my NFL debut," Shelton said. "I was happy to be out there with the guys. My mindset is executing and do your job. We wanted to set the tone and it started with the defensive line. The linebackers did a great job helping out. We wanted to dominate the line of scrimmage and I think we do that."
Trey Flowers said the team returned to the basics this week. Jason McCourty said given the Pats struggles against the run he was not surprised Buffalo wanted to run the ball.
"Identifying what's hurting us and getting back to the fundamentals was the key. Not pressing blocks and not tackling was hurting us," Flowers said.
It was also great to see Ulfomba Kamalu, who was activated Sunday from the practice squad, have a tackle for a four yard loss in the first half. Kamalu was excited for the game and when his opportunity came he took advantage.
"It felt amazing. It was a great release. It has been a long year," Kamalu said.
Great guy, even better name.
Pats Secondary Played Well
J.C. Jackson and Jason McCourty each had an interception. Jackson is playing really well. The Pats have had success with undrafted free agents like C David Andrews and Jackson. The Bills are limited at wide receiver with Zay Jones who disappeared for most of the day and then had a touchdown with the outcome decided. The Pats limited Bills rookie WR Robert Foster to four catches for 52 yards. Foster had been playing well the past few games.
CB Duke Dawson, DE Keionta Davis, DE Derek Rivers, OL James Ferentz, S Obi Melifonwu, LB Brandon King and DE Adrian Clayborn were inactive Sunday. Clayborn was likely inactive because he struggled to contain the edge against Bears mobile QB Mitchell Trubisky. Bills QB Josh Allen is more mobile. Bill Belichick praised the special teams after the game. Belichick noted the contributions of P Ryan Allen and Matthew Slater. Belichick said he is lucky to have coached Slater - the third longest-tenured Patriots player. He compared Slater to former special teams captain Larry Izzo. Pats play the Jets next Sunday at Gillette Stadium at 1 p.m.