BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Any hopes of a Christmas miracle and win and in scenario heading into Week 17 were dashed with a 37-16 loss to New England on Sunday.
Stephen Hauschka connected on three of four field goals, as the Bills offense was shutout in the second half.
Tyrod Taylor tossed for 281 yards but was sacked five times by the Patriots.
Buffalo matched New England in the first two quarters of play and entered the half tied at 16. But, the half didn’t end without controversy.
Taylor appeared to thread a ball into Kelvin Benjamin in the endzone for a touchdown, which would have given Buffalo a 27-13 at half. However, after initially being ruled a touchdown, upon further review the league overturned the call and the Bills settled for a field goal.
In a statement, the league ruled Benjamin only had one foot down with control of the football.
In #BUFvsNE, when Kelvin Benjamin gains control, his left foot is off the ground. The receiver only has one foot down in bounds with control. Therefore, it is an incomplete pass. -AL
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) December 24, 2017
Tied at three in the second quarter, Sean McDermott gambled, going for it on 4th and 2. The Bills failed to convert from the six yard line, but Jordan Poyer made up for it on the ensuing drive.
The safety, who was a Pro Bowl snub, picked off Tom Brady and returned it for a touchdown to give the Bills a 10-3 lead.
Brady answered, marching the Patriots 75 for a touchdown to pull even at 10.
Trailing 23-16 in the fourth, McDermott on 4th and 1 at the New England 32, rather than go for it the head coach sent out the kicking team.
Haushcka missed from 50 yards, sending the ball wide right.
Brady made good on the miscue, guiding the Patriots right back down the field and ending with a 12-yard TD to Dion Lewis to give New England a 30-16 advantage.