Patriots pick up road victory over rival Bills
The Associated Press
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Damien Harris scored on a 64-yard run in blustery conditions in which Mac Jones attempted just three passes, and the New England Patriots shored up their familiar place atop the AFC with a 14-10 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
Defensive back Miles Bryant sealed the victory by batting down Josh Allen’s pass at the goal line with Buffalo facing fourth-and-14 at New England’s 18 with 1:55 remaining.
New England (9-4) won its seventh consecutive game, improved to 6-0 on the road this season and now has a two-win edge over the Bills (7-5) in the AFC East standings. The two will play again in New England later this season.
The Patriots leaned heavily on their ground game out-gaining the Bills 229 to 99 in yards rushing, with the cold, windy snowy night negating Allen’s strong-armed passing attack.
The Patriots never trailed with Nick Folk hitting two field goals — both with the wind at his back — from 34 and 41 yards on the night.
The Patriots have their bye week this Sunday, while Buffalo must pack up and play at Tampa Bay on late Sunday afternoon.
n Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. Coach Brandon Staley said that Allen’s status “is day to day right now, and hopefully we’ll have some good news on him in the next few days.” The Chargers (7-5) — who are in possession of the AFC’s second wild-card spot — host the New York Giants this week before a key matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 16. If Allen is vaccinated, he could return to practice if he remains symptom free and has two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. He is tied for second in the league with 86 receptions and is 71 yards away from his fourth 1,000 yard season in the past five years.
n Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur says there’s a possibility three of his injured Pro Bowl players from last season could return to practice this week. The Packers have been playing without 2020 All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) as well as cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (back). Alexander and Smith were second-team selections in the 2020 All-Pro balloting. LaFleur said Monday they “potentially” could practice this week as the NFC North-leading Packers (9-3) return from their off week and prepare for a Sunday night home game with Chicago (4-8).