Friday, June 2, 2023

Mac Jones throws just three passes in Patriots’ victory over Bills, fewest by winning team in last 30 years


The weather conditions in Orchard Park were less than ideal, so Bill Belichick took it to the extreme Monday night when deciding to run the football. Mac Jones threw just three passes for the New England Patriots in Monday’s 14-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills, finishing 2 of 3 for 19 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Jones’ three pass attempts were the fewest by a winning team since at least 1991. He had just one completion for 12 yards in the first half and went 1 of 2 for 7 yards in the second half — a performance that will certainly go down in the history books. 

The Patriots had the fewest pass attempts in a game in franchise history and the fewest by any team since 1974. New England ran the ball 46 times — on 49 plays — for 222 yards. Excluding two Jones kneel downs at the end of the game, New England actually had 44 carries for 230 yards — averaging 5.2 yards per carry. 

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With heavy winds gusting, the Patriots didn’t really have a choice in the matter. 

“It was kind of one of those ultimate testers, and we did a great job responding to the test,” Jones said to reporters after the game, via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “It takes a village. … We knew if we held onto the ball, we’d be OK.”

The Patriots did lose a fumble on special teams, but their running backs were flawless in the win. Damien Harris finished with 111 yards and a touchdown and Rhamondre Stevenson added 78 yards while leading the team with 24 carries. 

New England likely isn’t going to make history like this again. The Patriots were the first team since the 1974 Bills to have that few pass attempts in a win and they were the only team to attempt just one pass in the first half of a game since 1978.

Belichick brought football back to its beginnings in Monday night’s win, the fewest pass attempts he’s ever had in a game which he was a head coach — a career that spans 27 years. 

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