New England Patriots: 5 observations from Week 16 win over Bills

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 24: Mike Gillislee /

 On Sunday, the New England Patriots improved their record to 12-3 by defeating the Buffalo Bills by a score of 37-16.

Ho, ho, ho! Christmas came early for New England Patriots fans, because the Pats locked up a first round bye in the upcoming playoffs. Bills fans, on the other hand, ended up with a lump of coal in their stockings.

The Christmas Eve Day contest was a lopsided affair, as the Patriots waltzed to a three touchdown victory. The game wasn’t a blowout from the first whistle, though.

By no means was this a perfect game from the Patriots, and they’re not going to tell you that it was. I mean, can you imagine a scenario in which Bill Belichick has no criticism for his team? That’s a knee-slapper.

Heading into this game, the Patriots knew they needed to win in order to put themselves in the best position possible.

With a little help from Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers, the Patriots secured a crucial first round bye, which will give them ample preparation and recovery time. Belichick’s master plan, including the Garoppolo trade, is going according to plan.

Welcome back to my weekly column, where I write about 5 things I found notable from the Patriots game. It could be anything from a great catch to a funny sign I saw in the stands. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, whether you celebrate or not. I’m sure the Patriots win was a bonus. Let’s get to it.