Patriots 24, Bills 17: Halftime thoughts

FOXBOROUGH – Some halftime thoughts as the Patriots wait a few minutes to score again after halftime:

  • The Patriots’ offense is a machine most days, and it really helps when Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt doesn’t have his players prepared. I mean, how can you not be ready for the no-huddle against the Patriots? Again, at times, the Bills couldn’t even get lined up. And is it really a plan to have Nick Barnett covering Wes Welker or Danny Woodhead? What about not trying to reroute Rob Gronkowski ever?
  • Bill Belchick would never let his defense take the field without being prepared to do those types of things.
  • Like the decision to start Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory at safety. Now the big question is when Patrick Chung and Aqib Talib arrive, will it stay that way? Gregory didn’t look great on the last drive, but he hasn’t played in a long time. A lot of rust to work off.
  • I know one thing, Alfonzo Dennard deserves to continue starting.
  • Nice game that Vince Wilfork and Jermaine Cunningham worked on the sack/fumble of Ryan Fitzpatrick early. They’ve been working in more of those little nuances into the defense as the season has progressed.
  • That pass interference call in the end zone against Stephon Gilmore was absurdly bad. Call holding or whatever, but the ball wasn’t even remotely catchable. In the end, it probably gave the Bills time to score before halftime. If the penalty doesn’t happen, the Patriots might have run out the clock.
  • The Patriots’ defense has been so-so. Done some nice work to take away some of Fitzpatrick’s early reads, but if the pressure doesn’t get home and he’s halfway accurate, he’ll continue to make plays.
  • But the big thing is, unless the Patriots start making mistakes on offense, I don’t see how the Bills stop them. Anything the Patriots want to do, they’re able to do it.
  • The interior offensive line started to give up some pressure late in the first half. Dan Connolly (who was not in to finish the half) and Logan Mankins will have to tighten up.

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