Guest of the League
February Fix Est. 2017
Best Ball - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Pats beat Bills 24-12, earn 10th straight AFC East title

Sun Dec 23 4:59pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOSER
AP Sports Writer

Players: Brian Hoyer, Julian Edelman, Deonte Thompson, LeSean McCoy, Steven Hauschka, Rex Burkhead, James White, Cordarrelle Patterson, Robert Foster, Isaiah McKenzie, Sony Michel, Josh Allen

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) passes under pressure from Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy (93) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, left, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speak at midfield after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes under pressure from New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, left, and defensive back Devin McCourty, right, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) runs from Buffalo Bills linebackers Tremaine Edmunds, left, and Lorenzo Alexander (57) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, front, breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Foster, rear, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


New England Patriots running back James White, right, celebrates his touchdown run with lineman Shaq Mason during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


FOXBOROUOGH, Mass. (AP) The New England Patriots earned their 10th straight AFC East title with Sony Michel running for 116 yards and a touchdown in a 24-12 victory over the Buffalo Bills 24-12 on Sunday.

With the Eagles win over the Texans, the Patriots are back in the No. 2 spot in the AFC. A Patriots win over the Jets next week would give New England a first-round bye in the playoffs.

New England improved to 7-0 at home this season and became the first franchise in NFL history to earn playoff berths in 10 straight seasons. It also marked the Patriots' fifth straight win over the Bills and their 26th series sweep of Buffalo.

Brady went 13 of 24 for 126 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions - his lowest output since he passed for 123 yards in a 2003 loss to the Bills.

But with the touchdown he joined Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers with at least 10 seasons of 4,000-plus passing yards. Manning has 14 such seasons, Brees entered the day with 12 and Rivers has 10.

It was Michel's fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season.

It helped mask Brady's mild day. The two interceptions were his third time with multiple picks in a game this season. He now has 11 interceptions in 2018, his most since 2013.

Brady's touchdown pass of the game came thanks to a heads-up play by Julian Edelman in the third quarter .

Leading 14-6 and facing fourth-and-4 on the Bills 32, Brady found Edelman over the middle on a quick slant. Edelman was tackled and rolled up by safety Rafael Bush, but Edelman never touched the ground. He got up and sprinted into the end zone.

Brady's interceptions were among three turnovers by the Patriots on the day, but Buffalo was only able to turn them into three points. Leading 24-6 in fourth quarter, he was replaced by backup Brian Hoyer.

The Bills got back running back LeSean McCoy after a one-game absence with a left hamstring injury. He had a quiet return, rushing six times for 9 yards.

Rookie quarterback Josh Allen was bottled up for most of the day, limited to 20 of 41 for 217 yards with two interceptions. He ran five times for 30 yards. Buffalo finished with 72 rushing yards, the first time in five games it failed to rush for 100 or more.

After going three plays and out on their first drive of the day, the Patriots went to the run game to score the game's first touchdown. New England ran six straight times, capped by a 4-yard TD run by Michel. It was Michel's first touchdown since New England's Week 12 win over the Jets.

Following a Buffalo punt, the Patriots crossed into Bills' territory again, but gave the ball back when Rex Burkhead fumbled. But Stephen Hauschka's 43-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar.

After both teams exchanged punts, New England pushed its lead to 14-0 in the second quarter via a 27-yard touchdown run by James White .

NO OFFENSE

Buffalo's first six drives of the game were a regression for an offense that had shown promise in recent games. The Bills went three plays and out three straight times, followed by six plays and the missed field goal; three-and-out; and one play and an interception by Allen.

The Bills returned the favor when Lorenzo Alexander picked off an errant pass by Brady. But Buffalo again failed to convert the turnover into points, turning the ball over on downs when Allen's deep, fourth-and-3 pass for Robert Foster fell incomplete.

INJURIES

Bills: LB Julian Stanford left in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. ... WR Isaiah McKenzie was evaluated for a head injury in the second quarter but returned in the second half. ... WR Deonte Thompson left in the third quarter with a toe injury.

Patriots: WR Cordarrelle Patterson left with a knee injury in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Bills: Host Miami next Sunday.

Patriots: Host the Jets.

Player Notes
Robbie Gould Apr 26 1:40am ET

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the team will not trade franchise-tagged kicker Robbie Gould. The veteran kicker isn't interested in a long-term extension with San Fran and has requested to be traded. If not, he has also threatened to hold out this summer. Gould was hoping to be on the free-agent market and wanted to return to Chicago, where his family resides. Despite his frustration, the 36-year-old booter made 97.1 percent of his 34 field-goal tries last year and is an 87.7 percent kicker in his lengthy career. He should remain on the map as a viable fantasy kicker for the 49ers despite his unhappiness.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Apr 26 1:30am ET

Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said that wide receiver Tyreek Hill "will not take part in any team activities" while he's being investigated for child abuse. A voice recording has surfaced that gives evidence towards Hill's mistreatment of his son while talking to his fiance. The boy suffered a broken arm, and the couple could lose custody of the child. Hill is likely to face a lengthy suspension from the NFL despite not being formally charged with any crime. The 25-year-old has become one of the most productive receivers in the NFL after recording 87 catches for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. It might not matter, though, as he could be released by KC eventually. His absence would hurt quarterback Patrick Mahomes' overall upside, although tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Sammy Watkins could benefit with more targets.

From RotoBaller

Josh Rosen Apr 26 1:30am ET

The Arizona Cardinals are prepared to keep quarterback Josh Rosen if they don't receive a suitable trade offer for him. Rosen is firmly on the trading block after the team selected QB Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the first round on Thursday night. The Giants, Dolphins and Chargers have discussed Rosen with the Cardinals, but he profiles as a backup, at best, for all three teams. If a trade happens, it'll probably come on Friday. However, no matter how it shakes out, it doesn't look like Rosen will be a starter for any team in 2019. The Cardinals traded up into the top 10 to take Rosen in last year's draft, but that was with Arizona's previous coaching regime.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Tillery Apr 26 12:10am ET

The Los Angeles Chargers selected Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery with the No. 28 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Tillery has a high football IQ and is extremely athletic. The Chargers needed help on both lines, so Tillery fills a big need. There is evidence that he can be a dominant football player, but he'll need to be coached up at the next level. He has versatility and can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive scheme. The Bolts need Tillery's big body to clog up lanes and rush the passer.

From RotoBaller

Deandre Baker Apr 26 12:10am ET

The New York Giants traded up with the Seahawks and selected Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Baker is a very consistent football player and is the first straight corner taken in the 2019 draft. He's good at breaking up passes and making tackles in the open field. Baker doesn't have elite speed, but he has great instincts and could become a lockdown corner in the NFL. He can play zone or man coverage and is physical on the outside.

From RotoBaller

Brian Burns Apr 26 12:00am ET

The Carolina Panthers selected Florida State edge rusher Brian Burns with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Burns will bring the heat off the edge for the Panthers in his rookie season. He's an athletic freak and put on some weight without losing any speed before the NFL combine. Burns has quick-twitch speed and will help a Carolina D that really needs to rush the passer much better. He should make an immediate impact in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Jeffery Simmons Apr 26 12:00am ET

The Tennessee Titans selected Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Simmons was found guilty of malicious mischief in 2016 in an incident that involved several women, which is why he fell in the first round this year. Off-field issues aside, Simmons is a good football player that should be able to produce on Tennessee's defensive line. A lot of teams took Simmons completely off their draft boards because of his background. He has top-five talent, so he could wind up being a steal if he can stay healthy. Because of a knee issue, Simmons is a candidate for the Physically Unable to Perform list to begin the 2019 season.

From RotoBaller

Darnell Savage Apr 26 12:00am ET

The Green Bay Packers traded up with the Seahawks and selected Maryland safety Darnell Savage with the No. 21 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. It's Green Bay's second pick of the first round on Thursday night. Savage is extremely versatile and had seven interceptions the last two years with excellent ball skills in the secondary. He's also a good tackler, has great range and can also cover receivers in the slot. Savage will be a Swiss Army knife for Green Bay's secondary in 2019 and beyond.

From RotoBaller

Matt Ryan Apr 26 12:00am ET

The Atlanta Falcons traded up with the Rams and selected Washington offensive tackle Kaleb Mcgary with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Mcgary doesn't have great length but is physical and is just a solid athlete overall. The Falcons really put an emphasis on their offensive line in the first round, which is great news for quarterback Matt Ryan and the team's running game. Mcgary could wind up playing right tackle in his rookie season in Atlanta.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Apr 26 12:00am ET

The New England Patriots selected Arizona State wide receiver N'keal Harry with the No. 32 pick overall in the 2019 NFL draft. It's no secret that the Patriots need wide receiver help with Josh Gordon suspended and tight end Rob Gronkowski retiring. Chris Hogan also left in free agency. Harry checks a lot of boxes and works hard at his craft. It's not easy to pick up New England's offense, so Harry will have his work cut out for him and will need to develop chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, but he could be a sneaky late-round flier in redraft leagues.

From RotoBaller

Clelin Ferrell Apr 25 11:50pm ET

The Miami Dolphins selected Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. He becomes the second Clemson defensive lineman to go in the first round this evening behind Clelin Ferrell, who went to the Raiders at No. 4. Wilkins might've been Clemson's best defensive lineman, though, and he can do amazing things for his size. Wilkins can move laterally and has excellent speed and is versatile in different defensive schemes.

From RotoBaller

Frank Clark Apr 25 11:50pm ET

The Seattle Seahawks selected Texas Christian defensive end L.J. Collier with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. The Seahawks acquired this pick by sending defensive end Frank Clark to the Chiefs this week. Collier doesn't have elite speed, but he has excellent technique off the edge and produced in college. After Seattle traded Clark, they'll hope that Collier can pick up the slack as an edge rusher pressuring the opposing quarterback.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Apr 25 11:30pm ET

The Oakland Raiders selected Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. This is the selection that Oakland gained from the Cowboys when they traded receiver Amari Cooper last season. Abram had some really good seasons in college and welcomes contact in the secondary. He's a very good hitter and blitzer. Abram has very good cover skills and can also play in the nickel package well. He can cover tight ends and slot receivers and won't shy away from making plays around the line of scrimmage. The Raiders need a quarterback in the secondary, and Abram can be that for them.

From RotoBaller

Preston Smith Apr 25 11:20pm ET

The Washington Redskins traded up with the Colts and selected Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Sweat's draft stock dropped significantly because of a heart issue that made many teams take him off their draft boards entirely. He showed excellent combine speed and has incredibly long arms. Sweat is a gifted athlete, so he could be an absolute steal in this draft if his health issues don't hamper him in his NFL career. Washington needs a pass rusher to replace Preston Smith, so Sweat should help them do that.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Brown Apr 25 11:10pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens selected Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Hollywood Brown is cousins with Antonio Brown and has blazing speed. However, he's dealing with a Lisfranc foot injury and it's unknown if he'll be ready for training camp. Brown is electric with the ball in his hand and fits a huge need for a Ravens team that desperately needs production from their receiving corps. But on a run-first team, how will Brown fare, especially in his rookie season? Brown has tantalizing upside in the long term, but we wouldn't expect a whole lot right away. He could get off to a slow start if his foot injury causes him to miss out on development this summer.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Apr 25 11:00pm ET

The Houston Texans selected Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard with the No. 23 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked the most in the NFL in 2018, so you could say they've had trouble protecting their signal-caller. He has the feet, balance and athleticism to play in the NFL. Howard has a lot of upside and will immediately improve Houston's weak offensive line, which is great news for both Watson and the team's rushing attack.

From RotoBaller

Marshawn Lynch Apr 25 11:00pm ET

The Oakland Raiders selected Alabama running back Josh Jacobs with the No. 24 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. This was the selection that the Raiders acquired when they shipped defensive end Khalil Mack to the Bears last season. Jacobs split time in Alabama's backfield. He's a finisher with the rock in his hand but doesn't have a ton of breakaway speed. Jacobs is more of a north/south runner and is willing to block in all situations. He has great instincts and should be a big part of Oakland's backfield in 2019, as they lost Marshawn Lynch to retirement. Jacobs should have value in single-season formats this season, but the upside might be limited initially depending on how the Raiders utilize him.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Apr 25 10:50pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles traded with the Ravens and selected Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Dillard is excellent at pass protection, so he'll be tasked with keeping quarterback Carson Wentz healthy for an entire season. His arm length is suspect and could hurt him, but he's got good feet and will be put on the spot right away at the next level.

From RotoBaller

Joe Flacco Apr 25 10:40pm ET

The Denver Broncos selected Iowa tight end Noah Fant with the No. 20 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Fant is the second tight end from Iowa taken in the first round, which is a first in NFL history. He is an exceptional all-around athlete and should immediately become the top pass-catching option at tight end for quarterback Joe Flacco in 2019. Flacco notably likes to use his tight ends as well, so Fant could come into some redraft value in his rookie season for the Broncos. Fant had 18 touchdowns for Iowa the last two seasons combined. He will help Denver's passing offense stretch the middle of the field.

From RotoBaller

Odell Beckham Jr. Apr 25 10:20pm ET

The New York Giants selected Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence with the No. 17 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. This is the pick that the Giants acquired from the Browns in the trade that sent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland. Lawrence is the third defensive lineman taken from Clemson in the first round, believe it or not. He was 360 pounds as a freshman recruit. Lawrence is a hog molly on the D line that will take up space and help smother the run. Despite his size, he has solid speed and an ability to push the pocket as well.

From RotoBaller