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Patriots fall after Tom Brady lasted a season


John Tlumacki / Globe staff

It didn’t take long for the New England Patriots to revert to the New England Patriots.

After stumbling through a 7-9 season last year watching Tom Brady win a seventh ring in his debut season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Belichick’s side are back in the AFC class. .

Josh McDaniel’s brilliant plan to get rookie QB Mac Jones to throw just three assists on Monday night paved the way for New England’s 14-10 victory at Buffalo in the Highmark Stadium snow globe and wind tunnel.

Behind those 46 runs in 49 snaps, the retooled Patriots won their sixth road game in six tries and extended their winning streak to seven games to 9-4.

It’s a better half-game than the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens in the blocked conference race.

And the Patriots are still finding ways to stop Peyton Manning, who lost his streak face to face with Brady 11-6.

The quarterback who was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame four months ago explained on ESPN’s “ManningCast” during the Patriots-Bills slog-fest that the Patriots public relations politely declined his request to ‘interview Jones.

“Well, I tried talking to Mac Jones, and he was very respectful,” Manning relayed. “He said, ‘Peyton, I want to do this, but can you call our PR manager, Stacey (James)? Because he has to somehow oversee everything. I said, ‘No problem.’ I called Stacey, very professional, I said, ‘Stacey, I’m talking to Coach Belichick, can I talk to Mac Jones?’ “

The answer was no, although Manning took the rare rejection in stride.

“And I have to tell you that I appreciate the way they handle Mac Jones. They are trying to protect him, to give him as few distractions as possible off the pitch, to let him focus on the football, ”Manning said.

“So, yes, I was refused. He was the first quarterback I haven’t spoken to. But, I appreciate it, ”Manning said.

While Manning is not used to being turned down, he said he understood what the Patriots were doing because he suffered the same treatment in his rookie season at Indianapolis in 1998.

“Bill Polian, as a rookie with me with the Colts, did the same. He didn’t let the marketing department talk to me, the community relations department talk to me. He said, ‘Hey, that’s all football this first season. Don’t bother him, ”Manning said. “And I think the Patriots take the same approach with Mac Jones and it pays off, it works.”

Everything is working out in New England a year after the Patriots stumbled behind aging QB Cam Newton.

Jones, the 15th pick in Alabama’s draft last June, finished 2 of 3 for 19 yards becoming the third NFL quarterback to win nine games in his rookie season, joining Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 and Dak Prescott of Dallas in 2016. He also joined Roethlisberger and Prescott to become the third NFL rookie quarterback to win his first six road starts.

New England have a two-win lead over the Bills (7-5) in the AFC East standings a year after being swept away by the Bills in losing their division for the first time since 2008.

Now the Patriots are getting 14 week off a week before ending with a visit to Indianapolis followed by a rematch with the Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 26, another home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and a road game at Miami Resurgence.

They have the easiest path to the lonely goodbye that goes to the seed and first field of the AFC playoffs throughout the playoffs, something they have typically used in appearances of the AFC. Super Bowl.

Belichick is the only person on the planet who owns more than Brady’s seven Super Bowl rings. They won six together at Foxborough and Belichick won two as Bill Parcell’s right-hand man with the New York Giants before that, giving him eight titles up for grabs with four runners-up.

Although the NFC features the Brady Bucs, Prescott Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers Packers, Kyler Murray Cardinals and Matthew Stafford Rams, would anyone be surprised if Belichick won his ninth ring in total a year after Brady won his seventh?


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