Instant Reaction: Pats Play Starters For A Half In 17-9 Loss to Bills

Locked into the top seed in the AFC playoff picture, the Patriots didn't have much to play for in this game and their performance reflected that.

With many of the Pats starters sitting in the second half, the Bills came out and secured a win to wrap up their 2014 season, as they held New England to just nine points on the day.

Turning Point: Down by 11 points at halftime, with not much to play for the Patriots sat Tom Brady in favor of rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, who led the offense in the second half.

Key Stat: The Bills won in Foxboro for the first time since 2000, when they knocked off the Patriots 13-10 in overtime.

Patriots MVP: Brandon LaFell - four catches, 70 yards

LaFell operated as the top receiver with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski out, and led the Patriots in receiving yards on the day. He will head into the playoffs as one of Brady's top weapons.

Bills MVP: Kyle Orton - 16/22 for 176 yards and one touchdown

Orton finished a successful season after taking over the Bills starting quarterback start early in the year. He isn't likely to return as the starter next year, but did outplay E.J. Manuel this year.

What's Next?

The Patriots will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs, before hosting a divisional round game. The Bills finish their season at 9-7, tied for 2nd in the AFC East.

Back to the New England Patriots Newsfeed