Bill Belichick is usually even-keeled on the sidelines during games, but after his New England Patriots gutted out a wacky win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, he couldn’t stop himself from celebrating.
The Patriots came out on top in the Week 13 AFC East rivalry game thanks to a power-running game and a complete defensive effort. New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones attempted just three passes and Belichick dialed up 46 run plays on the way to a 14-10 victory.
The gameplan was particularly bizarre given the league’s emphasis on throwing the football this past decade, but was borderline necessary given the conditions in Buffalo. Wind whipped around Highmark Stadium throughout Monday’s game, making it difficult to move the ball through the air or do just about anything on special teams.
What came out of the blustery conditions was a Belichick masterclass on controlling the line of scrimmage. The Patriots offensive line dominated up front as New England averaged nearly five yards a carry. At one point, the Pats called 32 straight run plays.
After the New England defense batted down a final pass from Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Belichick was noticeably elated on the sidelines. Take a look:
Bill Belichick was so happy about this stop 😂
— ESPN (@espn) December 7, 2021
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) December 7, 2021
Belichick was probably not only excited about his unique gameplan being the right decision in the end, but also about what the win means for the Patriots hopes in the AFC East. New England (9-4) now sits a game and a half clear of Buffalo (7-5) in the division standings and alone atop the conference.
The Patriots have won seven games in a row and have to be treated as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. With a completely revamped roster and a rookie quarterback under center, Belichick deserves ample praise for the job he’s done as both an executive and a head coach this season.
He’ll now take the week off before the Patriots return to action on Dec. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts.