Newton’s late fumble kills Pats rally in 24-21 loss to Bills

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Following a slow first half where they recorded just six points, the New England Patriots twice rallied in the second half of Sunday’s contest in Buffalo, but were unable to do so a third time as they fell to the Bills, 24-21. The loss pushes the Patriots' losing streak to four games, their longest stretch without a win since 2002.

New England (2-5) looked to go ahead for the first time in the contest when Buffalo DT Justin Zimmer forced a Cam Newton fumble with 37 seconds to go in the game. The turnover at the Bills' 13-yard-line closed the game out for Buffalo, who moved to 6-2 with the win.

The Bills scored touchdowns on their opening drives of both halves, with RB Zack Moss finding the end zone twice at the end of each sequence.

Facing an eight-point deficit with less than six minutes to go in the third quarter, the Patriots embarked on a five-play, 37-yard touchdown drive, marking the first time New England had found the end zone since their Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos.

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The drive was set up by a 15-yard return by Gunner Olszewski, which put the ball at the Buffalo 37-yard-line. Less than three minutes later, RB Damien Harris tore off a 22-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots just two points down. Newton (15-for-25, 174 passing yards, rushing TD) found Jakobi Meyers in the end zone for the successful two-point conversion to tie the score on the next snap.

And after the Bills responded with a two-yard touchdown run by Josh Allen (11-for-18, 154 passing yards, INT, rushing TD) at the end of a nine-play 45-yard drive, the New England offense went back to work.


This time, the Patriots needed seven plays to drive 72 yards downfield before Newton ran in a two-yard score of his own to retie the contest with 9:36 remaining in the game.

The New England defense bent but did not break on the ensuing Buffalo drive, allowing the Bills to move the ball all the way down to the Patriots' 10-yard-line before holding them to a go-ahead field goal. That defensive stand set the stage for New England’s final drive, which took 12 plays and 3:35 off the clock before Newton’s fumble essentially ended the game.

The Patriots were without CB Stephon Gilmore, WR Julian Edelman and WR N’Keal Harry in the loss.

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