FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Coach Rex Ryan said following the Buffalo Bills’ 16-0 shutout win Sunday over the New England Patriots that he “expected” to win the game because Tom Brady was serving the final game of his four-game suspension.
“It’s satisfying, but let’s face it, they had a player out,” Ryan said. “They had a player out, and we had our team, so we expected to win.”
Rex Ryan shuts out Patriots in biggest win of his Bills career
Time will tell if Rex Ryan can validate his approach over the long term, but for at least one day he led his team to a win over a divisional foe.
Patriots turn in ugly performance in loss, but still in good spot with Tom Brady returning
The Patriots were shut out at home for the first time since 1993, but the team is still 3-1 with QB Tom Brady set to return from suspension next week.
The Bills, now 2-2, held rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett to 17-of-27 passing for 205 yards and a 86.2 rating. Despite Brissett (thumb) and Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) listed as questionable on the Patriots’ final injury report and the Patriots not announcing their starter until Sunday, Ryan repeated his statement from Wednesday that he knew in advance who would start for New England.
“My sources inside the New England Patriot building said that Jacoby Brissett would be the quarterback,” Ryan said following Sunday’s game. “How about that? I’ll stir some stuff up. ‘Who was it?’ Who was it? I don’t know who it was.”
Ryan, who impersonated Bill Belichick at his Wednesday news conference, again imitated the Patriots’ coach’s style as he began his postgame news conference. In a dull tone, Ryan said, “On to L.A., I guess,” making reference to Belichick’s memorable “On to Cincinnati” remark in 2014. The Bills travel to play the Los Angeles Rams next weekend.
Ryan also brought a Clemson hat to his postgame news conference Sunday, placing it on the podium as he spoke. Ryan’s son, Seth, plays for Clemson.
“That was as good of a weekend as you can have,” Ryan said, referring to his team’s victory and Clemson’s 42-36 win Saturday over Louisville.
Prior to kickoff Sunday, Bills defensive backs and Patriots receivers were involved in an altercation during warm-ups that was quickly extinguished by coaches. Buffalo safety Robert Blanton and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell were among those initially scuffling.
“We were out there doing our normal game routine, warming up as DBs, and a couple of Patriots guy ran through our DBs drills,” Blanton said after the game. “I told him, ‘Hey, don’t run through our DB drills. Can you run on the sideline? It’s disrespectful and you can get somebody hurt,’ because DBs were backpedaling and stuff. And they decided to run through our DB drill again.”
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft commented on the fight minutes later to 98.5 The Sports Hub, saying, “I think if you are less-than-disciplined in your personal approach, your team takes on the attitude of the coach … My guess is Rex [Ryan] probably loves that. … Why Rex is Rex and Bill [Belichick] is Bill.”
In response to Kraft’s comments, Blanton said, “We have a disciplined team. I think it’s clear today we also had the better team.”
However, Ryan agreed with Kraft, saying, “I think so too. They probably weren’t as disciplined as they should be. I think that’s probably what happened.”
Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett was not on the field during the altercation but would have intervened if he was nearby.
“I don’t let that s— happen. … That’s who they are,” he said after the game.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.