Overall, Jones was just 2 of 3 for 19 yards, while the Patriots ran for 222 yards on 46 carries.
The three successful attempts are the rarest in Patriots history, while the two completions are their smallest, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The three pass attempts were the fewest of any team since the Bills only attempted two in Week 3 of the 1974 season (against the New York Jets).
The Patriots’ fewest passing attempts in a game were previously five, in the 1982 “Snow Plow” game against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass. – a game played in a scoreless snowstorm in the fourth quarter when the stadium worker Mark Henderson drove a tractor across the field to clear a spot for the game’s only basket.
The Patriots improve to 9-4, with the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs all 8-4. The Bills, meanwhile, fell to 7-5 and their margin of error to win the AFC East was reduced.
Jones threw just one pass in the first half – when the Patriots were leading 11-7 at the break – and completed it for 12 yards. The pass sailed high into the wind and tight end Jonnu Smith pulled it down.
These were the fewest first-half pass attempts by a team since at least 1978, which is as far as data is available, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The previous record was two, which happened three times, most recently by the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14 of 2017 – also in Buffalo, in snow conditions.
Overall, Jones’ only other achievement was a screen pass in the fourth quarter.
The only other games in Patriots history in which they completed just two assists were in December 1982 and November 1969, both against the Miami Dolphins.
Their first try passed tied for the second smallest in franchise history, and was their smallest since Dec. 4, 1983. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the last NFL team to win a game with one or less. first tries, doing so in 2010 with Dennis Dixon as quarterback.