Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/2/12
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When you’re a hammer, everyone looks like a nail. Brandon Spikes was the hammer that delivered bone jarring hits that changed the game.

Spikes had gotten lost with the influx of new defensive players.Sunday reminded us why we were so excited when they drafted him in 2010. Spikes had his best day as a pro, forcing two fumbles, one that may have saved the Patriots season. His crunching goal line hit on CJ Spiller turned around the game, keeping the score at 14-7.

Although they had trouble defending the pass over the middle, the defense put together a strong showing. Cornerback Devin McCourty had two interceptions in keying a defense that forced six turnovers and had three sacks.

McCourty finally lost his cautious approach and aggressively went after the ball. He was also solid in run support. Vince Wilfork continues to lead by example delivering hard hits on Donald Jones that sent the receiver to the locker room early. Nothing went right for Buffalo after building  a 21-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter, combining for two first downs and 31 yards on its next four drives. Two of which ended with turnovers.

Despite the return of multiple faceted Fred Jackson, the Bills couldn't duplicate the success they had against the Patriots in Buffalo in 2011. Jackson was the victim of one of Spikes crunching hits that forced him to fumble.

The Patriots stayed in a base 4-3 unless more than 3 receivers came on the field. An injury to Dont'a Hightower threw a kink in those plans, but Rob Ninkovich filled in nicely.

The safeties struggled, especially Steve Gregory who had nightmare day in coverage, looking slow to get over the top and unable to get a good angle on Jones' 68 yard touchdown catch and run. Patrick Chung was beaten twice by Scott Chandler for touchdowns. One, he had tight coverage at the goal line but couldn't pry the ball out after not being able to locate the ball in the air. The other play was a late rotation with Tavon Wilson with Chandler running up the seam.



Putting the middle of the field woes aside, the young defense again showed promise. The contributions they are getting from their young players should help later in the season.
Related articles

They aren't dead yet: Patriots rebound and roll over Bills 52-28 (60maxpowero.com)

Patriots pressure points: before today's snap (60maxpowero.com)

Patriots in an unfamiliar role going into Buffalo (60maxpowero.com)

The Belichick Defense Part 5: The rebirth of the 4-3 (60maxpowero.com)
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