The New England Patriots played their favorite whipping boy of the Bill Belichick era the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park NY. The problem was in the first half Buffalo looked anything like whipping boys.
The Bills were able to stymie the Patriots offense for a little over 30 minutes on Sunday. After a quick start and a Stevan Ridley 6-yard run for a touchdown on New England’s opening drive, Buffalo put the clamps on.
The Bills were able to force a pair of fumbles out of two guys who don’t cough up the ball, WR Wes Welker and TE Rob Gronkowski, and started to find the holes in the Patriots defense and jumped out to a 14-7 halftime lead.
It didn’t help matters any for New England that K Stephen Gostkowski missed not one but two very makeable field goals in the process, as well as a pair of turnovers that yielded no points.
After Buffalo added a touchdown in the first possession of the second half to increase their lead to 21-7 something clicked on the Patriots sideline.
In their next 7 possessions they flat out shredded the Buffalo defense scoring 6 TD’s and adding a Gostkowski FG.
In the onslaught they got TD’s on a 17-yard pass to RB Danny Woodhead, a four yard run by QB Tom Brady and a 28-yard TD pass to Gronkowski. They added another Ridley run from 2 yards out, a 7 yard run from rookie RB Brandon Bolden and they capped all this off with a diving 25 yard TD catch by WR Brandon Lloyd and a 30 yard field goal by Gostkowski.
After leading by two scores all Buffalo could muster over the final quarter and a half was a Brad Smith 35 yard TD catch well after the game had already been decided.
It was nice to see the team turn around and pull off a win after two very close loses in winnable games the previous two weeks.
Next Sunday they will be at Gillette Stadium facing old friend Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Patriots at Bills Gamebook. This includes the box score, all the stats, play by play, drive charts and more.
Patriots at Bills Game Recap.
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Turning Point(s) of the Game
After Buffalo scored an early 3rd quarter TD to increase their lead to 21-7, New England scored 45 points on their next 7 possessions to comeback (6 TDs and 1 FG) and runaway with a win.
Offensive Players of the Game
Patriots running backs Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley. Bolden had 137 yards and 1 TD on 16 carries and 1 catch for 11 yards, while Ridley had 22 carried for 106 yards and 2 TDs.
Defensive Player of the Game
Patriots CB Devin McCourty had 5 tackles (all solo), 2 INTs, 2 passes defensed and 1 tackle for loss.
Starters for the Patriots were:
Inactives for the Game:
1. TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)
2. DT Justin Francis (ankle)
3. DE Brandon Deaderick (ankle)
4. CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring)
5. G Logan Mankins (hip)
6. WR Julian Edelman (hand)
7. OL Matt Tennant
1. QB Tarvaris Jackson
2. S Delano Howell
3. DE Kyle Moore
4. LB Kirk Morrison
5. T Sam Young
6. C Colin Brown
7. WR Ruvell Martin (ankle)
The spread (Patriots PLUS 4 1/2) WAS covered. The over/under (51) WAS COVERED. I GAVE the points (PATRIOTS) and took the OVER. I am now 2-2 vs. the spread and 3 of 4 calling the under/over.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft received the George Halas award at halftime.
New England went over 50 points for 9th time in team history.
The Patriots lead the series 63-41-1
The 63 wins are the most the Patriots have over any opponent.
The Patriots are 29-22-1 all time in Buffalo, 22-16 at Ralph Wilson/Rich Stadium.
New England is 54-15 vs. the AFC East since 2001.
Since 2000 the Patriots have an NFL best 65-34 road record.
Since 2003, New England is 28-4 following a loss.
Bill Belichick’s 194 wins are good for a tie for 8th all-time. He is now 194-106 including playoffs in his career.
Belichick coached teams are 22-4 vs. Buffalo. Belichick was 0-1 against the Bills as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Tom Brady is 18-2 vs. the Bills in his career.
Brady (3,498) moved past Kerry Collins (3,487) into 10th place all-time on the NFL’s all-time completion list.
Brady (41,206) moved past Kerry Collins (40,922) into 11th place all-time on the NFL’s all-time passing list.
Brady has 307 TD passes in his career he is now 5th all-time. Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.
Brady has 126 career wins he is 5th all-time. Peyton Manning is 4th with 141.
Brady has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 36 consecutive games.
The Patriots are 83-15 when Brady throws at least 2 TD passes in a game.
WR Wes Welker now has catches in 105 consecutive games including playoffs, 88 as a Patriot. The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.
The Patriots sacked Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 4 times, while allowing Brady to be sacked once.
New England’s turnover differential is PLUS 8. The defense has recovered 5 fumble and has 6 INT. The offense has given away 2 fumbles and has 1 INT.
The Patriots were 5 for 6 in the red zone. They had 5 TDs and 1 FG.
New England was 4 for 11 (36%) on third down conversions and 0 for 0 on 4th down attempts.
Buffalo is 21-49 vs. the AFC East since 2001.
The Bills are 22-30-1 as the home team in the series.
Chan Gailey is 30-40 as an NFL head coach including playoffs.
Gailey is 1-5 vs. the Patriots in his career, 1-4 with Buffalo and 0-1 with Dallas.
Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-5 vs. New England and 20-36-1 in his NFL career with Buffalo, Cincinnati and St. Louis.
The Bills were 8 for 15 (53%) on 3rd down conversions and 0 for 0 on 4th down attempts.
Buffalo was 0 for 1 (0%) in the red zone with 1 fumble.
Buffalo is now MINUS 3 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 7 INTs and 4 fumbles, while the defense has 4 INTs and 4 fumble recoveries.
John Parry was the game referee. The temp at kickoff was 58 and it was mostly cloudy.
Attendance – 70,684 at Ralph Wilson Stadium Orchard Park NY
Post Game Interviews
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots QB Tom Brady post game press conference transcript via patriots.com
This Week in the AFC East
San Francisco crushed the NY Jets, 34-0.
Arizona beat the Dolphins in overtime 24-21.
AFC East Standings
The Patriots host the Denver Broncos next Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA. Kick off is at 4:15 p.m. on CBS.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII
photo credit: getty images, ap photo
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