Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/1/12

After the second first half fumble by a Patriots' receiver, I was ready to hand them the award for zeroes of the game. But thanks to 45 second half points by none other than Tom Brady, Welker and Gronkowski are off the hook.

And, despite 350 yards in the air for Brady's counterpart, Ryan Fitzpatrick, I have to give the award for zero of the game to him.

Admittedly, I am tempted to put the blame on the Buffalo Bills' defense. All they did was surrender those 45 points in the second half, including a TD run by Tom "Terrific" and allow two, that's T-W-O, 100-yard rushers for the first time in team history, as well as two 100-yard receivers in the same game.

The highly touted defense has looked rather lethargic so far in 2012 and all that money spent on Mario Williams appears to be nothing more than a flush down the toilet. Buffalo only got to Brady once all day and couldn't pick him off either.

But, Fitzpatrick countered his 4 touchdown day with 4 interceptions and got sacked 3 times as well. When the run game is anemic, the QB has to step it up and Fitzpatrick failed to put the ball in the end zone enough today.

On the other side of the field, as far as who the hero of the game is, I am torn between a Patriot defense that intercepted Fitzpatrick four times  and an offense that scored 52 points (45 in the second half for a team record) while gaining almost 250 yards on the ground and 340 in the air.

So, the hero of the game this week is the duo of Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden. I really like this kid Bolden, and he impressed with more than half of the Pats' rushing yards and emphasized his strength with a bull-rush of a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was hitting holes with force and confidence and finishing his runs with authority.

Ridley is also proving that he can find his way through the line and into the end zone. I think the Patriots need to lock these guys up for a long time and preserve this new balance they have found.



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