Just an all around great victory for the New England Patriots over the Buffalo Bills. With victories by both the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, we did what was required to be done. That was getting a much needed win for the Patriots. The Patriots 20-10 victory over the Bills, helps in two ways. One it keeps us tied for first place in the AFC East. And second helps later in the season if the play-offs come down to tie breakers. The Pats played close to perfect on all sides of the ball, they applied needed pressure to Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, kicked the running game into high gear and allowed Matt Cassel to play with the lead for the entire game.
Now the only bad thing about the day for me as a Patriots fan was not being able to listen to the game. Now I did see the game but unfortunately I was at a Buffalo Wild Wings and they had another game as the featured game. But it’s all good I met a few other Patriot fans and had a nice front row seat at the bar, watching my team win. And trust me it’s always easier after your team wins to turn around and write about them, which makes me a very happy camper right now. So back to the great performance from the Patriots on the field today.
The Patriots set the tempo of the game right from the opening minute. On Buffalo’s first offensive series our defense came out firing and made it clear to Marshawn Lynch and the Bills, your not running on us today, so forget it and move on. Lynch gained 7 of his 46 total rushing yards on the first play of the game and was shut down for the remainder of the game. Removing Lynch and the running game early on killed the Bills and any chance they had for a win. With no luck running the ball the Bills offense had to rely on the arm of Edwards for much of the afternoon. That was great news for the Pats as they pressured and forced Edwards into rushing his throws, and making mistakes. Two mistakes Edwards made were on bad throws that the Patriots intercepted. Both Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O’Neal were the recipients of his mistakes which New England turned into three points on the offensive side.
After New England’s defense stuffed the Bills opening drive, thanks to a Richard Seymour sack on 3rd and 3 for a six yard loss. The Patriots offense took the field and were firing on all cylinders from the get go. They finally came out and moved the ball down field quickly and efficiently. Mixing the offense with a nice balance of the running and passing game. Cassel hit Randy Moss early to get him involved and relied on his favorite target Wes Welker for first downs. Cassel helped his own cause by scrambling for the Patriots first of two rushing touchdowns on the day. A nice thirteen yard run up the middle to start the scoring. Thanks to that run and touchdown the Patriots had the lead early on and never looked back.
The running game looked great today and I’m still trying to figure out why it’s not getting more respect from other defensive coordinator’s in the league. They think because we have a few injured backs that we can’t run. But they better start rethinking that because once Sammy Morris and Lamont Jordan get healthy we’ll have four backs that can be called on at anytime. And any of those four can produce and hurt you at a moment’s notice. Look at the day BenJarvus Green-Ellis had by carrying the ball 26 times for 105 yards and another score. That’s three straight games he’s scored on the ground. With his first 100 yard rushing performance of his young career under his belt. And he did it all with his mother in the crowd cheering him on. And don’t forget any of the backs we have not only can run, but they can catch the ball out of the backfield. In my opinion that makes us very dangerous to deal with and try to prepare for going into the rest of the season.
Matt Cassel looked much better and a lot more comfortable in the passing game. He was only sacked once and had the ability to scramble free from any pressure Buffalo applied. The stat line at the end of the game looked like this for Cassel, 23 of 34 for 234 yards and 22 yards rushing on 9 attempts. Yes it’s another game without a touchdown pass, but it’s also a game he played pretty close to mistake free. By not rushing his throws and trying to force anything he helped the Patriots move the ball and control the clock game. The Patriots also got their receivers involved from the start and kept them in the game. Moss and Welker continue to produce in the absence of Tom Brady. Welker also becomes the first player in the history of the league to have six or more catches in nine straight games.
The lone touchdown for the Bills came late in the fourth after New England was up 20-3. It was all set up by the great kick-off return from Leodis McKelvin of 85 yards down to the Patriots 14 yard line. That return set up the Edwards to James Hardy 14 yard score. You minus that kick off and the Bills just showed no life on offense as the Pats defense held them in check all game. No matter what Buffalo tried the defense of the Patriots had an answer for it. They plugged the holes, pounded any receiver that happened to catch the ball, and held Buffalo to a whopping ten first downs.
For the Patriots this win adds more fuel to the fire with the Jets coming into Foxboro Thursday night. The Jets win over the Rams puts them in a tie with New England a top the AFC East. With the Patriots holding the tie breaker with their victory in week two of the season over the Jets. If the Patriots can win Thursday night it will be a momentum boost going into what becomes essentially another bye week with ten days off before their next game. For the moment we can all sit back and savor this win. For the Patriots coaching staff it’s back to the drawing tables as they only have three days to prepare the game plan in shutting down the Jets and Brett Favre. Well from down south on day four of my road trip it’s been fun, good night and enjoy this Patriots victory.
Tags: BenJarvus Green-Ellis Brett Favre Buffalo Bills Deltha O'Neal Ellis Hobbs James Hardy LaMont Jordan Leodis McKelvin Marshawn Lynch Matt Cassel Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets Randy Moss Richard Seymour Sammy Morris Tom Brady Trent Edwards Wes Welker