In a game that was far closer than it should have been, the New England Patriots kept their perfect record in Gillette against the Buffalo Bills intact after edging out the Bills 37-31. The Patriots got off to a hot 17-3 start before the Bills closed in the gap. A short touchdown reception from Scott Chandler cut the Pats lead to just a touchdown at 24-17 at half time.
With almost no time left in regulation, Devin McCourty clinched the game for the Patriots with an interception on a poor decision from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who only threw one pick all game. Fitzpatrick actually didn’t play well, but he threw for 337 yards (100 more than Tom Brady) and averaged 8.7 yards per attempt.
While Brady’s numbers were worse, he actually played better and had two touchdowns dropped by Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. That’s now seven drops for both of them, and the Patriots receivers have been extremely drop-prone this season. Brady gave Welker the perfect audible, and he flat-out missed a beautiful 34-yard touchdown throw.
The Patriots pass defense was terrible in this game, and the run defense got mowed over by Fred Jackson (as usual) and C.J. Spiller. Stevan Ridley ran the ball well for the Pats, but he and Brady were the only offensive players who had good games. Brady was clearly the star of the night for the Patriots and kept them from being upset, and his receivers were quite poor. Welker had a key drop and caught only six passes on 11 targets, while Rob Gronkowski should have had a better day against a terrible Bills pass defense.
Brandon Spikes and the linebackers were disappointing in coverage, with Spikes getting mauled by Scott Chandler all day. I mean, Chandler looked more like Gronk than Gronk did, and that’s the defense’s fault right there. Donald Jones also had it too easy with 74 receiving yards, and Kyle Arrington showed why he doesn’t deserve to be in the line-up. Not that Alfonzo Dennard was any better.
37-31, far too close for comfort. Uh Aqib Talib, we kind of need you next week. Same with Aaron Hernandez.
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