The New England Patriots had just one loss this NFL season and it was to the Buffalo Bills. Could the Bills complete the sweep?
Rain Doesn't Stop Brady
Buffalo started the game on offense with a steady rain coming down. Tyrod Taylor moved the ball up the field despite a few overthrown balls. As the Bills charged down the field, Taylor ran out of bounds and Dont'a Hightower tackled him in what seemed like an obvious roughing the passer right by the referee. No call. The Bills were then forced to settle for a field goal. Dan Carpenter made the 23-yard making it 0-3 early on in the first.
Tom Brady started out the Patriots' first series running from the defense but Brady being Brady he quickly came alive. With the help of a Bills penalty and lack of coverage in the secondary, Brady moved the chains with big passes to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Brady capped off the 14 play 70 yard drive with a nine yard touchdown pass to Amendola. With the extra point, the Patriots went ahead 7-3.
After an offensive series ending in a punt for the Bills, Brady did what Brady does. Despite two offensive Patriot penalties, Brady let loose a 53-yard touchdown pass to former Buffalo Bill Chris Hogan. Patriots were up 14-3 at the end of the first.
Buffalo Down to Few Offensive Targets
The Buffalo Bills defense kept hope alive in the second quarter. The first Patriots series ended in a punt after Kyle Williams sacked Tom Brady. Buffalo got the ball back but failed again to convert sending the punting unit out again. The Patriots punted on the next series then the Bills came back out and closed the gap thanks to a pass interference flag down the field. It put the Bills in place for a Michael Gillislee 3-yard touchdown run making the score 14-10.
As usual with the Patriots, they came right back. This time two big passes from Brady to Hogan and then a 53-yard touchdown pass from Brady to his favorite target a wide open Rob Gronkowski. With the extra point the Patriots extended the lead 21-10.
Buffalo had a chance to get more points on the board but as it had been the most of the half, things didn't go the Bills' way. Charles Clay had left the game with an injury and with Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy out, Tyrod Taylor had fewer options. Dan Carpenter missed a 49-yard field goal and within seconds of the Patriots getting the ball back, Brady put the Patriots in good field position which lead to a Stephen Gostkowski 51-yard field goal that hit the upright and bounced in. The Patriots lead 24-10 at the half.
Patriots Waste No Time
The Patriots came out on fire in the second half. Danny Amendola ran back the kickoff 73-yards to the Buffalo 24-yard line. It set up a 12-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman from Tom Brady putting the Pats up 31 - 10.
Buffalo got the ball back but the Patriots forced them to punt. During the punt, Bills punter Colton Schmidt dropped the ball, picked it up and ran it 16-yards for the first down. It brought new momentum to the offense and enabled the Bills to score a touchdown when Tyrod Taylor ran in it himself for the touchdown. The Bills cut the lead down to 31 - 17.
Another possession, another score for the Patriots. After Tom Brady ran for a first down and Stephon Gilmore got a pass interference penalty, it lead to a LeGarrette Blount ran it in for the touchdown. The Patriots extended their lead to 38 – 17.
Buffalo Bullied and Bruised
The Bills tried to get something going in the fourth quarter but it never happened. Brady lead another drive ending in another score. This time Gostkowski added a 32-yard field goal putting the Patriots ahead 41-17 with a little more than 7 minutes left in the game.
Buffalo did manage to score after E.J. Manuel lead a drive ending in a Jonathan Williams' 1-yard touchdown pass. Manuel then completed a pass to Nick O'Leary for a two-point conversion making the score 41-25. That's where the score stood helping improve the Patriots' record to 7-1 and the Bills' fall to 4-4.
Brady finished the game 22-33 for 315 yards while Tyrod Taylor 19-38 for 183 yards. Rob Gronkowski lead all receivers with 5 catches and 109 yards while Walt Powell had 59 yards on 3 catches for the Bills.