The New England Patriots opened up their 2013 season on the road against the Buffalo Bills Sunday. The first game of the year went down to the wire, but New England was able to get the win.

In this first “Player of the Game” take, I’m cheating a little. Here are my players of the game. –


Patriots running back Shane Vereen was a spark plug for the team on Sunday. (FILE:USPresswire)

Danny Amendola: After leaving the game in the second quarter with a right groin pull, Amendola returned in the second half to have a huge impact on the game. The wide receiver finished with 10 catches for 104 yards in his first contest with the team. He came up with several critical catches on the Patriots final drive to get into field goal range and ultimately take the lead.

Shane Vereen: After tailback Stevan Ridley was benched for fumbling in the second quarter, he did not return. From then on, Vereen carried the offense as a dual threat in the running and passing game. The third-year running back finished with 101 yards and added 58 yards receiving.  His 15-yard run on the final drive put the Patriots into Buffalo’s red zone and made it an easy field goal.

Because both players were solid throughout the game, but also contributed in closing the Bills out, they share the title. New England’s dynamic duo gave a much needed spark to the offense while it went through some growing pains. Pats fans hope to see more of the same from these two moving forward.

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