Today in Patriots History The Unconscious Catch Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 1:00 Week 14, Game 14 at The Ralph Patriots 12, Bills 9 in OT Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Gregg Williams QBs: Tom Brady, Alex Van Pelt Odds: New England favored by 4 Pats improve to 9-5, a half game behind 9-4 Miami Buffalo drops to 2-11, 5th in AFC East Ruling on David Patten fumble helps Patriots beat Bills | Boston Globe David Patten was unconscious, lying on the cold Ralph Wilson Stadium turf, his head out of bounds, the rest of his body inbounds. The ball was beneath his legs after safety Keion Carpenter had blasted him following a 13-yard reception from Tom Brady. It was 9-9 in overtime in a divisional game that meant everything to the Patriots, and much less to the Bills, but Buffalo jerseys came flying out of nowhere toward the loose ball, and Nate Clements grabbed it. It appeared Patten had fumbled after making a catch at the Buffalo 41. Patten was unconscious for approximately 10 seconds, and when he finally came to, the officials were running around, and the Bills were claiming they'd recovered a fumble. When the replay official reviewed the play, he invoked Rule 3, Section 20, Article 2, Paragraph C of the rule book. Referee Mike Carey said, "On the play, there is a reception by the receiver. He fumbled. The ball was loose in the field of play and while in contact with the receiver's calf, his head hit out of bounds. By rule, that's a loose ball. If a loose ball touches anything that is out of bounds, it is itself out of bounds and it would be in possession of the receiver." On the next play Antowain Smith took the handoff and appeared to have nowhere to go, about to be stopped for no gain or a short loss. He backed up a step went wide, breaking three tackles and racing 38 yards down the sideline to the Buffalo three yard line. Tom Brady took the ensuing snap for no gain, moving the ball closer to the center of the field. Adam Vinatieri - who entered the game with just five field goals made in twelve attempts in Buffalo - then connected on a 23-yard attempt to win the game. His four field goals accounted for all twelve of the Patriot points, future Patriot kicker Shayne Graham had the only points for Buffalo as well. NFL Week 14: Video Replay is the Star In Overtime for Patriots | New York Times The Patriots (9-5) have won four straight for the first time in two years. The Bills (2-11) lost for the seventh time in eight home games. It was the fourth game in their last five meetings decided in overtime. The game turned on a video ruling during the Patriots' first possession, five minutes into overtime. David Patten caught Tom Brady's pass at the Bills' 41, where he was hit hard by Buffalo's Keion Carpenter. The ball popped loose and was recovered by Buffalo's Nate Clements. Initially ruled a fumble, Referee Mike Carey reversed the call, determining by a video review that Patten's head was out of bounds while the ball remained loose under his leg. Patten could not comment on the call. Carpenter's hit knocked him unconscious. ''I didn't know where I was; I could have been in Czechoslovakia,'' Patten said. ''I thought I let the team down, but the replay was one thing that went our way.''