Brady Carves Up Buffalo, Patriots Roll 41-25 Over Bills
Bills Defense Had No Answers For #12
The Patriots enter the bye week at 7-1 thanks to a blowout 41-25 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Buffalo.
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers and shortly after halftime, the results of this one were no longer in any doubt as the veteran QB continued his torrid pace. Brady’s record against the Bills now runs to a ridiculous 26-3. He tied Brett Favre’s record for most wins against one opponent. Favre beat the Lions 26 times as a member of the Packers.
Brady finished 22 of 33 for 315 yards with 4 touchdowns passes with 0 interceptions.
Rob Gronkowski scored on a 53-yard touchdown pass and broke Stanley Morgan’s all-time Patriot record of 68 touchdowns. Gronkowski said in the media room after the game that Morgan reached out to him with a phone call as soon as the game was over.
By beating the undisciplined Bills, the Patriots continue their streak of not having been swept by an opponent for 15 years. They move three games ahead of the beat-up Bills in the AFC East, who now must travel to Seattle next week, where it is never easy to get a win. They also got a little bit of sweet revenge for the only blemish on their schedule, a 16-0 whitewashing in Foxboro with Jacoby Brissett at QB for the Pats.
The Bills took the opening kickoff and shredded the Patriots, easily moving right down the field before the defense stiffened and forced the Bills into kicking a field goal. Mike Gillislee, filling in for LeSean McCoy had a couple of nice runs and FB Jerome Felton had a big screen pass that set the Bills up in the red zone.
But Buffalo quickly learned that they weren’t facing a rookie 3rd string QB with an injured thumb. Brady led the team on their first drive, moving methodically right down the field going 65 yards on 14 plays, capped off with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. Brady was brilliant connecting on all four third down passes.
On the next series, after a penalty wiped out a big gain by Julian Edelman, Brady reared back and threw a beautiful deep ball to Chris Hogan who blew by Ronald Darby. The 53-yard touchdown pass was one of those plays we see every summer workout where the QBs try to drop the ball down the sideline in the 55-gallon drum. Brady nailed the drum here and the Pats were up 14-3 and rolling.
After a horrible sequence on defense where the Patriots looked completely discombobulated, the Bills narrowed the score to 14-10. Eric Rowe was flagged for a 29-yard pass interference penalty. Reggie Bush blew by Shea McClellin on a pass out of the backfield to bring the ball down inside the ten where the Patriots first had 12 men on the field. Then they nearly did it again before two players raced off, forcing Belichick to burn a timeout. Gillislee mercifully finished off that awful sequence with a three-yard touchdown run.
Brady answered the bell immediately and the Patriots wasted little time and regaining the momentum. Facing a 2nd and 7 from the Patriots 47, Brady was flushed out of the pocket and moved to his right. Rob Gronkowski ran a deep post on single coverage by Nickell Robey-Coleman. It was a mismatch. Julian Edelman ran a short crossing route that pulled the deep safety toward him and Gronk shook Robey-Coleman off like a flea. Brady delivered the ball perfectly and the big man rolled down for a 53-yard touchdown to make the score 21-10.
With a chance to score before halftime, Tyrod Taylor moved the Bills down the field before stalling at the Pats 32-yard line. Dan Carpenter’s 49-yard field goal doinked off the upright and Brady was back in business. With two timeouts, Brady moved the Patriots offense down into deep but makeable field goal range. Stephen Gostkowski booted a 51-yarder into the wind that just kissed the upright but continued thru. The Pats took a 24-10 lead into the second half.
Danny Amendola helped break a 14-point lead into a rout. He returned the opening kickoff back 73 yards to the Bills 24-yard line. Brady would need two plays, a 12-yard pass to Martellus Bennett and then another 12-yarder to Edelman who dove and just made it inside the pylon for a touchdown. The Patriots led 31-10.
After a bizarre play where Bills punter Colton Schmidt dropped the ball and appeared about to be sacked for a huge loss, he raced around the right side for a huge first down. The Bills then moved to the Patriots 26 where on 4th and 3, Taylor raced up the middle untouched for a Bills touchdown making it 31-17.
Brady quieted the crowd with another drive where he moved the Pats right down the field 75 yards in 12 plays, where LeGarrett Blount scored from a yard out to make it 38-17. Brady, who is sure to hear from his mom again, made the key play, racing Clydesdale style for a big 15-yard scramble.
Brady would lead a final scoring drive, going 76 yards in 13 plays before stalling and allowing Gostkowski to make a chip shot 32-yard field goal to make it 41-17.
The Bills would get a garbage time touchdown against the second-string defense helped in no small part by an awful pass interference penalty on Rowe again. The replay clearly showed the WR holding Rowe’s arm but he got flagged and Jonathan Williams got his first NFL touchdown. The Bills went for two as if they planned on adding two more scores in the final 30 seconds.
The Patriots run defense was gashed badly today, once again failing in the tackling department as the Bills ran all over them. They gave up 167 yards on the ground with Gillislee gashing them for 82 yards on just 12 carries. Taylor added 48, with the 26-yard touchdown run on fourth down.
The secondary played fairly well, with the lead, they were keeping the play in front of them and stopped them from hitting the big play which is their forte. Taylor threw for only 182 yards, completing only 50 percent of his throws, 19 of 38 with no touchdowns or picks. His QB rating was only 65.3.
The Patriots offense looks like it is hitting on nearly all cylinders. Brady got the WRs involved. Hogan had four catches for 91 yards and Gronkowski added five catches for 109 yards, each with a score. Since Brady’s return, he’s caught 21 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns. The scary part is Bennett has been dealing with a bad ankle that could clearly be seen, several times he limped off the field. With the upcoming bye week, he can get some much-needed rest and recuperation.
The Patriots ran their road record to 4-0 and will be off next week when they return home in two weeks to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night football.
Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]
Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.
Posted Under: NFL Commentary
Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots Roster 2016 Patriots season Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Dont'a Hightower Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rex Ryan Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady