Jim Rogash

Patriots 37, Bills 31: New England survives against AFC East rival Buffalo

Tom Brady threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns passes and the New England Patriots held off a late push from the Buffalo Bills, 37-31, on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.

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Pats front 7 a cause for concern after Bills game?

The Patriots improved to 6-3 in Week 10, but some problems on the defensive side of the ball will need to be addressed going forward.

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Patriots escape with 37-31 victory

After three quarters of play, the New England Patriots' offense looked superb, posting 31 points and beginning another successful drive at the end of the third. However, poor play from the defensive secondary, which is nothing out of the ordinary for this team, has allowed the visiting Buffalo Bills to stay close with 24 points of their own.

New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski was able to extend his team's lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter with a 48-yard field goal.

The Bills would drive the ball down the field once again, 93 yards and down inside the Patriots' 5-yard-line. However, a costly fumble by running back Fred Jackson would turn the ball back over to New England at the 1-yard-line.

The Patriots were unable to move the ball out from underneath the shadow of their own goal posts and were forced to punt it back to the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick would take advantage of great starting field position, as well as a couple of Patriots' penalties, to drive his team back for another touchdown. Donald Jones made the catch for the score on third and goal to cut the Buffalo deficit to 34-31.

With a touchdown drive, the Patriots could have sealed the game in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Tom Brady was not able to get the job done, throwing a pair of incompletions from inside the red-zone to allow the Bills a chance with more than two minutes to go in the game. Gostkowski's field goal would make the score 37-31.

The Bills made a valiant comeback effort, driving the ball into the red-zone with a chance to win the game on a touchdown. However, in classic Buffalo fashion, Fitzpatrick would throw one right into the arms of Patriots' defensive back Devin McCourty with just twenty seconds left on the clock to seal the New England victory.

It wasn't pretty, but the Patriots were able to survive and hang on for a 37-31 win over the visiting Buffalo Bills.

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Patriots ahead, 31-24 after three quarters

Despite incessant struggles on the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots found themselves ahead, 24-17, after the first half of action in Foxboro.

The Patriots' opening drive of the half looked to be going well as they used both the run and the pass to take the ball inside Buffalo territory. However, Tom Brady would take a costly third down sack to take the team out of Stephen Gostkowski's field goal range.

After shutting down the Bills' offense on their next possession, the Patriots would take advantage of great starting field position and move the ball in to the endzone for another touchdown. It was Danny Woodhead who came through with an 18-yard catch-and-run for his second score of the day to extend the Patriots' lead to 31-17.

The Bills refused to go down easily, as their next drive would result in their third touchdown of the afternoon. Running back Fred Jackson would take it in from about two yards out and cut the New England lead to just seven, at 31-24, towards the end of the third quarter.

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Logan Mankins injures leg, leaves game

The Patriots' four-time Pro Bowler left Sunday's game in the third quarter.

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Patriots clinging to 24-17 lead at halftime

After taking advantage of many Buffalo mistakes in the game's opening quarter, the New England Patriots took a 10-0 lead into the second. However, the Bills were in the midst of a successful drive and had control of the ball inside Patriots' territory.

However, a Rob Ninkovich sack would stop the bills in their tracks and force a Rian Lindell field goal attempt. His kick was right down the middle, cutting the Patriots' lead to 10-3.

On their next drive, the Patriots would make like a hot knife through butter, exploiting the Buffalo defense on each and every play. They would cap off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run by reserve tailback Danny Woodhead as he followed the left side of the offensive line into a gaping hole in the defense. This score would put New England ahead, 17-3.

Much to the display of the 67,000-plus on hand at Gillette Stadium, the Bills would return the favor, moving the ball down the field with ease. The drive would finish on a bruising touchdown run by Fred Jackson to cut the Bills' deficit to 17-10.

Another costly penalty against the Bills would be called on rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore for pass interference in the end-zone, once again setting up the Patriots inside the one-yard-line. Tom Brady would connect with tight end Rob Gronkowski for the short touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 24-10 lead.

Buffalo's two-minute drill would turn out to be just as effective as their normal offense, marching right back down into Patriots territory for a late score. It would be tight end Scott Chandler who would catch a short touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to cut the deficit to 24-17.

Despite the offense playing well in the first half, the Patriots find themselves in a tight game with an inferior team due to constant struggles on defense.

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Stevan Ridley kicks down the door

After New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley scored a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills, he decided to celebrate a little in the endzone.

This is what ensued:

Apparently, Ridley tried to do his best Chuck Norris by drawing a door and kicking it down. Since the Patriots failed to enter the endzone from two yards out on the previous two plays, it was a fitting celebration for the second-year running back.

In the second quarter of Sunday's game, Ridley has eight carries for 22 yards and a touchdown. Ridley entered the game with 716 yards and five touchdowns on 150 carries.

The third-round draft pick out of LSU rushed for 441 yards in 16 games as a rookie last season. He had one touchdown on 87 carries.

The Patriots lead the Bills, 10-3, with just over 12 minutes left in the first half. The Patriots are 5-3, while the Bills are 3-5.

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Patriots take 10-0 lead after opening quarter

For the first time since Sunday October 21, the New England Patriots were back in action at Gillette Stadium this Sunday to take on the division rival Buffalo Bills.

After picking up a couple of first downs on their opening drive, the Bills shot themselves in the foot with twenty yards of penalties forcing them into a punt.

The Patriots' first drive of the afternoon was less than impressive with quarterback Tom Brady nearly throwing an interception on two separate occasions. However, a heads-up play from veteran receiver Deion Branch would stop a possible interception for safety Jairus Byrd and allow the Patriots to attempt a field goal. Stephen Gostkowski's kick was right down the middle and New England went ahead, 3-0.

On the ensuing Buffalo drive, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would put the ball on the ground thanks to strip sack from veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Sophomore defensive end Jermaine Cunningham would be able to fall on it and set the Patriots up inside the redzone. A pair of defensive pass interference calls against the Bills would move the ball inside the one-yard-line. Stevan Ridley would take the ball off the right side and punch it in for a touchdown, putting New England ahead, 10-0.

As the opening quarter came to a close, the Bills had finally begun to mount a successful drive.

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Patriots vs. Bills inactive lists

The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots will meet for the second and final time this season at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

Buffalo will have some game-planning to do with important pieces missing on the defensive side of the ball. While it's never good to have injuries, having them on defense against Tom Brady and the Pats could have dire effects.

Without further adieu, the inactives for Sunday:

Buffalo: QB Tarvaris Jackson, DE Chris Kelsay, DE Mark Anderson, CB Aaron Williams, DB Mana Silva, LB Kirk Morrison, OT Thomas Welch.

New England: TE Aaron Hernandez, DB Patrick Chung, DB Malcolm Williams, DE Jake Bequette, DL Trevor Scott, DL Ron Brace, DB Tracy White.

The only two players of significance missing for New England are of course Hernandez and Chung. Hernandez, a true star at his position, is the bigger loss, but with such a thin secondary, Chung's absence will also be felt.

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Aaron Hernandez out for Patriots vs. Bills

Patriots tight end to miss Week 10 contest against Buffalo.

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