I won’t say a win is a win rather I’ll say an embarrassing win is a win. The Patriots barely get a win against a team they should have had no problem against. The offense had a chance to seal the victory and did not capitalize on that. The defense was shredded all day but made one last play to save the victory. Same story different game. It seems like a recurring theme for New England aside from the defense saving the day. The Patriots still have the same issues they have had since week two. But they did win none the less and are taking steps forward to the playoffs.
The Patriots defense is really bad. They still can’t stop the pass. They still get beat deep and over the middle. Now they apparently can’t even tackle. How many tackles for loss did they miss on? Talib playing can’t come soon enough for this struggling defense. The defense allowed three plus 80 yard drives for touchdowns. Wilfork played great in this game forcing a strip sack which lead to a Stevan Ridley touchdown. McCourty forced a fumble in the fourth quarter at the goal line saving a touchdown for the Patriots. McCourty had a pretty good game at safety and has found a home on defense. Also in the fourth Spikes forced a fumble but Buffalo recovered it. Later on in the drive to try to win the game Buffalo’s Fitzpatrick threw an interception to McCourty who saves the win for New England. The Patriots defense gave up a total of 481 net yards of offense to the Bills. Third down defense a problem again. The Bills were 7/11 on third downs giving them a 63% efficiency. The Patriots need to get off the field. The Bills had 162 yards of total rushing and 319 yards of total passing in this game. Didn’t matter if it was run or pass but the Bills was moving the ball gaining on average 6.8 yards a play. Dennard was victimized routinely in this game. He had a horrible game . Arrington and Dennard looked like they couldn’t cover a statue. It was an awful performance by the Patriots cornerbacks. The defensive line had three sacks in the game. Wilfork, Ninkovich, and Cunningham recording the three sacks. Cunningham is becoming a good pass rusher for New England. The line started off looking good for the Patriots then became a very inconsistent line. Why does Spikes and Mayo ever drop into coverage is beyond me at this point. The Patriots defense made Scott Chandler look like Tony Gonzalez, and Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Peyton Manning. The linebackers can’t cover. The pass rush is inconsistent and the corners are beyond awful. McCourty and Wilfork were the only bright spots and made big plays for the defense other then that Talib is a a flicker of hope for a very bad secondary.
The Patriots offense had a total of 347 yards of offense. Its hard to say anything bad about the offense when they did put up 37 points. They had a missed opportunity early in the game with Welker dropping a would be touchdown pass. But yet again in the final minutes with the chance to ice the game and keep their defense from having to save it the Patriots could not do it. I don’t agree with the play calling in the final minutes. I understand running to run the clock out but with our defense anything more then only a minute remaining is to much time for the other team. I don’t like Brady having to throw it as much as he seems to have to on third down after two called running plays or screen passes. Sometimes the screens work sometimes they don’t. But when Tom Brady is your QB its best to leave it up to him. With that being said Tom Brady did throw a pass into the ground in the direction of Woodhead who would have had the touchdown. I don’t know why Brady threw a pass like that. He had Woodhead for a touchdown. Brady is still quick to take a sack or at least quick to be ready to hunch over for the maybe sack. Which is fine yet frustrating but the Patriots would rather give up a sack then give up their QB. I don’t know if anyone can explain why the Patriots can’t get a touchdown to end games anymore. It has to be fixed and addressed. The more touchdowns and points the better off New England is. Brady did have a good game. Throwing for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Ridley had a good game rushing for 98 yards and a rushing touchdown. Woodhead had a great game. Rushing for a touchdown and catching a touchdown and 61 total yards. Gronkowski added a great touchdown reception leaping for it and doing his signature spike after his touchdown. But the inability to close out games is still haunting the fans and the players but luckily got away with it today.
Stephen Gostkowski had a good game. He was 3/3 on field goals made today. He hit a 27 yarder with 2:10 to play in the fourth to make it 37-31. If I was giving out game balls for the Patriots after this game Gostkowski would get one. McCourty and Woodhead would be the only others with a game ball. The Patriots escape with the 37-31 win at home. They have much to work on before Luck strolls into town to face off with the Patriots.