The Patriots bruised, pounded, and grind out a win over the Buffalo Bills Monday night in an ugly win to move to 10-0 on the season.
Every season, no matter who is on the team, wins like these, and strectches like these happen, it’s all about surviving them and so far, the Pats are.
To sum up the entire game except for two drives, the Patriots offensive line couldn’t block anybody and the wide outs could not get open, and the defense played excellent for four quarters.
The Pats would grind out a field goal on the opening drive and the Bills would tie it up at three to begin the 2nd quarter. Both teams were doing a lot of grinding in the first half with both defenses bringing their A+ game.
Brady would spend the entire first half on his back from hits or sacks. The offensive line was horrible tonight and Marcus Cannon had his worst game of the season by far. They couldn’t figure out the Bills blitzes and when and where they were coming from, a credit to Rex Ryan, but they were just getting flat out beat. Brady took so many shots that by the end of the game, the last shot he took shook him up a bit. That describes the entire game and the reason why the offense was so sloppy in the win.
The first of only two touchdowns came when Brady beat the blitz by throwing it out to James White, who came out of the backfield, eluded a tackle and walked into the end zone from 20 yards out. The score was set up by a 20 yard completion to Brandon LaFell, who remained quiet for the most part on the night.
The Pats would have the halftime lead, 10-3.
The Pats would begin the 3rd quarter like the first half, Brady getting beat up and a field goal try. Gostkowski would miss his first goal of the season, setting the Bills up in good field position. They made the most of it, marched up the field and scored a touchdown behind a 27 yard run from McCoy. Tie game.
A little later in the quarter, Brady would hit Amendola for a 40 yard gain, an impressive YAC run by Amendola to set up a 6 yard touchdown run by James White.
That’s it, the only two bright spots for the offense, two scoring drives ending with James White touchdowns.
The Bills McKelvin would fumble a punt that would set up a Gostkowski field goal, one he would make, to put the game on ice. The Pats were up 20-10 in the fourth.
Tom Brady did throw an interception to start the fourth, he lobbed up a pass to a well covered Chris Harper that Gilmore would intercept.
The Bills would add another field goal a few drives later to close the gap, 20-13, but too little too late as they had no timeouts when they got the ball back with 1:51 left.
The defense stood tall and after Watkins caught a pass and failed to get out of bounds, it ended the game and sent the Pats home with a win.
The Patriots did not score in the 4th quarter, breaking their streak of 38 quarters they scored in.
The defense was excellent in every phase of the game. They stopped the run, pressured the QB, and played well in the secondary. Chung had an excellent pass breakup and so did McCourty, and Butler put Watkins on an island.
Hightower was all over the place, Mayo was solid, and the DL got after Taylor. It was a great overall performance.
Watkins was targeted 6 times and caught 3 passes for 39 yards. You couldn’t ask for a better performance by Butler.
Aaron Dobson caught one pass for 17 yards, but was injured on the play. He hobbled off the field and was carted to the locker room with a foot injury.
Danny Amendola had another big punt return in this game, setting the Pats up with great field position, and he stepped up for Brady big time. He also had a potential touchdown stopped thanks to an accidental whistle by the ref. Sadly, Amendola left the game with a knee injury. He called for a fair catch and as he stepped out of the way, he grabbed what I thought was his hammy. He walked off the field and no one knows if it is serious or not. It was a non contact injury.
Rob Gronkowski was held in check during this game. He didn’t seem to be into it, he also dropped a pass or two and Brady was under pressure, making it harder on the tight end to get involved.
James White was amazing in this game. He proved he could carry the load of being the pass-catching RB out of the backfield.
QB Tom Brady: 20/39 for 227 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
RB James White: 2 carries for 14 yards and 1 touchdown. 2 receptions for 32 yards and 1 touchdown.
WR Danny Amendola: 9 receptions for 117 yards.
CB Logan Ryan: 9 tackles and 1 passes defended.
SS Patrick Chung: 5 tackles and 1 passes defended.
DE Rob Ninkovich: 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
DE Jabaal Sheard: 5 tackles and 1 FF.
Game MVP: RB James White.
I could give this one to Butler, White, or Amendola, but I’ll go with the guy who had a hand in both of the Patriots touchdowns. He should have been more involved in the game plan and I’m guessing he will be moving forward since he proved himself tonight. He showed off speed, hands, and some serious skills in the passing game and run game. If he wasn’t out there, things would have been even tougher for the Patriots.