Final

Patriots 52

(2-2, 2-1 away)

Bills 28

(2-2, 1-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 30, 2012

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 7 0 14 3152
BUF 0 14 7 728

Top Performers

Passing: R. Fitzpatrick (BUF) - 350 YDS, 4 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: B. Bolden (NE) - 16 CAR, 137 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: W. Welker (NE) - 9 REC, 129 YDS

Tom Brady, Pats score six straight TDs in 2nd half, KO Bills

ESPN.com news services

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- There's nothing wrong with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots that a game against their familiar AFC East patsies -- the Buffalo Bills -- can't fix.

Not even after Brady and Co. spotted them a 14-point, third-quarter lead.

Brady responded by directing six straight touchdown drives in the second half on Sunday en route to a 52-28 blowout.

It was a game in which the Patriots (2-2) produced 580 total yards, forced six turnovers and avoided their first three-game losing streak in 10 years.

"Down 21-7 and on the road, backs against the wall, and I thought we showed a lot of heart," Brady said. "That's what this team is made of. And we're going to battle until the end, I know that."

Brady finished 22 of 36 for 340 yards and three touchdowns, plus one rushing. The 580 yards was the fourth-most in team history.

The 45 points in the second half were the most in franchise history and fourth-most in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau. In addition, they were the most by a team trailing at halftime since the Giants in 1950, Elias said.

Cornerback Devin McCourty had two interceptions in keying a defense that forced six turnovers and had three sacks.

Running back Stevan Ridley scored twice. Wes Welker had nine catches for 129 yards, and tight end Rob Gronkowski had five for 104 yards and a touchdown as both players bounced back from first-half fumbles.

"You can't panic," Gronkowski said. "When you panic, nothing good happens from there. We just stuck to the game plan."

The comeback began immediately after Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Donald Jones for a 68-yard touchdown pass on the Bills' first possession of the second half.

Brady responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive by hitting Danny Woodhead for a 17-yard touchdown. After tying the game with a 4-yard run, Brady capped a five-play 63-yard drive by hitting Gronkowski with a 28-yard touchdown pass.

The Patriots scored 35 points in a span of 12:41 in building a 42-21 lead on Brandon Bolden's 7-yard run.

"We just played and executed better," coach Bill Belichick said. "It's no magic."

Magic no. Familiar, yes.

New England improved to 17-1 in its past 18 meetings against Buffalo, and 22-2 dating to the 2000 season. The Patriots lost their last trip to Orchard Park, 34-31 after blowing a 21-0 lead.

This time it was the Bills turn to unravel.

After Jones scored, nothing else went right. Buffalo combined for two first downs and 31 yards on its next four drives, two of which ended with turnovers.

Bills coach Chan Gailey was embarrassed.

"I don't like to play like that, and I don't like to think that's who we are," Gailey said. "But that's who we were today. You can't sugarcoat it."

The news gets even worse as Buffalo enters a stretch in which it will play four of its next five on the road.

Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and starting right guard Kraig Urbik both hurt their right ankles and did not return. Gailey said both could miss games.

The Bills' offense sagged despite the return of its two top running backs. Fred Jackson had 29 yards rushing and 50 receiving in his first game back since spraining his right knee in a season-opening loss. Spiller had 33 yards rushing and 5 receiving after hurting his left shoulder in at Cleveland last weekend.

Both also fumbled, with Spiller's coming on a goal-line plunge late in the first quarter.

It was a dreadful outing for Mario Williams -- who signed a six-year, $100 million contract in March -- and the Bills' high-priced defensive line.

Buffalo managed one sack. Otherwise, the defense gave up the second most yards in franchise history, and most points since a 56-10 loss to New England on Nov. 18, 2007.

"A loss is a loss. I don't label it anything," Williams said, when asked if it was embarrassing.

He placed the blame on the Bills' inability to stop the run. Bolden had 137 yards rushing, and Ridley had 106.

"When you have two guys rushing for 100 yards, something's up," Williams said. "We have to have a reality check and see what's going on."

Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 39 for 350 yards and four scores -- including two to Scott Chandler.

The game had additional significance to the Patriots, as it featured the return of the NFL's regular officials after they reached a new eight-year agreement on Thursday. It came after Belichick was fined $50,000 by the NFL for grabbing an official's arm to question whether Justin Tucker's 27-yard field goal would be reviewed following a 31-30 loss at Baltimore last weekend.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft made sure to welcome back John Parry and his crew, by waiting in the tunnel following the game and attempting to shake each of the officials' hands as they made their way off the field.

Kraft then waited for Brady's arrival, and shook the quarterback's hand, as well.

The two then smiled and chatted in making their way to the locker room.

Game notes


Brady improved to 19-2 against the Bills, a stretch in which he has 49 touchdowns and seven 300-yard games. .... Buffalo's 4-22 in its last 26 games against division opponents. ... The win was the 194th of Belichick's career, moving him into eighth place on the NFL list, one ahead of Chuck Knox.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NE
BUF
1st Downs3319
Passing 1st downs
1315
Rushing 1st downs
194
1st downs from penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
4-118-15
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays7769
Total Yards580438
Yards per play7.56.3
Total Drives1616
Passing333340
Comp-Att
22-3622-39
Yards per pass
9.08.1
Interceptions thrown
04
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-73-10
Rushing24798
Rushing Attempts
4027
Yards per rush
6.23.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Penalties1-103-17
Turnovers26
Fumbles lost
22
Interceptions thrown
04
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession30:4729:13

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady22/363409.4301-7
BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpatrick22/393509.0443-10

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Bolden161378.6127
Ridley221064.8213
BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Spiller8334.1014
Jackson13292.2011

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Welker912914.3026
Gronkowski510420.8141
BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones29045.0168
Chandler46215.5224

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEBUF
neTD6:52Stevan Ridley 6 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 90 yds, 3:07
70
SECOND QUARTERNEBUF
bufTD9:51Scott Chandler 24 Yard Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 24 yds, 0:00
77
bufTD3:35Scott Chandler 20 Yard Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 68 yds, 2:12
714
THIRD QUARTERNEBUF
bufTD11:18Donald Jones 68 Yard Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 83 yds, 2:37
721
neTD8:18Danny Woodhead 17 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 2:58
1421
neTD3:59Tom Brady 4 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 85 yds, 3:19
2121
FOURTH QUARTERNEBUF
neTD15:00Rob Gronkowski 28 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 2:01
2821
neTD11:46Stevan Ridley 2 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 42 yds, 1:44
4228
neTD10:34Brandon Bolden 7 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 12 yds, 0:50
4221
bufTD6:39Brad Smith 35 Yard Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 3:57
4228
neTD4:09Brandon Lloyd 25 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 48 yds, 2:30
4928
neFG2:00Stephen Gostkowski 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 7 yds, 1:58
5228

Research Notes

Bills lost 52-28 to the Patriots today. The only other time in franchise history the Bills allowed 50+ points at home was Week 11 in 2007 (November 18) in a 56-10 loss to.. the Patriots.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is first quarterback in Bills history with 4 pass TD and 4 interceptions in a game.
From Elias: This is the first time in Patriots history they have had 2 100-yard rushers and 2 100-yard receivers in the same game.
NEXT LEVEL: The Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick had plenty of first-half success passing with an empty backfield Sunday against the Patriots, but that fortune faded away in the second half. Fitzpatrick completed just 1-of-9 passes with an empty backfield in the final two quarters, threw two interceptions and was strip sacked as well.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden and even Tom Brady on one play, shredded the Bills' interior rush defense Sunday. The Patriots gained 200 of their 247 rushing yards between the tackles, the third-highest yardage total of any team since the start of the 2008 season. The Bills are also the only team in that span to twice allow opponents to rush for more than 200 yards between the tackles.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Tom Brady found his range downfield in the second half Sunday against the Bills. Brady threw two of his three touchdowns on passes at least 15 yards downfield. Both of Brady's deep touchdowns came against five or more pass rushers.
Make it 5 straight wins for the Patriots when trailing the Bills at halftime. They've outscored Buffalo by a combined score of 128-37 in the 2nd half of those 5 games. The last time the Pats trailed the Bills at halftime and DIDN'T come back to win was Week 1 in 2003, which is also the last time they had a losing record (they did go on to win the Super Bowl that season)
  [+]
* Brady 36th straight game with TD pass, tied for 3rd longest streak in NFL history. (NOTE, Brees can tie Unitas later today.)
  [+]

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