The day began as very unsettling for New England faithfuls, but the Patriots rebounded after trailing 14-7 at the half, rattling off 35 unanswered points at one point in the second half on their way to a 52-28 victory in Buffalo. Many players had key roles in the outcome of today's game, but here were some of the biggest winners and losers from Sunday's contest.
The running back duo of Stevan Rildey and Brandon Bolden were outrageously successful all day long, gouging the Bills defense for chunks at a time. Each of them ended up with over 100 yards and in the end zone.
Even Danny Woodhead found the end zone on a 17-yard pass from Tom Brady. Shane Vereen also made his season debut, and all around this could not have been a much better day for this group. The one blemish on the day was Ridley's late fumble out of bounds, which will just be a reminder to him to remember ball security.
After a pretty quiet start to the season with just four touchdown passes through three games, Brady complemented the huge day from his backs by throwing three touchdowns and even running one more in himself.
The New England middle linebacker made a day of delivering punishing hits, forcing a C.J. Spiller fumble on the goal line, and another of Fred Jackson in the second half. Spikes also managed to break up what would have been a big gain for tight end Scott Chandler, who had beaten Patrick Chung. The Bills still scored on the drive, but Spikes play at least made them work harder for it.
Though the Patriot defense came up with four interceptions on the day, there were Bills running free too much. The Patriots were exceptionally weak in the middle of the defense, which Chandler and Donald Jones both exposed with touchdowns.
Though he went over the 100 yard mark and scored on the day, Rob Gronkowski could have done more. He had a couple of drops, although one of them would have been a tough catch considering the tough hit cornerback Stephon Gilmore laid on him. Gronkowski also had an uncharacteristic fumble in the second quarter while trying to fight for extra yardage.
The Patriot kicker missed two field goals from 42 and 49 yards in the first half, going both wide left and wide right. He did make his chip-shot 30-yarder in the fourth and also hit all his extra point tries, but those early field goals you would expect him to make at least one of.
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