Blount, Patriots Roll over Bills 34-20

Mike DussaultSenior Analyst IDecember 29, 2013

USA Today

The 12-4 New England Patriots defeated the 6-10 Buffalo Bills in the season finale on Sunday, a win that gave the Pats the second seed in the AFC and a first-round bye.

The Pats moved the ball well on the ground behind LeGarrette Blount's hard running on their first drive, a trend that would continue throughout the day, but were stopped on 3rd-and-long and had to settle for a 43-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski for the early 3-0 lead.

The Bills would answer with a field goal of their own on their first drive. C.J. Spiller picked up 21 yards on a nice run to get them across midfield and Thad Lewis had a 22-yard pass on 3rd-and-10 to get the Bills into field-goal range. Dan Carpenter would nail the 51-yarder to knot the game up at three.

The field goals would continue on the Pats' next possession with Stephen Gostkowski nailing his second of the day, a 35-yarder to give the Pats a 6-3 lead near the end of the first quarter.

The Patriots would get the first touchdown of the game on their next possession with Blount taking it 36 yards for the touchdown. That would give the Pats 157 rushing yards early in the second quarter and a 13-3 lead.

The Patriots would tack on a 29-yard field goal just before the half to extend their lead to 16-3.

After an almost-scoreless third quarter, the Bills put together their first touchdown-scoring drive of the season, capping a seven-play, 80-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to T.J. Graham. 

That cut New England's lead to 16-10.

Blount would take the ensuing kickoff back 83 yards, but the Pats stalled and were about to settle for a field goal when Marcel Dareus jumped offsides and gave New England a new set of downs.

They would score a touchdown on the next play with Brady finding Shane Vereen from five yards out. The two-point conversion to Julian Edelman was good and the Pats lead was up to two touchdowns, 24-10.

The Bills would respond on their next drive, with Fred Jackson taking a catch-and-run 37 yards on third down to set up his five-yard touchdown just a few plays later. That cut the Patriots lead to 24-17.

But Blount came through with another huge return, this one for 62 yards, to set the Pats up for another field goal to put them back up 27-17.

The Pats offense sputtered through most of the second half, aided only by Blount's returns and carries.

The Bills would recover a Shane Vereen fumble on the next possession and quickly get a field goal to cut the lead to just 27-20, but LeGarrette Blount would continue his incredible day with a 35-yard touchdown run. 

That gave Blount 334 yards of total offense and two touchdowns on the day and would close out the 34-20 win for the Patriots and give them a first-round bye.