New England Patriots: Winners and Losers from Pats' Loss vs. Bills

Andrew McCluskeyCorrespondent ISeptember 26, 2011

New England Patriots: Winners and Losers from Pats' Loss vs. Bills

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    Sunday was incredibly frustrating for Patriots fans.

    The Patriots lost 34-31 to the Buffalo Bills yesterday. The Bills move to 3-0 on the season and are now on top of the AFC East. 

    The Bills came in looking to prove that they were legitimate, while the Patriots expected to keep up the dominance that they have shown through the early part of the season. 

    There were some very disappointing and impressive performances on both teams. 

    However, there can only be one winner of the game itself. Within that, here are winners and losers that molded the final outcome.  

    Here are the winner and losers of Sunday's Patriots vs. Bills game. 

Winner: Wes Welker

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    With Aaron Hernandez out this week, there was some question to how it would impact the productivity of the Patriots offense, since he has been such a crucial part thus far. 

    Wes Welker stepped up and filled the role as the main target for Tom Brady on Sunday. 

    Welker had 16 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns, including the game tying score on fourth down in the fourth quarter. 

    He even tallied 19 yards on an end-around run. 

    Welker continues to establish himself as one of the elite receivers in the league. He is certainly a product of being put in the best situation to succeed and Brady's arm.

    However, he thrives in the role and continues to produce week in and week out. 

Loser: Chad Ochocinco

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    When it rains, it pours. 

    After being battered all preseason by the media and then ridiculed for all of his mistakes through the first two weeks of the season, Chad Ochocinco's Week 3 didn't get any better.

    Ochocinco caught just two passes for 28 yards. However, the stand out play for Ochocinco was his brutal drop on a sure touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

    Brady and Welker bailed him out by continuing the drive and eventually scoring. 

    It is sure to be another long week for No. 85. 

    For the sake of the Patriots and himself, let's hope Chad Ochocinco can come out as a winner next week. 

Winner: Fred Jackson

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    Fred Jackson continued to shine for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. 

    Jackson came in to the game leading the NFL in rushing. He left with 74 yards rushing and a touchdown, along with another 87 yards receiving. 

    He was one of the key contributors in the Bills victory over the Patriots on Sunday. After a long road to the NFL, Jackson has made the most of his opportunities. 

    Whether or not he and the Buffalo Bills can keep up their early success is still undetermined. 

    However, they certainly came out on top on Sunday. 

Loser: Patriots Secondary

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    New England's secondary was flat out embarrassing against the Bills on Sunday. 

    They allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 369 yards and two touchdowns. Even though Kyle Arrington was able to pick off two passes, the performance overall was underwhelming. 

    There were points during the game where Bills receivers looked to be completely uncovered. Bills tight end Scott Chandler was about as wide open as you can get on his touchdown reception.

    The Patriots are going to need to find answers quickly if they plan on being an elite team and a Super Bowl contender. 

    Otherwise, teams will continue to throw all over them this year. 

Winner: Rob Gronkowski

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    Rob Gronkowski continues to show that he is becoming one of the best tight ends in the NFL. 

    Gronkowski caught seven balls for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He has such incredible size that when he runs those seam routes that Brady sends him on so often, no one in the secondary is big enough to match up against him.

    He is just another example of a brutal match up for any defense. 

    It appears the only way to stop him is to blanket him with multiple defenders or have an athletic linebacker that can keep up with him.

    Even then Brady knows just where to place it so "Gronk" can continue to reel in passes. 

    We have yet to find Gronkowski's ceiling, but at this point, he could be considered one of the elite by seasons end. 

Loser: Bill Belichick

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    One of the best coaches in the league, if not the best coach, made some serious mistakes on Sunday.

    When the Bills were on the goal line deciding whether to run down the clock or to go for the touchdown, Belichick was seen arguing with the referees. 

    Several minutes passed as Belichick continued to badger the referees. Eventually, the referees charged the Patriots with a time out. 

    At the postgame press conference, Belichick claimed that he called the time out. When asked by the reporters why he was arguing with the referees, Belichick simply brushed off the questions. 

    The loss of this time out took away any hope of the Patriots getting the ball back for a final drive. 

    The fourth quarter of the game was poor all the way around. Belichick not only needs to straighten out his defense, but the mistakes that happened at the end of the game are just not acceptable. 

    He is known for being the king of adjustments. Belichick will need to prove this again heading in to Week 4.