Buffalo Bills: Ranking the Best Players from Sunday's Win over Patriots

Robert Quinn@@RQuinn619Correspondent ISeptember 26, 2011

Buffalo Bills: Ranking the Best Players from Sunday's Win over Patriots

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    The Buffalo Bills finally got the monkey off of their back, so to speak, as they finally defeated their AFC East foe, the New England Patriots. Prior to Sunday's victory, the Bills haven't defeated the Patriots since 2003. 

    What seemed to be a moment of deja-vu after the Patriots went up 21-0 early in the game, the Bills persevered to earn a victory and claim their spot at the top of the AFC East standings with a 3-0 record. 

    This was a game that the Bills desperately needed to win in order to change their losing culture, and it was hyped throughout the week on various Internet and media outlets—especially considering the Bills weren't expected to be very competitive this season.  

    Here are the leading factors that contributed to their win.

Fred Jackson

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    Running back Fred Jackson is arguably the most underrated tailback in the National Football League, despite entering Sunday's contest as the NFL's leading rusher.

    He continued to prove his worth, pounding the ball 12 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. 

    On the season, Jackson has averaged 6.4 yards per carry, gaining 303 yards and scoring three times.

    Even with former first-round draft pick C.J. Spiller biting at his heels, Jackson is continuing to prove week in and week out that he is deserving of the No. 1 running back role. 

Steve Johnson

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    Steve Johnson has become an instant celebrity in Buffalo after his astounding breakout season in 2010.

    He hasn't disappointed through the first three weeks of the 2011 NFL season, as the former seventh-round draft pick out of Kentucky has caught a touchdown in each game of the year. 

    Against the Patriots, Johnson hauled in eight of the 10 passes intended for him, gaining 94 yards and a touchdown. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick entered Sunday's matchup tied for first place in the league in touchdown passes with seven.

    He has been very accurate and has been making smart decisions with the ball, which is why he had only one interception going into last week's game. 

    While Fitzpatrick didn't have another huge day from a statistical standpoint, he managed the game like a champion, spreading the ball out to all of his wide receivers and completing 27 of 40 pass attempts for 369 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

    Fitzpatrick stayed poised in the pocket and displayed the true leadership that earned him the starting role as the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. 

Bills Secondary

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    Despite allowing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to pass for more than 350 yards, the Buffalo Bills secondary was able to snatch four of his passes for interceptions.

    Cornerback Drayton Florence caught a ball that was thrown off of Bills' defensive lineman Marcell Dareus' helmet and took it all the way for a pick six. 

    Additionally, Leodis McKelvin, Bryan Scott and George Wilson had interceptions of their own. 

    The Bills couldn't contain Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who had a career day, catching 16 passes for over 200 yards, but turnovers were key in the Bills' victory. 

Donald Jones/ David Nelson

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    Buffalo Bills wide receiver Donald Jones has received much scrutiny since the Lee Evans trade, but he has been a clutch receiver in key moments of games.

    On Sunday, he reeled in a 48-yard bomb to put the Bills in scoring position and finished the day with five receptions for 101 yards. 

    Jones has improved in each game of the year, and every time he's on the field it makes more and more sense why the Evans move was a good one. 

    David Nelson has been unstoppable as a wideout in head coach Chan Gailey's three and four wide receiver sets out of the slot.

    Last week against the Oakland Raiders, Nelson caught 10 passes for 86 yards and a score, and continued to be a favorite target of Ryan FItzpatrick's against the Patriots, catching six passes for 84 yards.

    He is consistently moving the chains, and the 6'5" Nelson has become Fitzpatrick's security blanket.