Best and worst: Bills 16, Patriots 0
Rookie Cyrus Jones fielded the opening kickoff in the end zone, was told by Pro Bowl special teamer Matt Slater to stay in the end zone, paused, came out anyway and was tackled at the Patriots 9.
Cyrus Jones fielded the second Bills kickoff 4 yards deep in the end zone, decided to return it and made it to the Patriots 14. All told, he cost the Patriots 27 yards of field position on the first two kickoffs.
Cyrus Jones took a knee on the third Bills kickoff of the first half. The Gillette Stadium crowd erupted.
GOOD WALK SPOILED
Jacoby Brissett, doing the traditional Gillette Stadium pregame trot down the length of the Patriots sideline, was given the bum’s rush by ruffians from the Buffalo Bills who jostled him and accosted his friend Malcolm Mitchell.
GOOD WALK SPOILED II
Julian Edelman’s 90-yard catch-and-run down to the Buffalo 1-yard line on the Patriots first play from scrimmage was wiped out by an offensive pass interference and hold by Chris Hogan.
COMMENTARY ON TECHNOLOGY
After realizing that Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post blocked him on Twitter, Bill Belichick spiked his Microsoft Surface Tablet on the Patriots bench.
NOT SO FUNNY VALENTINE
At the tail end of a horrendous first quarter for the Patriots, rookie defensive lineman Vincent Valentine drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Richie Incognito that drew a 15-yard flag. Best play of the quarter for New England.
BEST ELIXIR TO PUNCHLESS OFFENSE
Near the midpoint of the second quarter, Brissett found tight end Martellus Bennett for a 58-yard run-and-catch that put the ball at the Buffalo 17. It was the longest play of Bennett’s career.
Three plays after the completion to Bennett, Brissett tried to scramble on a third-and-11 and got hammered, coughing up the ball and the Patriots’ best chance at points.
Referee Pete Morelli, who made his first penalty announcement of the day with his back turned to the camera, at one point left his mic on. A fellow ref observed it was turning into a pretty good game. Morelli cautioned, “But it could explode at any moment. A big hit and some [expletive] could happen.” Morelli is probably a terrific guy and all but when your penalty announcements are flat incorrect 30 percent of the time, it may be a sign that you should spend your Sundays away from stadium-sized crowds and microphones.