Patriots

AFC EAST: Opportunistic Bills rout sloppy Raiders, 34-14

bills_matt_milano_102917.jpg

AFC EAST: Opportunistic Bills rout sloppy Raiders, 34-14

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Rookie linebacker Matt Milano scored on a 40-yard fumble return on a rain-slick field, and the Buffalo Bills forced four turnovers in beating the Oakland Raiders 34-14 on Sunday.

Tyrod Taylor threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Andre Holmes and also scored on a 1-yard run for Buffalo. LeSean McCoy had a season-best 151 yards rushing and also scored on a 48-yard run.

The Bills improved to 4-0 at home for the first time since winning their first five home games of the 1995 season.

And Buffalo improved to 5-2, matching its best start during a 17-year postseason drought - the longest active streak in North America's four major professional sports.

The Bills' defense dominated despite missing two starting defensive backs, and two days after trading its highest-priced player, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus , to Jacksonville.

Milano, playing in place of injured starter Ramon Humber (broken right thumb), scored the go-ahead touchdown, putting Buffalo up 14-7, with 32 seconds left in the first half.

Raiders running back DeAndre' Washington caught a short pass over the middle and turned up field when he was struck by cornerback Leonard Johnson. The ball popped loose and flew directly into the hands of Milano, who returned it up the right sideline.

With a steady drizzle falling for much of the afternoon, the Raiders then turned the ball over on their first two possessions of the second half.

Milano forced Jalen Richard to fumble while returning a punt, with Mike Tolbert recovering it at the Raiders 14.

On Oakland's next possession, Derek Carr's pass over the middle was tipped by linebacker Preston Brown, and intercepted by safety Micah Hyde.

The turnovers led to Stephen Hauschka hitting 35- and 44-yard field goals.

Buffalo then took command by going ahead 27-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Taylor capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive by scoring on fourth-and-inches.

Oakland (3-5) lost for the fourth time in five games, and was unable to carry over the momentum following its dramatic 31-30 come-from-behind victory over Kansas City on Oct. 19.

Carr finished 31 of 48 for 313 yards and a 4-yard touchdown to Washington and two interceptions. After scoring on their opening drive on Jamize Olawale's 1-yard run, the Raiders' next eight possessions ended with four punts, three turnovers and a failed bid to score at the end of the second quarter.

The Bills continue relying on an opportunistic defense, which has forced three or more turnovers in each of their past four games.

That included a 30-27 win over Tampa Bay last weekend in which rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White forced and recovered receiver Adam Humphries' fumble to set up Hauschka's 30-yard game-winning field goal with 14 seconds left.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

marsh_patriots_112117.jpg

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season. 

Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. 

Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick. 

Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury. 

Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad. 

Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.

The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

patriots_bill_belichick_092417.jpg

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.

MORE PATRIOTS:

“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”

Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September. 

Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:

Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout."