Best and Worst: Patriots 23, Bills 3
TAYLOR MADE … A BOO BOO
After 12 plays, seven minutes and 19 seconds, Tyrod Taylor threw a pick on first-and-goal from the Patriots 6 in the first quarter. Eric Lee caught it and the Bills’ wonderfully executed opening drive ended as a pointless exercise.
TORN A NEW ONE
Tom Brady unloaded on Josh McDaniels after the Patriots’ first drive bogged down and New England was forced to settle for a field goal from 50 yards. Brady may have been irked about the second-and-10 handoff to Dion Lewis. I knew I was.
CHALLENGED AS A CHALLENGER
Bills coach Sean McDermott made the mistake of challenging a play because it looked weird. After Tom Brady tripped on Rex Burkhead and threw incomplete from the ground, McDermott challenged that Brady should have been down. That would have saved Buffalo all of 4 yards. The challenge failed.
SORRY JIM. . .
Tom Brady threw a little inside slant to James White early in the second quarter that led White directly into a linebacker who hammered White and left a dent.
HOW ABOUT A STIFF ARM?
Dion Lewis stiff-armed Bills safety Jordan Poyer into the earth’s crust during a 44-yard second quarter run.
Tyrod Taylor did a terrific job moving safety Devin McCourty to the perimeter then came back down the middle to Travaris Cadet open down the seam for a would-be touchdown. And Cadet dropped it. In the second quarter. When it could have been 6-3.
The Patriots eased into scoring position late in the half with a first-and-10 at the Bills 17 with 1:02 left, but a 3-yard carry, a sack (Joe Thuney) and a penalty on Nate Solder forced them to settle for a third Gostkowski field goal before the break.
A GRONKING TO REMEMBER
Gronk had three catches for 50 yards on the first drive after halftime to put the Patriots in position to finish Buffalo off.
A STAT-KILLING SACK
Tyrod Taylor weaved and wound his way to a 19-yard sack in the third-quarter leading to a punt and providing just a small glimpse into why the Bills may sometimes wonder what post-Tyrod life might be like.
GIVE. ME. THAT.
Tom Brady threw to a covered Gronk down the right sidelines. Bills corner Tre’Davious White had great coverage and rose with Gronk at the same time. The shared possession wasn’t shared by the time the players hit the ground as Gronk peeled the ball loose.