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Sunday, September 30, 2012

New England Ends Strong By Scoring 35 Unanswered After Poor Start

     For Tom Brady and the Patriots, they were coming off a tough loss against the Baltimore Ravens that saw the Pats with a 13-0 lead and a 30-21 lead in the 4th quarter.  After forcing Buffalo to a punt, New England drove the ball down the field 90 yds. for an early score, that saw Brady go 5 for 5 on passing. It looked like New England was going to run out of the gates with complete control of the entire game.

     Buffalo Bills said 'not so fast' as they were able to eventually get in stride and make some big plays. Despite two interceptions, the Patriots failed both times to score (missing on a FG on one of them) After another missed FG, the Patriots next possession saw Ron Gronkowski fumbled the ball deep in their own zone and Buffalo wasted no time to capitalize on the rare miscue by the Patriots, as Ryan Fitzpatrick went to his big Tight End Scott Chandler for a TD in the corner of the endzone to tie the game at 7.

     After another missed Field Goal by Stephen Gostkowski, Buffalo would produce an exact same drive as the last with Fitzpatrick hitting Chandler, this time over the middle, to put the Bills up 14-7
  New England would then turn the ball over after a Wes Welker fumbled on the NE 21 and the Bills looked to capitalize off another mistake from New England, and looked primed to do so until C.J. Spiller was hit right at the 1yd and loss control of the ball. Vince Wilfork came away with the recovery preventing any points by Buffalo. Nonetheless, Buffalo went into the half with the lead.

  New England opened up the second half, but got no points, and missed on an opportunity when Brady threw to Gronkowski, who appeared to have a catch but couldn't hang on to it, which prevented the Pats from having a 1st & goal inside the 5, maybe even a touchdown.

   Buffalo would look to redeem themselves of that missed TD opportunity at the end of the first half. Buffalo was facing a 3rd and long situation deep in their own zone, when what was the key play of the drive, Fitzpatrick threw a screen pass to Fred Jackson. This would allow Buffalo to keep their drive alive and a couple plays later, Donald Jones caught a pass and went 68 yds for a TD giving the Bills a 21-7 advantage. Seemingly giving Buffalo complete control of the game.

    However, as history has shown us on multiple occasions, Tom Brady and the Patriots are not exactly strangers of facing and overcoming adversity. Brandon Bolden and Stephen Ridley sparked the running game and after a Tom Brady TD Pass to Danny Woodhead, Buffalo was forced to a quick 3 & out. New England responded once again when Brady scored on a 4yd run and suddenly the game was tied at 21, New England had the momentum and looked to take total control of the game.

   Buffalo was again forced to punt after a stalled drive. Brady went to Gronkowski, despite some earlier miscues, came through with 28 yd TD reception, giving New England it's first lead since their opening drive of the game. On both of Buffalo's next two possessions, New England would cause a fumble and an interception, and both times the Patriots came away with a touchdown, scoring 35 unanswered points.

    New England would go on to score on both its 6th and 7th consecutive with a TD and a Field Goal. Meanwhile, Buffalo would drop to 2-2 and failed to drop the Patriots to 2 games behind them in the AFC East Standings. New England improved to 2-2.

Game Notes
-Tom Brady's TD pass to Woodhead marked his 36th straight game with a TD Pass  -                        -NE has not lost 3 straight since the 2002 season (losing 4 straight after starting the season 3-0)

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