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Bills Break The Streak In Dramatic 34-31 Win
Bills make a huge comeback for second straight week.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 3
Patriots  31
Bills  34
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
For a second straight week the Bills dug a huge hole at home and came roaring back for a dramatic win. This time it meant even more as they battled back against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Rian Lindell hit a 28 yard field goal as time expired to give the Bills the 34-31 win and end the 15 game losing streak to the Patriots. New England opened up a 21-0 lead on three Brady touchdown passes before the Bills began their comeback. Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson for an 11 yard touchdown and Lindell hit a 42 yarder just before the end of the first half to make it 21-10. The Bills pulled closer in the third on a Scott Chandler touchdown reception and tie it on a Fred Jackson one yard plunge. Drayton Florence then picked off one of four Brady interceptions and returned it 27 yards for the go ahead score. The Patriots would tie it on a fourth and goal touchdown pass but the Bills drove down to the Pats one and kneeled down a few times before Lindell's winning kick.

The Turning Point:
Florence's interception was the biggest of many turning points. That gave the Bills the lead and put them in control of the game for the first time.

The Big Drive:
The drive that tied the game at 24 was a two play, 95 yard drive. Yes, you got that right. It was helped by two penalties totaling 46 yards, including a 31 yard pass interference penalty. Donald Jones had a 48 yard reception as well.

Stat of the Game:
Four interceptions by Brady is an unbelievable stat. He never throws picks and threw four in this game.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
The follies of the final minute of the game. Jackson was given a touchdown on his 39 yard screen pass. Then it was reversed by replay. Bill Belichick was irate and had to take a timeout to stop the clock from restarting. Chan Gailey was glad they didn't give him the touchdown so they could run out the clock. The Bills then started downing the ball and there were an exchange of penalties before the Bills went back about nine yards before Lindell's winning kick.

Quick Slants:
- The Bills got four interceptions for the first time since 2006.
- In an interesting first quarter decision. Chan Gailey elected to go for it on 4th and 14 from the Pats 35 trailing 14-0 instead of punting or kicking a long range field goal. The pass is picked off.
- Interesting decision... part II. On the Bills next drive they have a 4th and inches at their own 39 and punt. I know its different field position but they can't afford to punt against the Pats down by two scores. 4th and inches is very makeable compared to 4th and 14.
- Fred Jackson had a 20+ yard run for the third straight week.
- Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler each scored a touchdown for the third straight game.

My Take:
The heart and resilience of this team continues to shock me. Coming back from 18 down against the Raiders is one thing, but coming back from 21 down to beat the Patriots is quite another. It has been two very special weeks in a row at the Ralph. Something you haven't seen around here since the early 90s. The team is now 3-0 and sitting atop the division. We don't know where this crazy season will end up but the ride is very fun right now and this doesn't seem to be the same old Bills.

What's Ahead:
The Bills try to keep thing going next week when they play the Bengals in Cincinnati. They are much improved like the Bills so it should be a solid matchup. Bills would like a win though with Philadelphia and New York looming around the corner.

Gameballs

  • Fred Jackson - Played like a man possessed. He had 74 yards rushing on 12 carries and had 87 yards receiving.
  • Stevie Johnson - 8 catches for 94 yards and a score.
  • Leodis McKelvin - Had a big pick and nice pass breakup.
  • Drayton Florence - Had the big pick returned for a touchdown.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Another week, another comeback, another last minute winning drive. He threw for 369 yards and outplayed Brady.


  • Goats
  • Aaron Williams - Was burned early and often especially by Wes Welker before leaving with a chest injury.
  • Eric Wood - Had two bad penalties in the first half.
  • Nick Barnett - He was called for two big early penalties.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Fred Jackson - He is the heart and soul of the offense if not the whole team.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Patriots Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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