Final

Patriots 31

(2-1, 1-1 away)

Bills 34

(3-0, 2-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 25, 2011

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 14 7 3 731
BUF 0 10 7 1734

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 387 YDS, 4 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: F. Jackson (BUF) - 12 CAR, 74 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: W. Welker (NE) - 16 REC, 217 YDS, 2 TD

Unbeaten Bills pick off Tom Brady 4 times, end 15-game skid vs. Pats

Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Time to Bill-ieve?

Ryan Fitzpatrick and the new-look, resilient, win-in-the-clutch Buffalo Bills are showing they're for real after producing their second consecutive stunning comeback victory -- this time against their AFC East nemesis, the New England Patriots.

Rian Lindell hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired to cap a 34-31 win over the Patriots in which the Bills overcame a 21-0 second-quarter deficit and snapped a 15-game losing streak against New England.

It was a win for the new generation of Bills, who don't know any better. And the victory was particularly cherished by senior members such as linebacker Chris Kelsay, one of four Buffalo players still on hand since the team's last victory over New England, in the 2003 season opener.

"It's the biggest win of my career. I can't think of any bigger," Kelsay said. "To beat these guys at home, in front of our fans, with the way they're behind us despite being down early, it's huge. I'll never forget it."

Former Bills lineman Ruben Brown hugged Buffalo players as they ran up the tunnel. Running back Fred Jackson ran around the field carrying a Bills flag. And stadium workers took no chances, first guarding the goal posts before lowering them on their own before fans got any ideas.

It was that kind of euphoric win for a team attempting to turn around a dreadful past in which it has gone 11 seasons without making the playoffs.

The Bills (3-0) won courtesy of yet another Fitzpatrick-led rally. And it was reminiscent of what the Bills did in a 38-35 win over Oakland a week earlier, when they scored touchdowns on their final five possessions to overcome a 21-3 deficit.

Fitzpatrick went 27 of 40 for 369 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson once again provided a spark with 72 yards rushing and a touchdown, and 87 yards receiving, including a 38-yard catch that set up Lindell's decisive kick.

The Patriots (2-1) had a 10-game regular-season winning streak snapped and suddenly find themselves looking up in the standings at Buffalo. Aside from their 15-game win streak, third longest in NFL history for one franchise against another, the Pats had won 20 of the past 21 over the Bills.

"Obviously, it was a disappointing loss for us today," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We've just got to do a better job."

Wes Welker had 16 catches for a franchise record 217 yards and two scores, and Rob Gronkowski also scored twice. Tom Brady went 30 of 45 for 386 yards and four scores for New England, but uncharacteristically unraveled.

Despite setting a league record for most yards passing over a three-game stretch, Brady matched a career worst with four interceptions. That included Drayton Florence's 27-yard interception return for a touchdown with 10:22 left that came 14 seconds after Jackson tied the game at 24 with a 1-yard plunge.

"We played a good football team and made too many mistakes," said Brady, whose four interceptions against Buffalo matched the number he had all of last season. "It's never easy. ... We had too many turnovers, too many penalties that allowed them to get some easy plays. ... I just wish we would have made a few less mistakes."

Dating to 1950, the Bills became the only team to overcome deficits of at least 18 points to win in consecutive weeks, according to STATS LLC. In fact, only five teams had previously won twice in one season when trailing by 18 or more points.

The last team to do so: the Patriots in 1996.

The game wasn't decided until the final four minutes, and after Brady led the Patriots back to tie the score at 31 on a 6-yard touchdown pass to Welker -- on fourth-and-goal, no less.

Back marched the Bills, who got the ball back with 3:25 left.

Fitzpatrick needed only three plays to get the Bills into scoring position.

Facing first-and-10 at the Patriots 39, Fitzpatrick hit Jackson on a short crossing pattern over the middle. Jackson broke loose and was attempting to dive into the end zone before being tackled from behind by Devin McCourty.

Officials initially ruled Jackson had scored before having it overturned on video review.

That wound up an advantage to the Bills, who ran down the clock by kneeling. The Patriots ran out of timeouts -- and composure as an unsportmanlike conduct penalty against Vince Wilfork gave Buffalo another set of downs at the 1.

All it took was Lindell to line up and hit a chip shot with the crowd cheering and standing on its feet.

"That's the loudest I've ever heard it in here," Lindell said. "Certainly they've been the team to beat. It's definitely a step in the right direction."

Stevie Johnson had eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown for Buffalo. Tight end Scott Chandler also scored on a 3-yard catch.

Game notes


Brady has 1,326 yards passing in three games to eclipse the mark of 1,257 set in 2006 by New Orleans QB Drew Brees. It was also Brady's 37th 300-yard career game, moving him into ninth place, one ahead of John Elway. ... This marked the fourth time and first since 1992 that Buffalo's opened a season scoring 30 points in each of its first three games. ... The Patriots extended their franchise-record streak to 11 games of scoring 30 points or more, three short of matching the NFL record set by the St. Louis Rams in 1999-2000.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NE
BUF
1st Downs3024
Passing 1st downs
2116
Rushing 1st downs
64
1st downs from penalties
34
3rd down efficiency
3-94-11
4th down efficiency
2-20-1
Total Plays7160
Total Yards495448
Yards per play7.07.5
Total Drives1313
Passing387369
Comp-Att
30-4527-40
Yards per pass
8.69.2
Interceptions thrown
42
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-00-0
Rushing10879
Rushing Attempts
2620
Yards per rush
4.24.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-53-4
Penalties8-939-77
Turnovers42
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
42
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession31:1528:45

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady30/453878.6440-0
BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpatrick27/403699.2220-0

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Ridley6427.0016
Woodhead6213.5010
BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson12746.2121
Smith263.005

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Welker1621713.6233
Gronkowski710915.6229
BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones510120.2048
Johnson89411.8133

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEBUF
neTD9:50Wes Welker 14 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 5:15
70
neTD6:05Rob Gronkowski 1 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 35 yds, 2:45
140
SECOND QUARTERNEBUF
neTD6:06Rob Gronkowski 26 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 65 yds, 1:32
210
bufTD2:00Steve Johnson 11 Yard Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 96 yds, 4:05
217
bufFG0:08Rian Lindell 42 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 66 yds, 1:02
2417
THIRD QUARTERNEBUF
bufTD9:37Scott Chandler 3 Yard Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yds, 3:41
2117
neFG4:53Stephen Gostkowski 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 81 yds, 4:43
2417
FOURTH QUARTERNEBUF
bufTD10:39Fred Jackson 1 Yard Run (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 95 yds, 0:51
2424
bufTD10:32Drayton Florence 27 Yard Interception Return (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 27 yds, 0:00
2431
neTD3:33Wes Welker 6 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 15 plays, 71 yds, 6:57
3131
bufFG0:03Rian Lindell 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 70 yds, 3:25
3134

Research Notes

Punter of the Day- Brian Moorman, Bills Moorman came up big in helping the Bills improve to 3-0 with an upset win over the Patriots. His 50.6 gross punting average was 2nd-highest of Sunday afternoon. His 44.4 yard net average ranked fifth-best on the day. Moorman is one of four punters averaging better than 50 gross yards per punt this season (entering Monday). His average through 3 games stands at 50.8. Moorman's last 2 punts of the day were his best-- a 52-yarder late in the third quarter from his own 26 yard line that was returned for a 4-yard loss and a 46-yarder with no return from his own eight-yard line with just over 13 minutes remaining. Honorable Mention: Seahawks punter Jon Ryan also had a busy afternoon with eight punts in a 13-10 win over the Cardinals. Ryan's only blemish, one that prevented him from winning the award, was a nine-yard punt late in the fourth quarter on a coffin-corner attempt. Ryan's "Mulligan Punting Average"(if we follow the idea behind the stat, Mulligan ERA, and take away his worst punt of the day) was 49.9 yards, and he had 2 punts of 60+ in the fourth quarter.
From Elias: The Bills are the 1st team in NFL history to win 2 consecutive games in which they trailed by at least 18 points in each. They trailed by 18 points to the Raiders in Week 2 and by 21 to the Patriots in Week 3.

PatriotsThe Patriots looked golden for the first 24 minutes Sunday. But NFL teams play 60 minutes and eventually the Bills jumped on New England's mistakes.

  [+]
Tom Brady has thrown 2 Int so far against the Bills. Brady had a total of 2 Int in his previous 7 games against the Bills.
Rob Gronkowski caught his 14th and 15th career TD today against the Bills. He is in just his 2nd season in the league, just 2 shy of tying Mike Ditka for most by a TE in his 1st 2 NFL seasons.
  [+]
The Patriots have a 14-0 lead after the 1st quarter. The Patriots have won their last 17 games where they led by at least 14 points after the 1st quarter. It was the biggest lead for the Patriots after 1 quarter against the Bills since they led 14-0 on December 27, 2003 en route to a 31-0 win.
The Patriots have scored a TD on their first possession in each of their three games this season.

ESPN Stats & Information