ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Patriots scored 35 straight second-half points to wipe out a 21-7 third-quarter deficit and beat the Bills, 52-28, Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. With the win, the Patriots improved to 2-2 and avoided their first 1-3 start since 2001 and their first three-game losing streak since 2002. The Patriots, who trailed 14-7 at the half, demolished the Bills defense, totaling 580 yards on the day. The Patriots scored on their final seven possessions.
Brandon Bolden rushed for 16 times 137 yards and a touchdown and Stevan Ridley added two TD runs and 106 yards on 22 carries to become the first Patriots tandem since 1980 to eclipse 100 yards in a game. The Patriots ran the ball 40 times for 247 yards while Tom Brady finished 22-of-36 for 340 yards. Wes Welker caught nine passes for 129 yards while Rob Gronkowski added five catches for 104 yards. Brandon Lloyd capped off the big day with his first touchdown in a Patriots uniform, a spectacular diving grab of 25 yards.
The Patriots became just the second team in NFL history to have a pair of 100-yard rushers and 100-yard receivers in the same game, joining the 2008 Packers.
Defensively, Devin McCourty, after dropping a pair of potential interceptions last week in Baltimore, intercepted two passes. Jerod Mayo and Tavon Wilson also had interceptions while Vince Wilfork and Brandon Spikes forced fumbles as the Bills committed six turnovers.
The day started well for the Patriots as Brady drove the offense 90 yards in seven plays in just over three minutes. Brady was 5-for-5 for 80, including a 41-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski. The drive was capped off by a six-yard run off left tackle by Stevan Ridley.
The Bills had the ball for over 10 minutes in the first quarter but the Patriots defense kept momentum on New England's side. But the game started to change when the Patriots failed to convert two Buffalo turnovers into any points. Vince Wilfork tipped a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass at the line of scrimmage and it was intercepted by Jerod Mayo near midfield. But the Patriots went three-and-out. Then, Devin McCourty intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick at the Buffalo 42 but Stephen Gostkowski missed wide right from 49 yards.
The Bills, on the other hand, used a Rob Gronkowski fumble and turnover after a reception to immediately get back in the game. On the first play after the fumble, Scott Chandler caught a Fitzpatrick pass over Patrick Chung to tie the game, 7-7, early in the second quarter. After the Patriots chose to attempt 42-yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th-and-inches at the Bills 24, they were burned again when Gostkowski hooked it wide left. Fitzpatrick then led the Bills 68 yards in just five plays, capped off by a 20-yard TD to Chandler, who beat Brandon Spikes in a seam route over the middle, putting the Bills up, 14-7.
The Patriots appeared to catch a huge break when Wes Welker fumbled and set the Bills up at the Patriots 21. But with C.J. Spiller about to drive it in at the goal line, Brandon Spikes hit Spiller forcing a fumble that was recovered by Vince Wilfork at the Patriots 4. The Patriots ran out the clock and trailed 14-7 at the half.
The Patriots defense corned the Bills deep in their own territory early in the third, forcing a 3rd-and-15. But Fitzpatrick converted a 16-yard screen pass to Fred Jackson. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick connected to Donald Jones over the middle for a 68-yard touchdown pass, as Jones beat Kyle Arrington and Chung on the play. The Patriots turned to the ground game, rushing for 52 of 80 yards, capped off by a 17-yard TD pass to Danny Woodhead. The Patriots defense held and Brady capped off the next offensive drive with a Brady four-yard TD run to tie the game again, 21-21.
Brady hit Gronkowski on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 28-yard TD pass over the middle to give the Patriots the lead for good. Ridley and Bolden would add touchdown runs from inside the 10-yard line as the Patriots built their lead to 42-21.
The Patriots return home next week to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a late-afternoon tilt at Gillette Stadium. For complete coverage from the team of Chris Price and Mike Petraglia on the scene at Ralph Wilson Stadium, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What It Is.
Greg and Chris talk more offseason happenings with the Pats and their plans. They talk about some of the free agents toward the bottom of the list with Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly. Price thinks that Connolly could end up back with the Pats and Ridley elsewhere (Cowboys?), but Greg thinks they both could be back. They also chat about the departure of VInce Wilfork and what he meant to the organization, the re-signing of McCourty and more.
The very first airing of the offseason edition of NFL Sunday gets underway with Greg and Chris delving into the free agency period and how the Pats made out. Of course they lost Revis to the Jets, but what else went on? Greg isn't over the loss of Revis yet and the guys discuss what went into that whole ordeal. Price is looking forward to the additions of Chandler and Cadet. They also get a call from Mike Petraglia and get his thoughts on the Pats offseason moves.
We talk to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News about his column today which basically accuses the Patriots of sour grapes for asking the league to enforce their own rules against tampering.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase kick off this weeks show by talking to Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly about his biceps recovery, getting ready for the season and his NCAA brackets. They then talk about the Red Sox depth at closer with Koji Uehara questionable for the start of the season.
Jack Edwards of NESN joins Dale, Michael and Jerry. With 9 games left the Bruins don't have much if any margin of error, and Jack knows it.
DJ, Joe and Pete talk more playoff scenarios in hour 2 and if the Bruins can get in, they'll be a very dangerous team... to the point where DJ thinks teams would much rather face the Senators and are doing their best to oust the Bruins from the equation. It's become apparent now more than ever that Chiarelli probably needed to pull the trigger on a deal for a defenseman at the trade deadline. Also. Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun joins the boys to discuss the Hamburglar and the Senators and Bruins being neck-and-neck for a playoff spot.
With the Senators hot on the tail of the Bruins for a spot in the playoffs, Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun calls into Sunday Skate. He talks about "the Hamburglar" craze sweeping through the league as goalie Andrew Hammond has really stepped up for Ottawa. They discuss playoff chances, the fans' reaction in Ottawa and more.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed Darrelle Revis' comments on his contract offer from the Patriots.
The guys opened the show by discussing the rumored profanity laced tirade by Bill Belichick.
Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the show to talk about the struggling Bruins, the play of Zdeno Chara, and the future of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York joined the show to talk about the ongoing tampering scandals between the Jets and the Patriots.
Christian does not impress the high school girls hockey team.
Dale and Michael discuss the collective egg laid by the Celtics against the Heat, and how the Bruins turnaround better begin tonight if they want it to begin at all.
We wrap up the day with the best in sound and more...
We discuss Shane Victorino's call-out of another local radio show, and debate the merits of Victorino's claims.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin and College Hockey News’ Adam Wodon preview this year’s NCAA regionals and take a look at the chances for each of the Boston-area teams in the field. They also discuss BU’s Jack Eichel, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey and the Hobey Baker Award.
We discuss the annual joke that is the New York Jets, and their latest Jets-like move. Plus how on earth could you possibly choose to be a Jets fan.More from this show
Things are getting silly in the AFC East, as reports came out late last night the Jets have turned around and essentially accused the Patriots of counter-tampering.More from this show