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.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
Super Bowl champ Vince Wilfork joins the show to talk about his feelings about winning the Super Bowl and what his future holds.
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.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
Catcher Blake Swihart, one of the Red Sox top-rated prospects, sits down with Lou to talk about Spring Training and his expectations for the upcoming season
Pierre McGuire of the NBC Sports Network joins the show to talk about the Bruins' continued struggles, and what the team needs to do to improve moving forward
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton talk with the great Jack Edwards of NESN fame to get his insight on the struggling Bruins as the chances to salvage this season continue to dwindle.
Ryan Lambert calls the guys to talk about the Bruins playoff chances, Chiarelli's future and if the B's are sellers or buyers as the trade deadline approaches.
Big John can't take it anymore, JUST TALK ABOUT SPORTS!!!
Ben joined Dino, Gerry and Kirk to look at the team's offseason acquisitions. He also chatted about the market for adding quality Cuban talent.
Bogaerts sat down with Dino, Gerry and Kirk to talk about the upcoming season. He revealed that he lost his confidence last season after a tough start and is looking forward to settling into shortstop in the future.
With the recent discussions about the "pace of play", the guys discuss the larger issue of baseball's declining popularity.
The guys react to David Ortiz recent diatribe against the new rugulations about players in the batter's box
Michael and Dale discuss the re-emergence of the Celtics in the public's eye, especially since the trade to bring in Isaiah Thomas. The grit of this young team just might be contagious.
After David Ortiz' comments yesterday, more players are weighing in on MLB's efforts to try and quicken the pace of games in 2015. We discuss it with you.
Dale and MIchael discuss the Patriots and the plethora of players popping up as available in the NFL right now. Are any of them a fit here? We discuss.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
Chris and Nate from Barstool Sports review the events of Fast Lane and Raw while discussing the potential card at Wrestlemania.
Schilling sits in with Dino, Gerry and Kirk at spring training in Fort Myers. Schill talks about the Red Sox rotation and the indifference of Clay Buchholz.More from this show
Big John can't take it anymore, JUST TALK ABOUT SPORTS!!!More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton listen in as David Ortiz goes off to the media about the pace of game rule changes being put in place this year in Major League Baseball. They listen to David, discuss it among themselves, and talk with YOU.More from this show
Red Sox Manager John Farrell joins Dino, Gerry and Kirk to help them examine the pressing issues facing the 2015 Red Sox.More from this show