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.
Dr. Tony Schena joined the show to give insight into what lies ahead for Rob Gronkowski. He said a tough road is in front of the Patriots tight end.
We discuss the improbable win over the Browns and the loss of Rob Gronkowski with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday.
Ninkovich sits in with Mut and Merloni to look back at yesterday’s comeback win against the Browns. Rob also explains the range of emotions the team experienced after Rob Gronkowski suffered a potentially season ending injury.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Cherington sits in with Mut and Lou to talk about the Red Sox heading into 2014. Ben breaks down the signing of Edward Mujica and what’s on the table at this year’s meetings.
Rob Bradford joined the show and talked about the activity on day one of the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Rob told the guys the Sox are in a good spot and plan on waiting out the Stephen Drew market.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys talked about Kanye West's moronic comments comparing himself to a cop.
Millar sits in with the guys on location in Orlando at MLB's Winter Meetings. He covers all the bases with Mut and Lou on all the Red Sox free agent possibilities and potential trades.
Former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia chats with Mut and Merloni about his decision to join the Miami Marlins after hitting free agency this winter. Jarrod also talks about his relationship with the Red Sox during his time in Boston.
Kurkjian joins Mut and Merloni at the Winter Meetings to talk about the Red Sox plans on the market. Tim believes the Red Sox are not satisfied with their situation in center and are looking to add a veteran outfielder to the mix.
We discuss the comers and goers for the Red Sox and the rest of MLB with former GM Steve Phillips, now of MLB Radio on Sirius XM.
Ho, hum. We're live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, and it seems like everything of merit was done last week. We still discuss the Sox roster moves and potential for 2014.
We tackle four topics at 4PM, today centered around sporting disasters.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. He discussed the new love between Evelyn Lozada and former Red Sox player Carl Crawford.More from this show