FOXBORO -- Devin McCourty intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone with 23 seconds left to stop a potential game-winning drive by the Bills and preserve a 37-31 win Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Danny Woodhead caught an 18-yard touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Patriots took command of the AFC East with the wild win over the Bills. The Patriots took full advantage of an undisciplined Buffalo team that committed 14 penalties for 148 yards. Tom Brady finished 23-of-38 for 237 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots defense, which gave up 481 yards and 35 first downs, had to make one final stand to preserve the win in the final two minutes.
The Patriots improved to 6-3 on the season, good for a two-game lead on the Dolphins in the AFC East. The Patriots lost two offensive linemen in the game, as Dan Connolly suffered a back injury and Logan Mankins injured his left ankle. Both left in the second half and did not return.
Thanks to 10 Buffalo first-half penalties, the Patriots dominated early. After a Stephen Gostkowski field goal put them on top 3-0, Vince Wilfork broke through for a strip-sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jermaine Cunningham recovered. The Bills committed a pair of penalties in the end zone to set up Stevan Ridley's one-yard TD run.
The Bills responded with a field goal before the Patriots marched 83 yards in eight plays, capped off by a 16-yard Danny Woodhead touchdown run up the middle, putting New England ahead, 17-3.
The Bills, who amassed 229 yards in the first half, responded with an 80-yard drive culminating in a 14-yard TD run by Fred Jackson. The Patriots used a 37-yard pass interference penalty on Leodis McKelvin in the end zone to set up their third touchdown of the first half, a spectacular diving grab by Rob Gronkowski in the right corner of the end zone. But the Bills responded by driving down the field, aided by a 15-yard personal foul late hit by Alfonzo Dennard on Fitzpatrick, who hit a wide open Scott Chandler in the end zone to make it a 24-17 Patriots lead at the half.
The Patriots were forced to punt for the first time on their first possession of the second half but scored on their second possession when Danny Woodhead took a pass from Brady and raced 18 yards, just extending the ball over the goal line before his knees hit the ground. The Bills came back with an 84-yard drive, capped off by Jackson's second TD run of the day.
Leading by 10 with 10 minutes left, McCourty made a huge play, forcing a fumble by C.J. Spiller at the goal line, recovered by Kyle Arrington. The Patriots could not take advantage as Wes Welker dropped a pass that would've given the Patriots another three downs. Instead, they punted from the back of the end zone, setting up the Bills in Patriots territory. The Bills scored on a two-yard TD pass from Fitzpatrick to Donald Jones with seven minutes left to cut the Patriots lead to 34-31.
The Patriots improve to 6-3 and will host Andrew Luck and the Colts next Sunday at Gillette Stadium. For complete coverage from the team of Chris Price, Mike Petraglia and Kirk Minihane at Gillette, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What It Is.
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.
It wouldn't be a Celtics v Hawks Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown without ESPN's Celtics Whisperer Chris Forsberg joining Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for some WEEI Studio magic. They discuss the Hawks' transition dominance on their mega runs and the bizarre night for Isaiah Thomas. Of course they also answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions!
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after the Red Sox beat the White Sox behind a solid outing from Clay buchholz
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, after he pitched 7 shutout innings against the Yankees Saturday night.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Lenny Clarke was pissed at Kirk yesterday. WBZ's Scott Eck is transgendering to become Kristen Eck. Caitlyn Jenner will pose nude in Sports Illustrated.
John, Gerry and Kirk re-visit some of the Tom Brady conversation from last year regarding his diet, as the TB12 company has released a cookbook for 200 bucks.
Clay Buchholz finally got a win and the guys discuss his inconsistencies over his career.
Dr. Thomas Gill calls in to give his input on Pablo Sandoval's season ending surgery, and tells the guys how long he thinks the third baseman will be out.
The Celtics are approaching a very important off season, and Danny Ainge needs to figure out a plan to get a star in Boston...most importantly Kevin Durant. Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about who the team needs to go after.
Tom Werner was in studio today and Christian could not hold himself back when Tom Werner mentioned the comedian "Whitney Cummings."
John Farrell calls us from Chicago to talk Pablo, E-Rod, Joe Kelly, Travis Shaw and much more.
Four at Four bled into some genuine discussion about who this town's greatest villains truly are.
Inspired by A-Rod's appearance at Fenway, we discuss four of our biggest Villains/nemesis' on the Boston sports scene.
Mikey and Lenny talk Clay Buchholz' struggles, and visit the Ghosts of Baseball past (Well, some of them are still alive...)
Mikey and Lenny talk Sox and Sandoval
It’s all about the music – the crew touches on Prince, and the greatest bands of all time
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and what it means to the future of the offensive line, new safeties coach Steve Belichick and his football relationship to his dad and recap the Patriots 2016 draft and what to expect from some of the higher profile selections in their upcoming rookie season.
Kirk Minihane sits down with co-worker and often times nemesis, Lou Merloni, to talk about their past altercations and their own philosophies about radio. Kirk and Lou discuss some of the issues they have with working at the station and their disagreements with management.
The New Age Insiders had the chance to take fan questions that were left over from their LIVE show on Tuesday, and had the pleasure to talk to wrestler on the rise, JT Dunn! Follow us on Twitter at @NewAgeInsiders
Glenn, Lou, and Christian check in with Raffi Melkonian to get his insight on the 2nd Circuit court's decision and what Tom Brady's options are going forward.More from this show
We check in for the national perspective on Tom Brady's reinstated suspension from MMQB/SI's Peter KingMore from this show
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the reports surrounding Prince and his drug use.More from this show
Glenn, Lou and Christian (and ESPN) react to the news that Tom Brady will be suspended the first 4 games of the 2016 season.More from this show
The guys react to the performance of the ESPN broadcast team.More from this show