Over the first two games of the 2011 season, so many of the yards the Patriots defense had allowed to both San Diego and Miami could be explained away in the context of the game -- that is to say New England held second-half leads and was willing to allow some garbage-time totals that meant not



Chad Ochocinco continued his early season struggles on Sunday in Buffalo, dropping what would have been an easy touchdown in the fourth quarter and running a poor route on a third-quarter Tom Brady interception.

After watching helplessly on the sidelines for the final two minutes as the Bills ran out the clock before the game-winning field goal, Tom Brady said the Patriots would've been better off if the officials didn't overturn Fred Jackson's 39-yard touchdown on a short pass over the middle. Instead, after a review, the Bills had the ball at the Patriots 1-yard line.  

The Bills were able to kill the clock with Ryan Fitzpatrick taking a couple of knees before Rian Lindell's game-winning field goal from 28 yards. 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he was the one who decided to call a timeout late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Bills. The stoppage ultimately allowed Buffalo to run the clock down and kick a game-winning 28-yard field field goal with three seconds remaining to come away with the 34-31 victory.

The Patriots defense blew a 21-0 lead and wasted a brilliant game by Wes Welker to fall in stunning fashion to the Bills, 34-31, Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Tom Brady matched a career-high by throwing four interceptions, three of them leading to touchdowns, and the Patriots lost to the Bills for the first time since Sept. 7, 2003, snapping a 15-game winning streak. The Bills killed the clock after Fred Jackson's touchdown was overturned and Rian Lindell kicked the game-winning 28-yard field goal as time expired.

A big loss for the Patriots secondary was announced before Sunday's game in Orchard Park, as rookie standout cornerback Ras-I Dowling was announced as a scratch with a hip injury. He suffered what was announced as a thigh injury last week in the win over the Chargers. 

Dowling joins Patrick Chung (thumb), Albert Haynesworth (back), Aaron Hernandez (knee), Mike Wright (concussion), Taylor Price (hamstring) and Sebastian Vollmer (back) as Patriots players who are out of today's game against the Bills. 

On Saturday night, the Patriots downgraded three additional players to out in advance of Sunday's game against the Bills -- safety Patrick Chung (hand), defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back) and wide receiver Taylor Price (hamstring) were officially downgraded to out for Sunday’s game. On Friday's injury report, the team had previously listed tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) as out.

With safety Patrick Chung out for Sunday's game following surgery on his right thumb this week, safety Ross Ventrone has been signed off the practice squad and onto the Patriots 53-man roster in advance of the team's game in Buffalo.

Here are 10 matchups worth keeping an eye on when the Patriots meet the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon:



The Patriots announced Friday that they have released tight end Dan Gronkowski. The brother of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, the 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, was signed by the Patriots on September 7, 2011 and played in the first two games for the Patriots. He is a veteran of two NFL seasons with Detroit (2009) and Denver (2010). Gronkowski originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (255th overall) of Detroit in 2009 out of Maryland. He was traded by Detroit to Denver on Sept. 4, 2010. He was released by Denver on Sept. 3.