Final Score:** Patriots 37 – Bills 22
Location: Orchard Park, NY – Ralph Wilson Stadium
W-L records: Buffalo (3-3); New England (4-2)
In a Nutshell:**
It was a day to celebrate a new beginning, but an old division rival had other plans. In the first week of new ownership under Terry and Kim Pegula, the Bills could not put together a performance to knock the New England Patriots from their perch as the standard bearer in the AFC East. Turnovers and penalties proved costly in a 37-22 loss to New England.
The loss dropped Buffalo to 3-3 on the season and a full game behind New England, who improved to 4-2 with the victory.
Buffalo put themselves in a 13-7 halftime hole thanks to three first-half turnovers, which led to all of New England's scoring through the first two quarters. The Bills were able to close to within six (20-14) with five minutes left in the third quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Fred Jackson.
Penalties at inopportune times however, helped to extend New England drives, and Tom Brady took advantage. The Patriots scored on their first three second half possessions tallying a pair of touchdowns and a field goal to put themselves up 30-14 with eight minutes remaining. It proved to be too much to overcome.
Kyle Orton capped an eight-play 80-yard scoring drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan, and connected with Robert Woods on a two-point conversion to make it a one score game with 5:58 left (30-22). It's as close as Buffalo would get.
The Patriots took the ensuing possession and ripped off a seven-play 93-yard drive that culminated in a 56-yard catch and run for a touchdown by Brandon LaFell with 2:49 left (37-22) for the game's final points.
How it went down:
--The Patriots got on the scoreboard first thanks to a pass interference penalty that handed New England a 1st-and-goal situation at the Bills' one-yard line. Tim Wright caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady for a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
--Buffalo tied the score in the second quarter as Robert Woods pulled in a seven-yard pass from Kyle Orton to cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive with less than four minutes in the opening half.
--New England retook the lead on a 42-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski following a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery by Chandler Jones on Kyle Orton at the Buffalo 24-yard line.
--With just 14 seconds left in the half C.J. Spiller was stripped after a 15-yard carry at the Buffalo 42-yard line. Gostkowski made the Bills pay again with a 53-yard field goal as the half expired to give New England a 13-7 lead at the half.
--The Patriots came right out of the locker room and promptly staged a six-play 80-yard drive to start the second half. Tom Brady finished the drive with a 43-yard touchdown hookup with Brian Tyms for a 20-7 third quarter lead.
--The Bills responded on the ensuing possession with an 80-yard drive of their own. Fred Jackson capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
--The lead for the Patriots was pushed to nine points as Gostkowski hit from 40 yards away to give New England a 23-14 advantage with 3:08 left in the third quarter.
--Buffalo made it a one score game when Kyle Orton found Chris Hogan for an eight-yard touchdown to cap an eight-play 80-yard scoring drive. Robert Woods followed with a two-point conversion reception from Orton with 5:58 left in the game (30-22).
--New England capped the scoring with a 93-yard scoring drive with 2:49 left as Brandon LaFell pulled in a 56-yard touchdown from Brady (37-22).
Quotes from the locker room
--"We had an opportunity to beat a divisional opponent. We lost that opportunity at home. That's the one that gets you. At home is a big advantage. It's difficult to win on the road in this league and you've got to win your home games. When you lose one, now you're banking on when you turn it around at the end of the year, to try to get it back. Advantage to them."
HC Doug Marrone
--"We've already addressed just not getting off to a fast enough start and putting our defense in a bad situation being on the field for so long. Obviously the turnovers in the first half were a problem and penalties keep on showing up to be a problem as well. So it seems like we do a lot of things good, but sometimes we can't stay out of our own way. It's tough to beat a good team doing that."
QB Kyle Orton
--"Penalties are a huge problem for any team. You can't win a ball game with penalties, so we have to be smarter. We have to figure out a way to be smarter and just cut down on the penalties. If we want to be a playoff team, that's what we have to do."
DE Jerry Hughes
--"Turnovers and penalties. When you kill yourselves on drives like that it's going to be hard to get anything going. That was our M.O. today. Once we got out of our own way and stopped turning the ball over and converting some first downs and things like that we were able to move the ball so we got to go make, look at film, make corrections as an offensive unit and get better in all those areas."
RB Fred Jackson
Photos of the week 6 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
--Kyle Orton was 24-38 passing for 299 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked five times in the game and lost a fumble on one of them.
--The Bills, who came into the game tied with New England for the best turnover margin in the NFL at plus-6, committed three first half turnovers, which accounted for all 13 Patriots' points in the first two quarters of play.
--Scott Chandler recorded his 150th career reception in the first half. He's the fourth Bills tight end in team history with 150 or more catches in his career. He also had a season high six catches for 105 yards.
--Corey Graham saw most of his work at safety Sunday to help fill the void left by the injured Aaron Williams. He finished with seven tackles.
--Patriots MLB Jerod Mayo left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
--For the third time this season the Bills were flagged for more than 100 yards in penalties.
--Chris Hogan caught his first NFL touchdown pass with just under six minutes left in the game on an eight-yard pass play.
--Head coach Doug Marrone won a challenge on a 3rd-and-7 catch, fumble and fumble recovery by Rob Gronkowski that went for a first down. The play was overturned, making Marrone 3-for-4 this season on coach challenges.
WR Mike Williams, S Aaron Williams, CB Ross Cockrell, RB Bryce Brown, LB Randell Johnson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, WR Marcus Easley.
The Bills will host the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff.