The New England Patriots went into Orchard Park and escaped with a 37-22 victory over their divisional rival the Buffalo Bills (3-3). In doing so, the Patriots (4-2) claimed first place in the AFC East.
It wasn’t a pretty game for New England. There were times when the offense looked like the much improved offense we saw in last week’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. But, there were also times where the offense looked like it had through the first four weeks of the season. A win is a win though.
The offensive line continues to be an issue with New England. From left to right the offensive line was comprised of Nate Solder, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Josh Kline, and Sebastian Vollmer. With rookie interior lineman Bryan Stork out this week the offensive front had to be shaken up again. The shuffling continued when Connolly left with a head injury in the first half. The lack of cohesion upfront looks like it will continue to be a lingering problem for the Patriots all season.
On the bright side, tight end Rob Gronkowski had a nice homecoming to Buffalo with 94 yards receiving, much of that yardage coming on plays the offense needed to have. Tom Brady also looks like he may be climbing out of his funk with four passing TDs and 361 yards through the air. Brandon LaFell looks more and more comfortable in the offense as he added 97 yards and two TDs of his own.
On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Darrelle Revis shut down Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins, who only had two catches. Hybrid defensive lineman/linebacker Rob Ninkovich had three sacks of former his former college teammate Kyle Orton.
Three key players did leave the game due to injury, running back Stevan Ridley and linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Connolly on the sidelines with injuries. With a short week coming up their situations will want to be monitored.
Next up for the Patriots, the New York Jets (1-5) come to Foxboro on Thursday night.
For more on today’s game, check out the postgame show.