2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Brady still has Bills' number after 23-21 win

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-09 02:54

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel and the new-look Buffalo Bills opened the season with a familiar lament.

No matter how many times the Bills retool their roster, they almost always find a way to lose to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

``Obviously, Tom Brady is a great quarterback and is going to go into the Hall of Fame,'' Manuel said. ``But at the end of the day, you want to win. That's how I see it.''

What Manuel and rookie head coach Doug Marrone instead saw was Brady marching the Patriots 49 yards on 12 plays to set up Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal with 5 seconds left to secure a 23-21 victory Sunday. With that, Brady shrugged off a sloppy start to improve his career record to 21-2 against the Patriots' AFC East rival.

It's a string that dates to 2001, making Manuel the eighth Bills starter Brady has out-dueled. It's a list that includes Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Manuel's immediate predecessor.

Brady acknowledged he was far from perfect and still getting accustomed to the Patriots' new group of receivers.

``I think we have a long way to go,'' said Brady, who finished 29 of 52 for 288 yards passing, with two touchdowns to Julian Edelman, an interception and a fumbled snap at the goal line. ``But I am glad we started with a win. It feels a lot better than losing.''

It marked the 36th time in Brady's career - and fifth against Buffalo - that he's led the Patriots to victory when tied or trailing in the fourth quarter.

Here's five reasons the Patriots beat the Bills:

1. AMENDOLA CATCHING ON: With Wes Welker's offseason departure, the Patriots turned their attention to sign free-agent Danny Amendola in hopes he can develop into Brady's favorite receiver.

So far, so good. Amendola shook off a nagging groin injury he aggravated late in the first half to finish with a game-best 10 catches for 104 yards. Three of his catches came on the final drive, all for first downs, including a 10-yard reception in traffic to convert a third-and-8.

``We all know Tom has been in this situation before: He's really one of the best,'' Amendola said. ``We really rallied behind him.''

Brady credited Amendola for persevering through his injury.

``He really toughed it out,'' Brady said.

Edelman had seven catches for 79 yards.

The biggest disappointment was rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, who had several drops, including one in the end zone. Thompkins had four catches for 42 yards, but was targeted 14 times. With Rob Gronkowski sidelined (back/forearm), the Patriots' tight ends combined for one catch - Michael Hoomanawanui for 5 yards.

2. THIRD-DOWN LETDOWN: Despite forcing three turnovers, including safety Da'Norris Searcy returning Stevan Ridley's fumble 74 yards for a touchdown, the Bills' defense had difficulty getting Brady off the field.

The Patriots converted 11 of 20 third-down chances, including two on the decisive drive.

``You have to stop him,'' said defensive end Mario Williams, who had six tackles and a sack. ``I feel like a lot of times we were in a good position. But we just have to make the tackle and get him down.''

New England had 431 yards offense to Buffalo's 286, and a 26-15 edge in first downs.

3. VEREEN STEPS IN: The Patriots' running attack didn't miss a step after Ridley was benched following his lost fumble midway through the second quarter.

Shane Vereen took over and gained a career-high 101 yards rushing along with seven catches for 58 yards. Vereen put the finishing touches on the decisive drive with a 15-yard run to the Bills 14.

Ridley watched from the sideline with his helmet perched on his head.

``I'm happy for him. I really am,'' Ridley said of Vereen. ``It (stinks) for me to be in this situation, but as a teammate, I pat him on the back.''

4. OPPORTUNISTIC ARRINGTON: Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington forced two fumbles that led to touchdowns.

Arrington punched the ball out of running back C.J. Spiller's hands on the Bills' first possession, to set up Edelman's 9-yard TD catch. Late in the second quarter, he jarred the ball loose with a heavy hit on rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin to set up Edelman's 8-yard score.

5. COSTLY DROP: Bills receiver Stevie Johnson scored on an 18-yard TD catch to put the Bills up 21-17 on the opening drive of the third quarter. And yet, Johnson had a pass fall out of his hands on third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter.

Johnson finished with three catches for 39 yards, failing to play up to a big boast he made to open the week. That's when he said: ``I don't think (the Patriots) have got nobody to stop me.''

The Bills also stopped themselves with 10 penalties for 75 yards.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningDec 19 07:42p

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was officially limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, but he threw more than he did than the day prior, [ More ]

Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) was limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, and is questionable for Week 16.

Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) have been ruled out for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam NewtonDec 19 04:12p

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) has yet to officially be cleared to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Ron Rivera [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice all week but is questionable for Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Peyton ManningDec 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Friday, Dec. 19, after being limited Thursday, Dec. 18. Manning made several strong throws in the portion open to the media.

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Friday, Dec. 19, and RTV6's Mike Chappell is convinced that Hilton will not play in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

Blake BortlesDec 19 12:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) completed only 13 passes for 115 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, but he didn't show any signs [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group