2015 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

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

Victor CruzJul 28 02:23p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) is supposedly faster now than he was before he tore his patellar tendon last season, according to teammate CB Prince Amukamara. Amukamara [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 11:53a

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was waived/injured Tuesday, July 28.

Josh FreemanJul 28 10:43a

Free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Dolphins) was re-signed by the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, July 28, according to his agent, Ron Freeman.

Tom BradyJul 28 10:13a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is expected to have his four-game suspension upheld, a source told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. Smith said on 'ESPN First Take' Tuesday, July [ More ]

Chris CooleyJul 27 10:42p

Free-agent TE Chris Cooley (Redskins) is still considering a comeback, although he said Monday, July 27, in a radio interview that he does not anticipate a team signing him [ More ]

Josh McCownJul 27 10:32p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown enters training camp as the team's starting signal caller, but head coach Mike Pettine said Monday, July 27, that McCown is not guaranteed of [ More ]

Markus WheatonJul 27 07:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton is believed to have performed the best among the wide receivers during offseason workouts.

Brandon LaFellJul 27 05:22p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (foot) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 27.

Jadeveon ClowneyJul 27 05:12p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 27.

Kevin BrockJul 27 05:02p

Free-agent TE Kevin Brock (Bengals) signed with the New Orleans Saints Monday, July 27.

Matthew TuckerJul 27 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Matthew Tucker (undisclosed) was waived from the Non-Football Injury list Monday, July 27.

Da'Quan BowersJul 27 04:52p

Free-agent DE Da'Quan Bowers (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday, July 27.

Jonathan MartinJul 27 03:02p

Carolina Panthers OT Jonathan Martin (back) has chosen to retire. Martin will need surgery on his injured back.

Tom BradyJul 27 02:02p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension still has not been announced, and the NFL is now open to talking with the NFL Players Association [ More ]

Doug MartinJul 27 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin could be in line for a big, bounce-back year, in the opinion of beat writer Roy Cummings.

Casey MatthewsJul 27 09:12a

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve due to a hip injury Sunday, July 26.

Casey MatthewsJul 26 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) has been placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury that occurred during the team's offseason program.

Blair WalshJul 26 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings PK Blair Walsh signed a four-year contract extension Sunday, July 26, worth $14 million. The deal includes $5.25 million in guaranteed money.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group