]()The Buffalo Bills went into Week 3 a battered and winless team. They left even more battered and still winless. Quarterback J.P. Losman left the game early with a bad knee and first round pick Paul Posluszny broke his forearm in his team's 38-7 drubbing at the hands of New England.
For the Patriots, Tom Brady was once again remarkable, throwing for 311 yards (23 of 29) and 4 touchdowns. And again, Randy Moss led all receivers in yards with 115 on 5 catches and two touchdowns.
On the ground, Laurence Maroney had his first 100-yard game of 2007, going for 103 yards on 19 carries. Combined, the Patriots ground game had 177 yards and a 4.7 yard-per-carry average.
It was another dominating win for the 3-0 Patriots from all three units.
The Patriots defense gave Losman a rude welcome to Gillette Stadium. On his first series of the game, Vince Wilfork got knocked forward into Losman's knee. The Bills quarterback came up limping and stayed in the game but two plays later, Ellis Hobbs came in on a corner blitz, nailed Losman and knocked the ball loose. Jarvis Green recovered on the Bills 35 and New England was poised to take an early lead.
They did just that but only by a 24-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. The Patriots had three tries from first and goal but a Maroney run for a loss of one and two Brady incompletes caused by good Bills coverage forced the field goal unit on the field.
With Losman on the sideline working out his sore knee, the Bills were forced to bring in Trent Edwards, a rookie out of Stanford. Edwards did more than just an adequate job, driving the Bills 80 yards for the game's first touchdown. He hit Roscoe Parrish for 13 yards on third and 8 from the 44 and then followed up that play with a 21 yard completion to Josh Reed down to the Patriots 22. On third and 8 from the 8, Lynch bulled his way in, breaking two tackles along the way and Buffalo took a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter.
The first quarter ended with the Patriots on the Bills 30-yard line due mainly to a Faulk 11-yard run on a nice counter play and a 15-yard penalty on the Bills Angelo Crowell for unnecessary roughness. Despite that, the Patriots offense suddenly looked a little out of sorts. Faced with a fourth and 7 from the 29, New England went for the first down but Brady's pass to Faulk was a yard short of the stick and the Bills took over.
The Patriots defense stopped Buffalo three and out and the Patriots offense looked to get back on track. With Maroney running well and a 28-yard completion to Donte Stallworth to the Bills 16, New England was doing just that. But on first and goal from the 3, Brady kept up the middle and had the ball jarred loose just before the goal line by John McCargo. McCargo also recovered on the 1-yard line and New England came up short again (the play was challenged by the Patriots but the fumble ruling was upheld.)
Buffalo had the ball but in a tough spot. On first down, the Bills QB was chased to his right deep in the end zone as he attempted to pass. The play was incomplete but it looked like he stepped on the back line as he ran away from the pressure. New England challenged but again the ruling on the field was upheld.
Despite the setback, the Patriots defense held and after a booming 75-yard punt by Brian Moorman and a 29-yard return by Wes Welker, New England took over on its the Bills 47. From there it took Brady six plays to find Ben Watson between two defenders from 8-yards out. Watson took the pass into the end zone and the Patriots had a 10-7 lead.
Brady added to the lead with a 3-yard strike to Moss with 1:17 left in the first half. The drive went 48-yards highlighted by a 20-yard connection to Kyle Brady, his first catch as a Patriot.
After both teams went three and out to begin the second half, Brady put together a 9-play, 89-yard drive in which he hit Moss for 45 yards down the left sideline. The Bills defense had been softened up by a couple underneath passes to Welker and once Moss got past the short zone he was wide open. Maroney did most of the work from where Moss was tackled at the Bills 23 and from 4 yards out on third down, Jabar Gaffney was all alone in the end zone for Brady's third touchdown pass of the day.
New England piled up the points with 3:26 left in the third quarter. On first and 10 from the 41 Brady hit Welker over the middle. As Welker weaved his way down field he was met up by a couple Bills after 26 yards. As he turned his body on the way down to the ground, he spotted Moss right behind him and alertly handed Moss the ball who took it another 11 yards to the Bills 4. From there, Sammy Morris pounded it in for a 31-7 lead.
The onslaught continued with a 45-yard bomb to Moss to make the score 38-7. With the game now in the fourth quarter, New England had started this drive on its own 2-yard line. Faulk had just caught two passes for 10 and 9 yards when Brady looked deep on second and 1. Moss was one-on-one with cornerback Jabari Greer and despite Greer being step for step, Brady's pass sailed over the leaping defender while Moss simply flicked out his hands and caught the ball on the run down the right sideline.
The play gave Moss his third straight 100-plus yard receiving game this season and put him at 5 catches for 115 to that point along with two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Patriots defense, other than the early touchdown, was completely blanking the Bills. Losman never did return to the field from his early injury and young Edwards was finding no luck in giving his team a chance to score. It was to the point with 8:15 left to play that the Patriots felt confident to replace Brady with back-up Matt Cassel.
While Cassel did not add to the lead, Asante Samuel did come up with his first interception of the season. It was a pass intended for Price that Samuel took back 42 yards to the Bills 12. Cassel and the offense played it conservative from there, coming up short on an Evans fourth and 6 run from the 8.
That wrapped up the game as the Bills were content to run out the clock.