ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Dec. 11, 2005) -- Neither a limp, nor snow, nor a slick field could prevent Tom Brady from leading the New England Patriots to victory.
Brady banged up his left knee on a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, shook off the injury, and finished with 329 yards passing and two touchdowns in leading New England to a 35-7 victory over the unraveling Buffalo Bills.
The two-time defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (8-5) can clinch their third consecutive AFC East title and fourth in five seasons with a Miami (5-7) loss at San Diego later in the day.
Corey Dillon added a 12-yard touchdown run and 102 yards rushing. Troy Brown and Christian Fauria each caught short touchdown passes as the Patriots scored the first 35 points.
New England's defense did the rest, shutting down a popgun Bills attack by generating three interceptions and limiting Buffalo to 183 yards offense and eight first downs. Safety James Sanders capped New England's scoring with a 39-yard interception return of J.P. Losman's pass tipped by Tedy Bruschi in the final three minutes.
The game was played amid a steady snowfall and a stiff breeze that made the 30-degree kickoff temperature feel like 20.
Brady has been at his best in such conditions. He improved to 14-0 when the temperature is colder than 35. Brady was lifted with seven minutes left, replaced by former Bills quarterback Doug Flutie, who received a big cheer from the few fans left in the stands.
Losman lost his seventh straight start, going 10 of 27 for 181 yards. Losman's only bright spot was a 51-yard touchdown completion to Josh Reed in the final minutes, allowing the Bills to avoid their first home shutout loss since 1979.
The loss capped a tumultuous week for the Bills (4-9), a team which running back Willis McGahee described to be in a state of "chaos." Bills veteran receiver Eric Moulds was suspended for the Patriots game for conduct detrimental.
The Bills, who have lost six of seven, have been outscored 59-9 in their last seven quarters since blowing a 21-0 first quarter lead in a 24-23 loss at Miami last weekend.
The fans showed their displeasure, leaving en masse after Rian Lindell missed a 32-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds of the third quarter.
One fan, standing behind two Moulds' jerseys draped over the wall in the end zone, wore a bag over his head. Another fan held a sign reading, "Free Eric."
Moulds attended the game, watching from a suite.
The game turned in the first quarter when Losman -- facing third-and-goal from the 22 -- ignored a wide-open receiver underneath and threw a pass into the end zone intended for Sam Aiken that was easily intercepted by Asante Samuel.
Brady took over and went 5 of 6 for 73 yards passing, capping the eight-play drive himself by taking the ball up the middle. Brady came up limping after he was hit diving into the end zone by linebacker Jeff Posey.
Dillon made it 14-0 in the second quarter, and Brady then made it 21-0 late in the third quarter by completing a swing pass to Brown, who stiff-armed cornerback Eric King, and scampered into the end zone from five yards out.