New England took care of its AFC East business with a 20-10 win over the Bills as Matt Cassel turned in another sold game throwing for 234 yards on 23 of 34 passing while BenJarvus Green-Ellis took over on the ground with 105 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.
Wes Welker was Cassel's main target. He was good for 10 catches and 107 yards.
On defense, New England once again did a good job bottling up its opponent's running game. Marshawn Lynch had only 46 yards on 14 carries. Through the air, the Bills Trent Edwards was equally stifled with just 120 yards on 13 of 23 passing.
In a things-only-Patriots-fans-care-about note, it was the 50th win for New England at Gillette Stadium and the 10th straight over the Bills.
Richard Seymour put an abrupt end to the Bills first series of the game with a 6-yard sack on third and 3 and the Buffalo punted after three plays.
]()New England took over after the punt at its 29 and immediately picked up 15 yards on an unnecessary roughness call on Ko Simpson who put his shoulder into Randy Moss across the field after and incomplete pass from Cassel. At the Bills 38 three plays later, Cassel Found Welker 21 yards downfield to the 17. After a 4 yard Green-Ellis run, Cassel saw daylight up the middle and took it into the end zone himself.
On the Welker catch, replay showed his second foot perhaps being out of bounds but the Bills sideline didn't throw the red bean bag in time and the Patriots got the next play off.
Just before the end of the first quarter, an Ellis Hobbs interception set up his team to increase its lead. Edwards was looking downfield to Lee Evans on first down. Evans was open but the pass was over his head and right into the arms of Hobbs behind the play.
Despite a nice 10-yard run by Green-Ellis on the same drive, the Patriots couldn't get further than the Bills 14 and Stephen Gostkowski booted a 32-yard field goal to make the score 10-0.
The Bills bounced back with a 25-yard Rian Lindell field goal after starting their next drive on the 40 due to Gostkowski's kickoff going out of bounds. Buffalo did nothing fancy to grind its way to the Patriots 10-yard line but once there, three Lynch runs netted only 3 yards with the last being a 3-yard loss on third and goal from the 4. Seymour and Mike Vrabel teamed up to string out the Bills runner wide.
]()Gostkowski was wide left on a 49-yard attempt on the Patriots next drive that included a 27- and 13-yard catch by Welker giving him 5 receptions for 63 yards in the first half.
Three plays into the second half Welker caught his sixth pass, a 12-yarder, and became the first player in NFL history to have six or more receptions in each of his first nine games in a season. That plays was part of a 13-play drive that ended with a 37-yard field goal to make the score 13-3.
Deltha O'Neal woke up a game that had kind of fallen asleep by the end of the third quarter with the second interception of Edwards. Neither team's offense had been able to mount any type of real threat when Edwards looked to Robert Royal around 20 yards downfield. O'Neal had it all the way and New England took over first and 10 at their 41.
Green-Ellis, who was running well, started off the drive with an 11-yard run as the third quarter ended. When the fourth began, Welker ran for 7 yards followed by Green-Ellis for another 5. Things were looking good for New England but on second and 10 two plays later, Cassel got boxed in and fumbled as he was hit by Marcus Stroud. George Wilson recovered for the Bills.
Like the Patriots, the Bills were unable to capitalize on their turnover due in large part to a 6-yard Ty Warren sack. Buffalo punted with Faulk calling a fair catch at the 8-yard line.
One more score would seal the game and that's exactly what New England got. Green-Ellis ran the ball 8 times for 29 yards during the 19-play drive and both he and Welker eclipsed the century mark for the day, Green-Ellis with 105 yards rushing and Welker with 107 yards receiving on 10 catches. To top off Green-Ellis' day, he ran the ball in from 1-yard out to give the Patriots an insurmountable 20-3 lead with 1:57 left to play.
Buffalo did not roll over immediately. Leodis McKelvin ran the ensuing kickoff back 85 yards to New England's 14. From there Edwards hit James Hardy in the front corner of the end zone to make the score 20-10. Only 15 seconds had transpired.
Next was Buffalo's onsides kick. Lindell's kick dribbled down the middle but didn't travel the mandatory 10 yards and the Patriots took over content to kneel to the win as the Bills were without timeouts.