By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) _ New England simply doesn’t lose at home
Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns, Devin McCourty ended
Buffalo’s hopes with an interception in the end zone, and the
Patriots kept the surprisingly tough Bills winless at Gillette
Stadium with a 37-31 victory on Sunday.
The Patriots (6-3) let a 17-3 lead slip to 34-31 with 7:47 left
on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 2-yard pass to Donald Jones. Then the Bills
(3-6) held the Patriots to a 27-yard field goal by Stephen
Buffalo moved to the New England 15 before Fitzpatrick threw the
ball right into the hands of McCourty while trying to hit T.J.
New England is 11-0 against the Bills at Gillette since it
opened in 2002 and 23-2 overall in its last 25 games against
The Patriots were coming off a bye that followed their best game
of the season, a 45-7 win over the St. Louis Rams in London. The
Bills have lost five of six.
Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 40 passes for 337 yards, the second
time this season he’s thrown for more than 339. The other came when
he threw for 350 in a 52-28 loss to the Patriots in the fourth
game. He also threw for two touchdowns Sunday, but his only
interception ruined the Bills’ upset chances.
Brady was 23 for 38 for 237.
The game was closer than expected considering the Patriots led
the NFL in points and yards gained and the Bills were next to last
in points and yards allowed.
The Patriots extended their streak to 11 straight scoring
possessions against the Bills with a field goal and three
touchdowns on their first four series Sunday. In the previous
meeting, New England scored on its last seven series: six
touchdowns followed by a field goal.
But not even that _ and 13 Buffalo penalties through three
quarters _ could give the Patriots a secure lead and they entered
the fourth quarter ahead 31-24.
The Patriots led 24-17 at halftime, scoring on a 43-yard field
goal by Gostkowski, touchdowns runs of 1 yard by Stevan Ridley and
15 yards by Danny Woodhead, and a 2-yard pass from Brady to Rob
Gronkowski, his fifth touchdown catch in three games.
Gronkowski’s touchdown came two plays after Buffalo’s fourth
defensive pass interference penalty and third in the end zone,
covering 36 yards.
The Bills scored on a 42-yard field goal by Rian Lindell, a
14-yard run by Fred Jackson and a 3-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to
Scott Chandler with 31 seconds left in the half.
Chandler’s touchdown capped the fourth straight scoring drive of
the game covering at least 72 yards in less than 3 1-2 minutes.
Woodhead scored again, his first multi-touchdown game of his
career, on an 18-yard pass from Brady. But the Bills cut the lead
to 31-24 on the next possession on a 1-yard run by Jackson and
Lindell’s extra point.
Gostkowski’s 48-yard field goal gave the Patriots a 34-24 lead
50 seconds into the fourth quarter.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)