ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Down 21-7 in the third quarter, the Patriots scored 35 straight points before finishing with a 52-28 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday. It was both stout offensive and defensive performances that spurred the Patriots to victory. Here are some things to consider.
1) The offense is just fine — Two 100-yard rushers, two 100-yard receivers, a 300-yard passer and 52 points on the board says a lot about the Patriots and their week of preparation. Add into the equation that the team didn’t have Aaron Hernandez (ankle), Julian Edelman (hand) and Logan Mankins (hip) to contribute and the win was all the more impressive. The passing game didn’t suffer, the protection didn’t suffer, and the running game was on point. It was almost a flawless effort.
“There’s certainly a lot of room for improvement, but it’s good to come in here and do enough things well,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “We made a lot of plays; we missed some opportunities, but we made a lot of plays. That’s a good feeling to be able to come in here and do that. We’ve got a long way to go. Hopefully we can continue to work hard and improve. I think our team’s got a good attitude — they work hard, they’re tough, and hopefully we can keep getting better.”
2) Six turnovers will make any defense look good — The Patriots aren’t going to see an outing like this too often in which the defense comes up this big. It had hints of the 2010 season when the Patriots had a +28 turnover differential. Four interceptions and two forced fumbles are huge. But two of those interceptions shouldn’t have happened (a weak throw by Ryan Fitzpatrick after Devin McCourty was beat and a tipped ball that was picked off). Add in a goal line fumble by C.J. Spiller, and the Patriots were practically handed three turnovers. It was enough to mask the 438 yards of offense the Bills had, including the 350 yards and four touchdowns from Fitzpatrick through the air. However, the Patriots run defense deserves a ton of credit. They kept Fred Jackson and Spiller to 62 total rushing yards.
“We always pride ourselves on being physical and that’s what we tried to do today,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said.
For the rest of this post, see the original on the Extra Points blog on Boston.com.