McCourty INT in End Zone Saves Patriots Bacon

Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots intercepts the ball in the endzone in the fourth quarter from Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills during the game on November 11, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The Buffalo Bills came to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots and while the team had been reeling a bit dropping four of their previous five games they did come to play. And if it wasn’t for New England S Devin McCourty being in the right place at the right time the Bills may have had their second win over the Patriots in the last two seasons.  Instead they lost 37-31 at Gillette Stadium.

For the Bills the loss to the Patriots is nothing new having never won on the road in the 11 seasons of Gillette Stadium existence.  In fact the Patriots have swept the season series from the Bills for the 10th time in the last 13 seasons and have won 23 of the last 26 meetings between the original AFL teams.

Buffalo set a team record for first downs with 35, getting 4 by penalty, 11 in the air and 20 on the ground as Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had his 2nd 300 yard game of the year, both against the New England defense.

The Patriots defense was pathetic today.  Usually we just have to complain about the pass defense and the big plays but today you can add the run defense to the list this week, as they were awful.  They allowed 162 rushing yards on 28 carries, 150 of those yards came from RB Fred Jackson (80 yards) and RB C.J. Spiller (70 yards).  Spiller added 61 more yards receiving and Jackson tacked on another 35 as the duo had quite a day.

The tackling in both aspects of the defensive game is just awful.  I have seen high school teams that can pursue, contain and tackle better than this team.

Offensively the Patriots were led by RB Stevan Ridley who had 98 rushing yards and a TD, RB Danny Woodhead who had 61 combined yards as well as a TD rushing and another receiving and WR Wes Welker who had 6 grabs for 74 yards.

Patriots QB Tom Brady was 23 of 38 for 237 yards 2 TDs, 0 INTs and he was sacked one time by Buffalo. 

A win is a win and with this win the Patriots are now 6-3 and have a two game division lead with Indianapolis and rookie QB Andrew Luck at home next Sunday.

Bills at Patriots Gamebook includes the box score, all the stats, play by play, drive charts and more.

Bills at Patriots Game Recap.

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Turning Point of the Game

Patriots CB Devin McCourty’s INT in the end zone in the games final minute sealed the Patriots six point win.

Offensive Player of the Game

Patriots RB Stevan Ridley had 98 yards on 22 carries and 1 TD.

Defensive Player of the Game

Patriots CB Devin McCourty had 8 tackles (4 solo), 1 pass defensed, 1 INT and 1 forced fumble.

Game Notes

Starters for the Patriots were:

On Offense:

LT Solder

LG Mankins

C Wendell

RG Connolly

RT Vollmer

TE Gronkowski

TE Hoomanawanui

WR Welker

WR Lloyd

QB Brady

RB Ridley

On Defense:

DE Ninkovich

DT Wilfork

DT Love

DE Jones

LB Mayo

LB Spikes

LB Hightower

CB Dennard

CB Arrington

S Gregory

S McCourty

Inactives for the Game:

Patriots

1. TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)

2. CB Malcolm Williams

3. S Patrick Chung (shoulder)

4. DE Jake Bequette

5. DE Ron Brace (back)

6. LB Tracy White (foot)

7. DE Trevor Scott (hamstring)

Bills

  1. QB Tarvaris Jackson
  2. CB Aaron Williams (knee)
  3. LB Mana Silva
  4. LB Keith Morrison
  5. OL Tom Welch
  6. DE Chris Kelsay (neck)
  7. DE Mark Anderson (knee)

The spread (Patriots MINUS 12 1/2) WAS NOT covered.  The over/under (52) WAS COVERED.  I GAVE the points (PATRIOTS) and took the OVER.  I am now 2-7 vs. the spread and 6 of 9 calling the under/over.

Since 1999 the Patriots have the best record in the NFL at 153-64.

In the last ten seasons the Patriots are 36-8 in games played November 1 or later.

New England has its first 3-game winning streak of the season.

The Patriots lead the series 64-41-1.

The 64 wins are the most the Patriots have over any opponent.

New England has won 23 of the last 26 meetings.

The Patriots swept the series for the 10th time in last 13 seasons.

The Patriots are 34-19 as the home team in the series; they are 11-0 at The Razor; 17-14 in Foxboro/Sullivan/Schaefer Stadium and 6-5 in the Boston venues.

New England has won 12 consecutive home games against Buffalo.

New England is 56-15 vs. the AFC East since 2001 in the regular season.  In that time span they are 30-6 in division home games.

New England’s NFL record 17 game streak with at least 350 total yards on offense was snapped Sunday when they only got 347 total yards.

Bill Belichick is now 198-107 including playoffs in his career.

Belichick’s 198 wins are good for 8th all-time.  Former Broncos, Giants and Falcons head coach Dan Reeves is 7th with 201 wins.

Belichick coached teams are 23-4 vs. Buffalo. Belichick was 0-1 against the Bills as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Tom Brady is 19-2 vs. the Bills in his career.  Overall including playoffs he is 146-44.

Brady has 318 TD passes in his career he is now 5th all-time.  Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.

Brady has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 41 consecutive games.

The Patriots are 86-16 when Brady throws at least 2 TD passes in a game.

WR Wes Welker now has catches in 110 consecutive games including playoffs, 93 as a Patriot.  The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.

CB Devin McCourty, LB Brandon Spikes and DT Vince Wilfork all forced a fumble on Sunday against Buffalo.  Wilfork leads the squad with 4 forced fumbles on the year.

McCourty also had the game saving INT in the end zone, it was his 3rd of the season he along with rookie S Tavon Wilson lead the team.

Wilfork, DE Rob Ninkovich and DE Jermaine Cunningham each had a sack vs. the Bills.  Ninkovich is tied for the team lead with rookie DE Chandler Jones, each has 6 sacks on the season.

LB Jerod Mayo led the team with 12 tackles (4 solo).

Spikes, McCourty and CB Kyle Arrington each defensed a pass on Sunday.

Roster moves this week:

  • Saturday the Patriots placed activated TE Visanthe Shiancoe from the IR.

The Patriots sacked Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 3 times, while Brady was sacked 1 time.

New England is PLUS 16 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 3 INT and 4 fumbles, while the defense has 10 INTs and 13 fumble recoveries. 

The Patriots were 4 for 5 (80%) in the red zone.  They had 4 TDs and 1 FG.

New England was 7 for 12 (58%) on third down conversions and 0 for 0 on 4th down attempts.

Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey in his 5th NFL season as a head coach he is 31-44 including playoffs.

Gailey is 1-6 vs. the Patriots in his career, 1-5 with Buffalo and 0-1 with Dallas.

Fitzpatrick is 21-40-1 in his NFL career.

He is 1-5 vs. the Patriots.

Overall as the road team in the series the Bills are 19-32.

The Bills last won in Foxboro in 1999 when they beat the Patriots, 13-10 in Week 16 behind Doug Flutie and Thurman Thomas.

Buffalo had a team record 35 first downs.

The Bills are 21-49 vs. the AFC East since 2001.

Buffalo was 7 for 11 (64%) on 3rd down conversions and 1 for 1 (100%) on 4th down attempts.

The Bills were 4 for 7 (57%) in the red zone.  They had 4 TD’s, 1 FG and 2 turnovers.

Buffalo is MINUS 10 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 11 INT and 10 fumbles, while the defense has 6 INTs and 5 fumble recoveries. 

Bill Leavy was the game referee.  The temp at kickoff was 56 and sunny.

Attendance – 68,756 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA.

Post Game Interviews

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots QB Tom Brady post game press conference via patriots.com

This Week in the AFC East

Tennessee crushed Miami, 37-3

Seattle spanked the Jets 28-7

AFC East Standings

Patriots                   6-3/3-0

Dolphins                  4-5/1-1

Jets                        3-5/2-2

Bills                        3-6/0-3

Next Week

The Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA.  Kick off is at 4:25 p.m. on CBS.  The game was flexed from it’s original 1 p.m. time slot.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII

photo credit: getty images

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