Streak Stoppers!! Second Half Rally Helps Bills Shock Patriots, 34-31

Finally.  The streak comes to an end in stunning fashion.  Let the party begin in Buffalo!!

Buffalo erased a 21-10 halftime deficit, intercepted Tom Brady four times and thanks to Rian Lindell’s game winning field goal as time expired, the Bills shocked the Patriots with a thrilling, 34-31 victory.  The Bills are now 3-0 for the first time since 2008, and this is the first time since the opening game of 2003 season the Bills have beaten the Patriots.

As predicted, the Bills and Patriots put on quite an offensive show in Ralph Wilson Stadium.  Both teams combined for 943 yards of offense and 49 first downs.  Both quarterbacks combined to throw for 85 times.  Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 27-of-40 passes for 369 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.  His counterpart, Tom Brady, went 30-for-45 for 386 yards four touchdowns and tied a career-high with four interceptions. 

Fred Jackson rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown.  He was also a dual threat out of the backfield as a receiver, catching five passes for 87 yards.  His 38-yard catch and run in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter put the Bills in position to kick the game winner.  Steve Johnson had eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown while Donald Jones had his best game as a pro with five receptions for 101 yards.  David Nelson hauled in six receptions for 84 yards. 

New England’s prime targets, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, were fantastic.  Welker had an unreal afternoon with 16 catches, 216 yards and two touchdowns.  Gronkowski had seven receptions for 109 yards and also had two touchdowns. 

The Bills outscored the Patriots 24-10 in the second half, putting up 17 points in the fourth quarter.  Buffalo scored two touchdowns in 14 seconds in the fourth.  Fred Jackson’s 1-yard touchdown run tied the game at 24 with 10:36 left to play.  On New England’s ensuing possession, Brady had a pass tipped that was intercepted by Drayton Florence and taken back 27 yards for the go ahead touchdown 31-24.  New England marched right back down the field eating up nearly seven minutes on the game clock, converting two fourth down attempts on the drive that ended in Welker’s second touchdown of the game to tie things up at 31 with 3:25 to play.

Starting at their own 20, Fitzpatrick connected with Jones down the right sideline for 29 yards.  Then it was all Fred Jackson.  His 12-yard reception got the Bills down to the Patriots’ 39 yard line, then his game changing 38-yard catch and run put the Bills at the New England 1-yard line.  Opting to run off the remainder of the game clock and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands, the Bills set up for the game-winning kick.  After several kneel downs, a New England personal foul penalty and a false start by the Bills, Lindell booted a 28-yard field goal that split the uprights and gave the Bills the improbable victory.

Buffalo is now 3-0 and for the moment in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

It’s a beautiful day to be a Buffalo Bills fan!!

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