It took the whole game but the New England Patriots were able to pull away from the Buffalo Bills to improve to 12-3 on the season and move one step closer to a first round bye.
The game started with an exchange of field goals. The Bills held the ball for eight minutes in the first quarter and gave the ball back to the Patriots who got their points.
The Patriots held the Bills inside the red zone on a fourth down that seemed to have changed the momentum. But after what seemed to be a game changing moment, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception in form of a pass to Kenny Britt which was returned by safety Jordan Poyer for a touchdown.
After committing an interception for the fifth consecutive game which is his longest streak in 15 years, Brady led the team right down the field and threw a touchdown pass caught with one hand by tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The team with the help of a pass interference penalty, marched it down the field but were unable to convert a third down play and settled for another Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
The Bills took the ball over and on a second down run, former Patriot Travaris Cadet suffered a gruesome injury and had to be carted off the field. One would assume that he will be done for the year.
The Bills got all the way down to the four yard line where it seemed wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin caught a touchdown, but wait. Another booth review reversed the call forcing the Bills to tie the game 13-13 at the half.
Coming out of the halftime break, the Bills gave the Patriots a taste of their own medicine as they took the ball down the field and scored three points to take the lead.
The Patriots started to go no huddle and after winning another challenge on a reach for the line to gain by running back Dion Lewis, took it into the red zone but had to settle for another Gostkowski field goal.
The Patriots took a stand on defense and got the ball back and went out on offense with a great deal of poise and control. After a few great runs by running back Mike Gillislee and two penalties in their favor, Gillislee continued his redemption game by scoring his first touchdown since Week No. 2 of the season.
It seemed the Bills were driving but the Patriots stalled their offense on the third down which lead to a missed field goal by Steven Hauschka.
The Patriots then proceeded to take advantage of the missed field goal scoring on a touchdown pass from Brady to Lewis.
From then on it was the “Dion Lewis Show” as he continued yet another career performance putting the game out of reach.
Top Performers: Offense – 2 Defense – 2
Dion Lewis: Lewis has had quite a redemption year as he continuously establishes himself as one of the most versatile running backs in the NFL. He finished the game with 153 total yards receiving and on the ground with two touchdowns
Mike Gillislee: Gillislee who had been inactive for the previous six games, came in and seemed to redeem himself scoring a rushing touchdown and breaking away with a few nice runs.
Marquis Flowers: Flowers had a career game against the Bills racking up two sacks in his first multi-sack game of his career. His play today was very important to mask the loss of linebacker Kyle Van Noy who should be ready to go come playoff time.
Patrick Chung: The safety had the daunting task of covering one of the league’s best tight ends in Charles Clay. Chung continues to play elite football and his health will be key down the stretch.