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Patriots

Highs and Lows: 49 Unanswered

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

WBZ-TV's Levan Reid Levan Reid
Levan Reid is a veteran sports reporter who has joined the W...
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New England Patriots

FOXBORO (CBS) – WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid breaks down the Patriots-Bills game quarter by quarter.

Fourth Quarter/Final Thoughts

The Pats got down big early (again) but came back in a fury (again). The offense found their stride and scored 42 unanswered , and the defense played pretty well after a rough first quarter. In all the Pats scored 49 unanswered after their slow start in the first quarter.

Tom Brady took some big hits, but overall he looked fine. He threw three more touchdowns on Sunday and now has 300 for his career, tying him for fifth all-time with John Elway. Brady had 338 yards and finished the season with 5,235 passing yards.

Tom Brady Postgame 

Aaron Hernandez had himself an afternoon, catching seven passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.  He had some great moves on a third and three reception in the fourth quarter, getting enough for the first down to continue the drive. A few plays later Brady hit his other tight end, Rob Gronkowski, for the second time on the afternoon.

Read: Gronk Sets Another TE Record

You got to give the defense some credit for their second half, forcing four turnovers. Sterling Moore had a pair of pics (Devin McCourty and Antwaun Molden had the others), including a pic-six to put the cherry on top of the victory. Even Jerod Mayo had a great play in coverage, breaking up a deep pass down the sideline to CJ Spiller. It was very impressive for a linebacker to keep up with the speedy Spiller.

So New England finishes the year 13-3 and atop the AFC. None of that means anything though if the Pats don’t at least make it to Indianapolis. The Pats need to use this week to rest up and get healthy, and then start the playoffs strong in two weeks.

Pats Win 49-21

Third Quarter

The Highs

- The Pats got the ball to start the quarter and get some points out of it. A 47-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski pulled New England a little closer. The kick was set up by a 19-yard run by Aaron Hernandez and a 17-yard passing play to Ron Gronkowski.

- The defense holds on the Bill first possession of the quarter.  Nothing big on the drive, just some solid plays.

- Pats get three again on their second possession. It was set up by a 53-yard catch-and-run to BenJarvus Green-Ellis who gets the ball down to the goal line. But the Pats couldn’t punch it in, and Gostkowski is called upon for the short kick.

- The Patriots get a turnover on the Bills second possession courtesy of Sterling Moore. The Pats make the most of it too with Brady connecting with Rob Gronkowski on a 17-yard touchdown.  They also get the 2 point conversion.

- For Gronkowski, it was his 17th touchdown of the season, tying Curtis Martin for second in franchise history behind only Randy Moss’s 23 TDs in 2007.

The Lows

- The Pats looked out of sync on their first possession of the quarter.  Ridley fumbled the ball and Brady missed his receivers twice.  They scored but it was not pretty.

- The Patriots had a great chance to get seven on their second possession but they didn’t.  They had plays from the one and got pushed back and don’t convert.  That can’t happen in the playoffs.  They got three points, but not what they wanted or should have got.

- On their third possession of the quarter Brady was sacked again. It was the third time this happened, and Brady has taken numerous other big hits in the game.

Pats lead 28-21 after three…

Second Quarter

The Highs:

- The Patriots got on the board on their first possession of the quarter. Tom Brady hits tight end Aaron Hernandez for 27 yards and then gets a big run by Stevan Ridley for 21.  The drive ended with a one-yard scoring plunge by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

- The defense held the Bills on their first possession of the quarter. A sack by Mark Anderson was the big play of the drive. McCourty is still spending plenty of time at safety.

- The Pats got on the scoreboard again on their second possession.  A mix of Stevan Ridley and Aaron Hernandez got the job done.  Ridley with a 13-yard run and then a 39-yard touchdown pass to Hernandez.  On that pass Brady goes over 5,000 passing yards for the season. He’s the third player in NFL history to do that.

- Although shaky, the Patriots defense gets the ball back on the Bills second possession. On a fourth and 12 play for the Bills the defense was able to pressure Fitzpatrick and force a bad pass.

The Lows:

- The Bills were moving the ball on that second possession. Fitzpatrick hads two more big plays; a 19-yard pass to Scott Chandler and a 29-yard pass to Derek Hagan.

- After the Pats got the ball after the turnover on downs by their defense Brady gives it right back by throwing an interception. Brady a little off on the pass and just missed Welker.  The turnover did not cost them, as the Bills missed a field goal to end the half.

21 to 14 Bills at the half…

First Quarter

The Highs

- Good to see Patrick Chung out there and he had a big hit on Stevie Johnson on Buffalo’s first drive.

Watch/Read: Hernandez On GameDay

The Lows

- Going down three scores is not the way the Pats wanted to start the game. The Bills got the ball first and the Pats initially got the stops.  Vince Wilfork and Chung were big on the drive.  Then the Bills converted on a fake punt and Antwaun Molden was called for a big pass interference that cost the Pats 41 yards.  Buffalo ran it in for a touchdown to put NE down 7-0.  Interesting, Devin McCourty played most of that drive as the slot corner.

- The Pats offense went three and out on their first possession of the quarter.  Tom Brady was hit a little bit with all eyes on that left shoulder.

- Buffalo moved the ball again on their second possession. A 22 yard reception by Derek Hagan on the second play of the drive and a 9 yard pass to Stevie Johnson on a fourth and four. The drive ended with an 18 yard touchdown reception to Johnson.  Pats look bad again in the early going.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

- The Pats look even worse on their second possession of the quarter. Wes Welker with a drop, and Brady gets hit hard with that shoulder driving into the ground.

- Bills got seven more on their third possession.  They march down the field on four straight first downs before hitting on a 15-yard strike from Ryan Fitzpatrick to C.J. Spiller. The middle of the field was wide open on the play.

- The Patriots defense could officially be the worst in history, giving up a new record for yards this season. They beat the old record of 4,541 set by ’95 Falcons.

Bills Up 21-0 after one…

Tune in after the Patriots-Bills game for all the reaction and analysis on the Postgame Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub and Patriots Fifth Quarter on MyTV38.

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