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Home » New England PatriotsNovember 2005 » In form and moving how express and admirable!

In form and moving how express and admirable!

Week 8: October 30, 2005
Bills (3-5), 16
Patriots (4-3), 21

I really meant to have this done earlier, but there were other, rather pressing issues with another area team. As everyone knows, when the Red Sox re-sign Mike Timlin, everything else just falls by the wayside.

This game against Buffalo could have been a prototypical “trap” game for the Patriots. With the formidable Colts in the offing, the Bills could have been overlooked if any other coach but Bill Belichick, the consummate preparer, led this team. Yet, it was still an ugly win due primarily to the Bills’ ineptitude on offense rather than New England’s expertise. Buffalo possessed the ball for nearly twice the amount of time, with the differential of 39:20 for the Bills compared to the Patriots’ paltry 20:40.

Although this game would determine the lead for the AFC East, the most compelling story of the game was the return of Tedy Bruschi. After failing to find a single medical expert that advised against his return, the veteran linebacker made his comeback. He played 64 defensive plays and also made some special teams appearances. The heart of the defense ended the game with 2 tackles and 5 assists.

In the 3rd quarter the Patriots finally scored with a 33-yard touchdown reception by Deion Sanders. But the defense immediately gave up the longest offensive for the Bills in this season so far with a 55-yard touchdown catch by Eric Moulds.

There were other flashes of hope. The struggling secondary had their first interception since September 18th when Asante Samuel intercepted Kelly Holcomb in the 3rd quarter. That last time we saw this was back on September 18th when Mike Vrabel got a pickoff of Jake Delhomme.

Corey Dillon, playing in pain, scored 2 touchdowns in the 4th to help seal the win for his inconsistent squad. Home field inoculated the Patriots. Despite the Bills having a tremendous possession advantage, the ailment of badly played football plagued the visiting team to a greater extent than their hosts.

  • The Patriots earned less total yards than the Bills but increased their gain 42% between the first and second halves with their 100/171 split. In contrast, the Bills were able to earn more yards in the second half by improving from 171 to 202 for a mere 15% increase. Advantage: New England.
  • As noted above, the Patriots (finally) intercepted the ball for their 3rd interception of the season so far. That change in possession did not result in points on the board, although Rosevelt Colvin’s sack and fumble recovery in the waning minutes of the 4th quarter gave the Patriots the lead once and for all. The Bills did force two fumbles to score two field goals. I’ll grant the Patriots a slight advantage because their turnover for resulted in more points and the victory. Advantage: New England.
  • The Patriots were 2 for 2 for 100% red zone efficiency, showing that they were opportunistic with the limited chances they had in enemy territory. Buffalo failed to convert any of their 3 red zone scenarios. Advantage: New England.
  • Since New England held the ball for such a short time, they managed to pare down their penalties to 7 infractions for only 57 yards. The Bills lost 74 yards on 12 penalties. Advantage: New England.
  • Although they rarely scored, the Bills converted 7 of 14 first downs (50%) while the Patriots were only 1 of 7 (14%). Advantage: Buffalo.

Game Leaders
Kelly Holcomb: 20/33, 263 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Tom Brady: 14/21, 199 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Willis McGahee: 31 carries, 136 yards, 0 TD, 14 yard longest gain
Corey Dillon: 18 carries, 72 yards, 2 TD, 12 yard longest gain
Eric Moulds: 9 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD, 55 yard longest gain
Deion Branch: 3 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD, 37 yard longest gain

Terrence McGee: 6 tackles, 1 assist
Aaron Schobel: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Chris Kelsay:
1 tackle, 2 assists, 0.5 sack
Justin Bannan: 1 assist, 0.5 sack

Mike Vrabel: 9 tackles, 5 assists, 1 sack
Asante Samuel: 7 tackles, 1 interception
Rosevelt Colvin:
3 tackles, 3 assists, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

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