It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win... I guess. The Patriots had their worst defensive game of the season, sputtered on offense in the second half, and nearly blew another double digit fourth quarter lead. However, in the end, they were able hang on and defeat their divisional opponents, the Buffalo Bills 37-31.
The victory moves the Patriots to 6-3 on the season, and gives them a two game lead over the second place Miami Dolphins
The game was ugly from the start, with the Bills being penalized for more than 150 total yards and the Patriots looking just as ugly in that department in the second half. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a solid overall outing, but wasn't helped out by his receivers, who dropped many catchable throws. On the ground, Stevan Ridley had a strong second half, racking up 98 total yards on the game.
Defensively, the game was more than likely the Patriots worst of the year. The secondary was porous, with both cornerbacks, Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard struggling. The team had little pass rush, couldn't defend the seams, and couldn't slow down either of the Bills' running backs - Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller.
Nonetheless, through all of this, the Patriots were able to come away with the key divisional win. It looked like the Patriots might lose the game when the Bills got it down to their 15 with over 30 seconds to play, but converted safety Devin McCourty came up with the game sealing interception in the end zone, on a well executed zone-scheme.
The Patriots will take the "W", but it's obvious this team still has a lot to improve on. Perhaps the Patriots were sluggish coming out of the bye, but the poor play demonstrated by the Patriots today will not be passable if/when the team is in the playoffs.