Well, that didn't go how most expected it. Today, the New England Patriots were able to squeak out a 23-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills following a 35-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal with 5 seconds left.
The Patriots made uncharacteristic mistakes, couldn't maintain their drives on offense, and came very close to blowing a game they could have won easily.
Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Shane Vereen all played hero for the Patriots. While Tom Brady struggled (he didn't get much help, I might add), the protection struggled, and many other skill position players struggled, these three all stepped up and were a big part of the win. Amendola in particular was a standout. He made two ridiculously clutch third down catches on the Patriots game winning field goal drive... despite leaving the game in the first half after re-aggravating his groin injury.
Defensively, the Patriots did a solid job of slowing down C.J. Spiller and the Bills' rushing attack. The Patriots did allow two touchdown throws, but weren't challenged much through the air as the Bills were very conservative with rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. The Patriots' best player on defense was Kyle Arrington, who had an interception called back and also forced two fumbles that were recovered by the Patriots.
Nonetheless, there were a fair share of concerns raised from this game. The Patriots offense struggled mightily at times, and failed to generate consistent momentum. The Bills put most of their attention on Amendola and Edelman defensively, and rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins struggled when targeted. The Bills got after it defensively, got their hits in on Brady, and disrupted the rhythm of the offense. The Patriots need Rob Gronkowski back... badly.
At the end of the day however, a win is a win. The Patriots could have won this one by a lot, but just as easily could have lost it. The Patriots will take the "w," but have plenty to work on heading into week two. The Patriots have a short week, by the way. They'll play the Jets on Thursday night.