Through the first two and a half quarters, it was an uncharacteristic game for the New England Patriots, as they trailed the Buffalo Bills 21-7. They had dropped passes, fumbles, missed field goals, and couldn't capitalize on turnovers.
However, over the course of the last 25 minutes of the game, the Patriots simply dominated. The Patriots scored 45 of the game's final 52 points scored, cruising to a 52-28 final score.
On offense, the Patriots were propelled by the dynamic running duo of Stevan Ridley and rookie free agent Brandon Bolden. Bolden picked up 137 yards on 16 carries and had a fourth quarter touchdown - his power and patience were really impressive. He consistently lowered his shoulder and dragged tacklers. Ridley, meanwhile, continued to showcase his explosiveness. The Patriots even got contributions from Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen.
And don't be fooled - while the Patriots struggled to stay consistent with their passing attack in the first half, that had nothing to do with Tom Brady. Brady was on target with most of his throws, and did an excellent job of creating extra time when pressured. His third quarter touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead as well as his four yard touchdown run to tie the game were both products of Brady's pocket awareness and mobility.
Defensively, the Patriots left something to be desired, although there were certainly a lot of positives to take from the game. Cornerback Devin McCourty continued his strong rebound season, coming up with two interceptions. Brandon Spikes was delivering monster hits all day, while forcing two fumbles and making a great deflection in coverage on a pass intended down the seam to Bills' tight end Scott Chandler. There were some breakdowns in the secondary that will need to be looked at, but the front four produced pressure all day, and any game that a defense comes up with six turnovers has to be considered a good one for the unit.
All-in-all, the Patriots answered the call today, and now sit tied for the AFC East lead at 2-2. The team clearly has a long way to go, and have yet to click on all cylinders for an entire game. That being said, the Patriots second have dominance was truly astounding - and most importantly, allowed the Patriots to avoid that dreaded 1-3 hole.