The Buffalo Bills got off to an explosive start behind a particularly raucous crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium. On the opening drive, the Bills completely manhandled the Patriots front seven on the way to an eight play, 80 yard touchdown drive.
The Patriots would then take over and fall victim to the crowd, having several communication issues and going three and out. For all the talk, it looked like the Bills were ready to back it up. And then, Tom Brady and the offense caught fire.
Brady delivered touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, picking up where he left off against Pittsburgh a week ago. The Patriots offensive line was ready for the terrific Buffalo front. Dion Lewis provided a spark out of the backfield.
The front seven also turned it up to another level. The defense, following the opening drive, did not allow another first down until late in the second quarter. Chandler Jones led the way with a pair of sacks. Malcolm Butler had an incredible interception off an overthrow by Tyrod Taylor, and Duron Harmon picked one off at the close of the half.
Nonetheless, the Patriots lost potential points on a couple of drops, the Dion Lewis fumble, and the Bradley Fletcher defensive pass interference. The pass interference by Fletcher led to a touchdown for the Bills (Charles Clay from Tyrod Taylor) that stifled the Patriots' momentum.
The Patriots would have preferred to close the first half stronger, but they survived the initial surge from the Bills, and get the ball to begin the second half.