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Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ 25-6 win over the Bills

The Patriots survived a divisional Monday night matchup against the Bills

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots survived an ugly game in Buffalo, and are now 6-2. Here are my quick-hit thoughts on the game:

  • Tom Brady with a great “block” on the reverse by Julian Edelman. Even getting in his way was enough to allow Edelman to get to the outside and pick up the first down.
  • I guess Josh Gordon wasn’t disciplined as harshly as we thought he’d be, he’s out there on the first offensive drive.
  • Love Cordarrelle Patterson playing running back. He’s huge and runs hard, could be a good fit back there in spot service.
  • Have to be able to punch the ball into the end zone when you have first and goal.
  • Tom Brady runs like a gazelle, and anyone that says differently is lying.
  • Stephon Gilmore is a shutdown corner. That is all.
  • If I were the Bills, I would run that wheel route to LeSean McCoy 600 times this game. There’s no chance any linebacker can come close to sticking with him.
  • Brady hasn’t been sacked much, but it seems like there’s always someone in his face. The defense is certainly keeping him off balance.
  • Thank god for Trey Flowers. He was all over the field tonight, clearly the best player in the front 7.
  • Ghost missing the FG at the end of the half really hurt the team. I know it’s deep, but he needs to hit those, especially when the offense is struggling.
  • I really wasn’t enjoying the commentating crew, and then Booger dropped the line about Kelvin Benjamin, saying that he was “a Popeye’s biscuit away from being a tight end,” and I was on board.
  • What an awful play call by McDaniels with a toss sweep to Patterson on 3rd down in the shadow his own end zone, and then a long punt return gave the Bills great field position. Compounding mistakes is how you lose games.
  • Thank god for the Patriots defense/Bills offense for only picking up 4 yards, but the Bills still pull within 3 with a long FG.
  • The Patriots offense is sputtering in the 2nd half, and the defense isn’t built to dominate when the offense stinks.
  • And right on cue, Kyle Van Noy smokes the LT and forces the fumble, which is recovered by Chung.
  • And then Rob Gronkowski with one of the most unbelievable catches I’ve ever seen to get them to first and goal.
  • Which, of course, they squander again after a bad read by James White on 2nd down, should’ve curled in instead of going outside. Patriots are going to have to punch the ball in the end zone if they expect to continue to win games.
  • Solid stop by the Patriots the following drive, but Elandon Roberts drops what should’ve been a pick 6 by him or Jonathan Jones on third down
  • After a good pickup on third and long, Brady almost throw a pick 6, and then on the next play, James White shakes a guy and picks up a first down on third.
  • They finally put the ball in the end zone, but are unable to connect on the two point conversion, so the lead stays at 12.
  • After the Bills get a touchdown overturned, Devin McCourty picks off Derek Anderson and brings it back 80+ yards for the touchdown. Should seal the game for the Patriots. A great job disguising coverage and baiting Anderson into throwing a pass that had no chance of being completed.
  • Before that pick, the Patriots had gone 40 games without a defensive touchdown, which was the longest streak in the NFL.
  • Brady and basically the entire offense ran into the end zone to celebrate with McCourty and the defense. Reminded me of the time he ran into the end zone to meet Edelman after he returned a punt for a TD.
  • The game was basically over, but Ryan Allen shanked his final punt of the game.
  • Overall, the Patriots didn’t play great, and would’ve lost to a lot of teams. Luckily, they were playing the Bills, so they were able to pull it out.
  • The game was much closer than the final score might indicate, with the final defensive touchdown putting the game out of reach.
  • On the plus side, they didn’t have a running back and were missing the right side of their offensive line when Shaq Mason went out. Against a good Bills defense that was extra motivated because it was Monday night and the Patriots, you can see why they struggled. Hopefully they can build on this one and get better.
  • The last time the Patriots, being led by Brady, didn’t score a touchdown in the first 3 quarters was 2012 at home against Arizona. That’s the game where Stephen Gostkowski shanked a field goal attempt at the buzzer to lose 20-18.
  • On the injury side, it was good to see Elandon Roberts come back in the game, but his injury is worth keeping an eye on, especially with Dont’a Hightower missing tonight. Hopefully, Shaq Mason’s groin injury isn’t too serious, and he’s able to play soon. He’s a beast who is one of the best guards in the league. Sony Michel was back practicing this week, so you wonder if he could possibly be available for the Green Bay Packers. My first thought is no, but I suppose you never know.
  • Clearly a much different game than last week, but, once again, it’s just survive and advance for the Patriots tonight. Keep themselves at the top of the division and in contention for the top of the conference. The offense certainly isn’t hopeless, as they had scored 38 or more in four straight games, and, although you can’t really tell because it was the Bills, the defense seemed to play much better tonight. Once again the ball skills and play making abilities were on display. Big turnovers can change, and oftentimes win, games. A Patriots defense with playmakers on it should be very scary to any opponent.

Pat is the host of the Patriot Nation Podcast

Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats