Tom Brady tied a career high in completions, going 39-of-53 for 378 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Randy Moss, with twelve receptions for 141 yards, recorded his 60th 100-yard game, second-most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice.
The defense? Eh. Unfortunately, the team lost defensive captain Jerod Mayo with what's being called a sprained MCL late in the first quarter. One of Buffalo's touchdowns was scored on an Aaron Schobel interception return, so the Pats' D actually only allowed 17 points.
On paper, good.
Thank goodness. Because watching Monday night's game from the press box told a much different story. The team looked spent, rusty and a bit deflated heading into halftime. They kept it exciting, though: The game of hot potato as the clock was winding down in the fourth quarter had everyone on the edge of their seats.
But in typical Patriots fashion, a victory was earned. Two touchdown passes in the final 2:06 of the game by one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play demonstrated just how much the Pats need their leader. Tom Brady performed a masterful final act, and critics were left to frantically rewrite their Tuesday morning stories. (Believe me, I could see the negative headlines on the reporters' laptops in the press box at the end of the third quarter!)
But how quickly things changed. Fair-weather fans had already started leaving Gillette Stadium, and sorry guys, but you missed one of the greatest comebacks in recent memory. Better luck next time.
Brady said afterward that it was an emotional game. Moss admitted to having butterflies for the big Monday night matchup. But when the pressure mounted, it was the Patriots who came out on top.
Things may not have looked good in person. But on paper, this New England team tackled the adversity and sent the Bills home stunned. In the end, it doesn't matter if they didn't make it look pretty. A win is a win.