It wasn’t pretty, and it didn’t come easy, but the Patriots were able to squeak out a win over Buffalo in their regular season opener.
New England marched out a new-look offense against the Bills that was full of fresh faces and new targets not yet completely comfortable with Tom Brady. The chemistry isn’t there yet, which was evidenced by some sloppy plays, but despite the shaky offensive showing, there were some names who truly impressed in Week 1.
The Pats know they can turn to Brady to get the job done, and Sunday proved to be no different. Despite rough outings from both his receivers and his offensive line, Brady was able to lead his team to a win. The Pats quarterback set up Stephen Gostkowski‘s 35-yard field goal with 5 seconds left, after moving New England 49 yards in 12 plays during the final drive. Brady finished the day completing 29 of 52 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
Julian Edelman was the only receiver Brady had worked with prior to this season, and their comfort level showed to the tune of two touchdown receptions for Edelman. The wide receiver finished the day with seven catches for 79 yards, and he also added a couple of punt returns.
After two fumbles before halftime, Stevan Ridley found his way to the bench and Shane Vereen was given his chance to shine. Vereen took full advantage of the opportunity, and he may have even played his way to the starting running back job. Vereen rushed for a career-high 101 yards on 14 carries, while adding an additional 58 yards on seven receptions.
Danny Amendola scared, angered and eventually won over Pats fans all in a day’s work. After re-aggravating a groin injury, Amendola left the game during the second quarter. He returned in the second half, however, and made his presence known. The wide receiver battled through the pain and shouldered some tough hits to finish the day with 10 catches for 104 yards — six of those receptions coming in the second half.