Live Blog: Bills at Patriots

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Live Blog: Bills at Patriots 11:58 p.m.: That's it for the blog, but don't go too far, as we'll have plenty more coverage of the Patriots' 25-24 victory against the Bills at Gillette Stadium.

11:56 p.m.: Maybe the most telling comment of the night came from Kevin Faulk, who said Bill Belichick put the Patriots through every situation that arose Monday night during the team's training camp this summer, and they knew exactly what they were supposed to do as a result.

11:54 p.m.: Terrell Owens did not talk to reporters after the game. Quarterback Trent Edwards said it's "tough to be positive" after this loss, which Donte Whitner called the toughest of his Bills career.

11:51 p.m.: This was the 29th time Tom Brady has led the Patriots to a victory following a fourth-quarter deficit or tie.

This was the first time in Patriots history when two players have caught 12 passes, as Randy Moss and Wes Welker did Monday night.

11:48 p.m.: Bill Belichick admitted he could have gone either way with the choice of kicking off or attempting an onside kick with 2:06 remaining, but he felt with three timeouts and the possibility of also having the two-minute warning, he opted to kick it deep.

Leodis McKelvin, who fumbled the kickoff, said he returned the ball because he wasn't sure of where his feet were when he caught it. He said rather than kneeling down and risking a safety, he wanted to try to make a play — and he'd do it again if the same opportunity came up.

11:12 p.m.: Bill Belichick did not give a postgame update on Jerod Mayo's right knee injury.

Final score: Patriots 25, Bills 24. The Patriots completed the improbable comeback and snuck out of Gillette Stadium with the victory. I'll have more after the press conferences.

Fourth quarter, 0:50: Patriots 25, Bills 24. You've got to be kidding me with this comeback/Bills collapse (their second in three seasons on Monday Night Football — 2007 against Dallas). Tom Brady hit Ben Watson for a 16-yard touchdown that gave the Patriots their first lead of the game and punctuate an amazing comeback here in the fourth quarter. It was a three-play, 31-yard drive that took 1:06. Again, the two-point conversion failed, and this leaves the Patriots' fate on the shoulders of their defense.

Fourth quarter, 1:56. Well, that's why I'm not a coach. Stephen Gostkowski kicked off, and Leodis McKelvin made a poor decision to return it out of his end zone (I said that as soon as he began running) even though the Bills were lined up to cover an onside kick. Patriots linebacker Pierre Woods jarred the ball loose, and Gostkowski recovered to give the Patriots the ball at the 31-yard line.

Fourth quarter, 2:06: Bills 24, Patriots, 19. Tom Brady hit Ben Watson for an 18-yard touchdown pass to cap a 81-yard drive that spanned 11 plays and 3:26. The two-point conversion failed.

With three timeouts, the Patriots have the luxury of kicking off, but I'd be attempting an onside kick.

Fourth quarter, 5:32. Bills 24, Patriots 13. Trent Edwards hit Fred Jackson for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap off Buffalo's 14-play, 62-yard drive that spanned 6:11. 

Say what you will about the roughing-the-passer penalty on Adalius Thomas (personally, I don't know how else he was supposed to complete that tackle), but the Patriots are in serious trouble of starting the season with a loss for the first time since 2003.

Fourth quarter, 8:30. Buffalo's screen game has been dominant against the Patriots. Running back Fred Jackson has four catches for 70 yards, an average of 17.5 yards per catch.

Fourth quarter, 11:43: Bills 17, Patriots 13. Stephen Gostkowski hit a 28-yard field goal to cut into the Bills' lead, but how many times are they planning on driving into the red zone and faltering? New England had an 11-play, 66-yard drive that once again looked promising through the middle of the field before the Patriots stopped executing. 

And if Terrell Owens is worth his salt, this is the time he's got to step up and carry the Bills to some points.

End of the third quarter: Bills 17, Patriots 10. The third quarter ended with the Patriots driving into Bills territory. Wes Welker has made a couple nice plays on the current drive, and when he is in a rhythm with Tom Brady, the offense seems to run with so much more fluidity.

Third quarter, 2:32. Bills 17, Patriots 10. Rian Lindell kicked a 40-yard field goal to extend the Bills' lead late in the fourth quarter. Bad sign for the Patriots' defense, giving up 16 yards on a third-and-20 that put the Bills in field-goal range.

It's going to take some real character out of the Patriots to come back and win this game. They're not playing anywhere close to their capabilities, particularly when it comes to finishing drives and plays on offense, and that has obviously cost them so far in the opener.

Third quarter, 4:43. Terrell Owens just caught a 27-yard pass on third down to keep Buffalo's drive alive. For those counting at home, it took Owens 40 minutes to show up on the stat sheet.

Third quarter, 5:57. The Patriots failed to convert on fourth down for the second time in the game, and the Bills will take over at their 36-yard line. Tom Brady got into a good rhythm with Randy Moss on that drive, which traversed 61 yards before it ended. Moss has 115 receiving yards on eight receptions.

Third quarter, 11:16. Bills middle linebacker Paul Posluszny will not return after suffering an arm injury. This is truly a bad 24-hour period for middle linebackers playing on national television, as we've already seen Chicago's Brian Urlacher go down for the season and New England's Jerod Mayo leave the game with a knee injury.

Third quarter, 12:51. Brian Moorman got off another excellent punt and pinned the Patriots at their own three-yard line. Good recovery for the Patriots' defense after they got a tough break with a bad roughing-the-passer penalty against Vince Wilfork.

Third quarter, 14:54. Leodis McKelvin took the second-half kickoff to the Bills' 21-yard line, and that's where Buffalo will start things off with a 14-10 lead at Gillette Stadium.

Halftime: Bills 14, Patriots 10. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to cut into the Bills' lead. It capped off New England's nine-play, 68-yard drive that was highlighted by a 31-yard pass to Randy Moss, who deked cornerback Terrence McGee badly at midfield before racing to the nine-yard line.

The drive stalled, though, and the Patriots had to settle for three points before the expiration of the half. It was a fitting end to the half for the offense, which struggled badly with consistency. Things were a little more fluid in the second quarter, but there were still some shaky moments, no doubt due to Tom Brady's rust and a string of missed practices from Wes Welker.

Brady completed 13-of-22 passes for 159 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

Second quarter, 3:29: Bills 14, Patriots 7. Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel just made a video-game play to leap up, tap the ball to himself with his right hand and return it 26 yards for a touchdown to give the Bills the lead. Slightly reminiscent of Sam Adams's pick-six in the Pats-Bills season opener in 2003.

3:48: Nice hit by Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden to knock the ball loose from Lee Evans on what would have been a Buffalo first down.

Second quarter, 6:22: Patriots 7, Bills 7. Fred Taylor just scored the first touchdown of his Patriots career. The Patriots went 72 yards in 14 plays and 7:12. Running back Kevin Faulk was the star of the drive with a pair of nice plays on third down to keep it going, and Tom Brady got the passing game back on track with a couple strong throws to Randy Moss and Wes Welker.

Second quarter, 9:45: Tom Brady just made his best throw of the night, stepping up in the pocket and hitting Randy Moss over the middle for a 16-yard strike. The Patriots are in Bills territory trying to dent the scoreboard.

Second quarter, 12:54: I've been trying to think of the right way to word this without trying to sound like a doctor or jump to the wrong conclusion. By the TV replay, it'd be tough to think Jerod Mayo tore anything in his right knee while he was engaged with a Buffalo lineman, but we've also seen enough strange knee injuries throughout the years to make any conclusions. So, that's basically my take on the situation.

Second quarter, 13:41: Terrell Owens dropped a pass on third-and-5, and the Bills were forced to punt. While Owens struggled with drops last year in Dallas, he was probably fearing for his life leaping for Trent Edwards's high pass that sailed between a pair of Patriots defenders.

End of first quarter: Bills 7, Patriots 0. To recap (or, to beat a dead horse), the big story of the quarter is Jerod Mayo's right knee injury, followed by the rust shown by the Patriots' offense. It's way too early to call this the drive of the game, but this is certainly an important possession for the Bills, who can really suck the life out of the Patriots with a touchdown here.

First quarter, 1:21: This crowd is eerily silent, and this will be a telling drive for the Patriots' defense, which presumably will be without linebacker Jerod Mayo for the rest of the night. The Bills averaged more than 11 yards per play on their touchdown drive, and New England's defense must forge on without yet another of its leaders.

First quarter, 2:51: The Patriots have announced Jerod Mayo has a knee injury, and his return is questionable.

First quarter, 2:58: Bills take 7-0 lead. Trent Edwards threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Shawn Nelson. The Bills went 68 yards on 68 plays in 3:17, but this might be more permanently known as the drive that saw Jerod Mayo go down with a right knee injury.

First quarter, 3:54: Jerod Mayo just walked to the locker room with the medical staff. He's got a right knee injury, and it was tough to make a decisive read on it from the television replay.

First quarter, 4:19: Linebacker Jerod Mayo was favoring his right knee on the ground after Fred Jackson's run, but Mayo walked off the field under his own power after about a minute. He is now sitting on the Patriots' bench with the medical staff.

First quarter, 5:32: The sloppiness continues with the Patriots' best players. Linebacker Jerod Mayo ran right by Bills quarterback Trent Edwards during his 16-yard run (likely hoping to avoid a personal foul, figuring Edwards would slide), and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was flagged for offsides.

First quarter, 6:15: Sluggish, rusty, call it what you want. The Patriots are in preseason form here. Stephen Gostkowski just missed a 41-yard field goal wide right in the same quarter that Randy Moss and Wes Welker have each dropped passes. Still no score at Gillette Stadium.

First quarter, 10:00: Leodis McKelvin is a pretty good cornerback, but he just got abused on a 20-yard reception from Randy Moss. I'm not convinced McKelvin wouldn't have run out of the stadium if the crowd didn't react so loudly to the first-down catch.

First quarter, 12:14: Good sign for the Patriots that wideout Wes Welker was back to return Brian Moorman's punt. Welker had been limited in practice throughout much of the preseason, and if there were any ill effects with his knee injury, I can't imagine he'd be on the field in that situation.

First quarter, 13:30: Leigh Bodden and Jonathan Wilhite are the Patriots' starting cornerbacks. Shawn Springs is active but on the bench after missing a lot of time in practice recently.

First quarter, 13:45: The Patriots lined up in a big set on fourth-and-short, and Laurence Maroney was stuffed for no gain on the Patriots' first drive of the season. Maroney took the opening kickoff to midfield, but the Patriots wasted the opportunity with a sloppy first series that was marred by a Randy Moss drop.

First Quarter

7:08 p.m.: We're just minutes from kickoff. The national anthem just concluded with a flyover that shook the stadium and barely grazed the top of my head. It's cool, though. I needed a haircut anyway.

The Patriots will receive the opening kickoff. The second half of Tom Brady's career is about to begin.

7:00 p.m.: The Patriots have come out of the locker room and are standing underneath the helmet waiting to run onto the field. (Sadly, it's not the throwback helmet for this game.) While we're on the subject, the Patriots' red uniforms are just flat-out awesome.

6:27 p.m.: The pregame scene around the stadium had so, so much more energy than I saw during the preseason. (Roll your eyes for the obvious statement.) Anyway, Route 1 was packed all the way from the highway, but you could smell the grills almost instantly. 

There was a ton of life in the parking lot, which was jam packed with tailgating parties that a Monday Night Football game deserves. This should be a lively crowd, and it's going to go all kinds of crazy when Tom Brady walks onto the field for the first time with the offense.

6:20 p.m.: The Patriots and Bills have announced their inactives for the game. For New England, wide receiver Julian Edelman, special teamer Matthew Slater, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, guard Rich Ohrnberger, guard Dan Connolly, guard Kendall Simmons and defensive lineman Myron Pryor will each miss the game.

For Buffalo, quarterback Gilbran Hamdan, wide receiver Steve Johnson, defensive back Ellis Lankster, cornerback Drayton Florence, linebacker Ashlee Palmer, tackle Kirk Chambers, tight end Derek Fine and defensive end Chris Ellis will miss the game.

6:13 p.m.: Tom Brady has just jogged onto the field at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots and Bills are less than an hour away from kicking off the 2009 regular season.

The field is adorned with a pair of logos honoring the Patriots' 50th season, and there is a similar mural on the wall adjacent to the field.

This could quite possibly be the most highly anticipated regular-season opener in New England Patriots history.

The Pats are loaded on both sides of the ball, and their golden bullet, quarterback Tom Brady, is back in the pocket after his 2008 campaign was washed out with an injury. Finally, the Patriots have their second chance at redemption following the heartbreak of 2007, and it begins against Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, the most prominent regular-season stage in American sports.

Stay with NESN.com's live blog throughout the night, as we'll provide up-to-the-minute analysis, stats and commentary from the Gillette Stadium press box. If T.O. breaks out his spy camera, or Brady connects with Randy Moss, or Bill Belichick happens to wear a three-piece suit, you'll find out about it here, so keep that browser fresh.

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