Patriots Fight Off Panthers 20-10 in Sloppy Home Win Tom Brady wasn't his best on Sunday afternoon, but luckily for the veteran quarterback, Wes Welker was.

Welker carried the Patriots to their first victory in three weeks as the Pats took down the Panthers 20-10 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday to remain in first place in the AFC East.

After Brady shook off an early interception, the quarterback finished with 192 passing yards on 19-of-32 passing and a touchdown.

Patriots 20, Panthers 10
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Dec. 13, 2009

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Headliner: Wes Welker sliced apart the Panthers secondary, grabbing 10 balls for 105 yards. Welker has now caught at least 10 passes in six games this season and has five games of 100 receiving yards or more.

Game Ball: The Pats' backfield of Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk picked up the slack on the offensive side of the ball as Maroney pounded out 94 yards on 22 carries and Faulk had 58 yards rushing and a touchdown. Each back registered 17 receiving yards and Faulk recovered a Welker fumble in the first.

Better Luck Next Week: Randy Moss
wrapped up a rough week by catching just one pass for 16 yards and losing a fumble. The wideout also was Brady's target in a first-quarter interception that eventually led to the Panthers' touchdown.

Key Moment: Tied at seven apiece in the third and tucked inside their own 5-yard line, Tom Brady and Wes Welker led a charge downfield to put the Pats up 14-7. Brady hooked up with Welker five times for 64 yards before Ben Watson snagged a five-yard touchdown to cap off the 96-yard drive that ate 7:29 off the clock.

Scouting Report:
The Patriots hit the road next weekend as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills for an interdivisional battle. The Patriots have struggled away from Gillette Stadium this season — going just 1-5 — with their only "away" victory coming in London against the Buccaneers.

The Bills fell to the Pats in Week 1 of the season 24-23 and have lost four of their last six games. They were able, however, to top the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday.