The injury-laden Pats held off a late Bills push to remain in sole possession of first place in the division thanks to a 17-10 win in Buffalo.
Sunday's road win was New England's second of the season and first since topping Tampa Bay in London in late October.
Patriots 17, Bills 10
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y.
Dec. 20, 2009
Headliner: Once again, it was running back Laurence Maroney pacing the offense. Maroney bagged 81 yards on the ground and chipped away at both the game clock and the Bills defensive line with 23 carries and a touchdown — his ninth
of the season and first in three weeks.
Game Ball: Wide receiver Randy Moss gave Pats fans reason to smile as he
broke out of his funk in a big way. Moss finished with a game-high 70
yards and the contest's first touchdown a week after having just one
catch, one drop and one fumble. The score came on a 13-yard feed from Tom Brady and
it was Moss' 10th of the season. Moss, who had just six receptions in
the previous three games combined, grabbed five passes in the win.
The New England defense held the Bills to just two third-down conversions on 12 opportunities and came away with six sacks.
Better Luck Next Week: The Bills had a chance to tie things up late in the fourth after making it a one-possession game thanks to a touchdown. The special-teams unit appeared to have retained possession thanks to a successful onside kick but rookie defensive end Aaron Maybin stepped offside during the kick, nullifying the take-back.
Bills' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was pulled from the contest in the final frame to make way for Trent Edwards. Fitzpatrick returned after Edwards was injured on just his third snap, only to finish 17-of-25 on the day with 178 yards and a pick.
Brady struggled as well for the Pats, connecting on just 11 of 23 attempts for 115 yards and a pick for a 59.1 QB rating. Scouting Report:
Key Moment: Up 7-3 with just over three minutes to go in the second quarter, Jonathan Wilhite picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick's intended pass for Josh Reed at the New England 36-yard line. Brady and the offense built off that play and marched 64 yards downfield to score their second — and eventual game-winning — touchdown of the quarter and make it 14-3 at the half.
Scouting Report:The Pats host the Jaguars next Sunday at 1 p.m. ET for their last home game of the season before closing things out on the road in Houston in two weeks.
Jacksonville is led by one of the league’s most dangerous rushers in Maurice Jones-Drew, but the Jags are on the playoff bubble thanks to a slim loss to the Colts on Thursday night which dropped their record to 7-7.
Like the Pats, Jacksonville is weak on the road and owns just a 2-4 record.