The Bills and Rex Ryan and the Patriots all they could handle, but in the end it wasn't enough.
The Patriots outlasted the Bills at Gillette on Monday Night Football, taking a 20-13 win to reach 10-0 in the season and remain undefeated.
Tom Brady went 20 of 39 for 277 yards, one touchdown and a pick. In their first game without Julian Edelman, the offense struggled to get going for much of the game. The Buffalo defense put an incredible amount of pressure on Brady, knocking him down a dozen-plus times and disrupting the rhythm of the offense.
The pressure was on from the start, and on both ends. The Patriots forced Tyrod Taylor into plenty of 3-and-outs and other short drives, and for the most part it was a defensive slugfest for 60-minutes.
After the Pats forced a three-and-out on Buffalo's first drive, the Patriots trekked through a drive of their own that was riffed with penalty flags (a theme on the night). An interception was wiped out due to off-setting penalties, and Brady was able to eventually lead the drive to set up a 35-yard field goal for Stephen Gostkowski.
The story of the first half and the game was the Buffalo defense getting clean shots in on Brady with some exotic blitz looks, and the offensive line was struggling able to hold up through four quarters. Buffalo got on the board in the second quarter when Dan Carpenter nailed a 52-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3.
Later in the second, the Buffalo defense continued to pressure Brady and the line, forcing two more stalled drives. The Bills got the ball back and ran a two-minute drill, with Taylor throwing a bomb to LeSean McCoy in the endzone, but Devin McCourty came over to slap the ball out of his hands for an incredible play.
On the field goal try, Dan Carpenter booted the 48-yard attempt off the upright, giving the Pats the ball with a short field to go. Brady led a quick strike offense, and after a review of a Brandon LaFell catch for 24 yards held up on video review, Brady found James White out of the backfield on third down for the 20-yard touchdown pass.
Coming out of halftime, an inadvertent whistle from the sideline official wiped out a potential Danny Amendola touchdown, and where #80 had free yardage to the end zone, the ball was placed where he caught the ball. Three plays later, Stephen Gostkowski missed his first kick of the year, a 54-yarder.
On the ensuing drive, the Bills went 56 yards in five plays, capping off the drive with a McCoy touchdown run to tie the game at 10-10. After both teams traded 3-and-outs, the Patriots churned out a six-play, 64-yard drive, highlighted by a 41-yard Danny Amendola catch, with James White punching in the 6-yard touchdown one play after.
The Patriots again forced a 3-and-out on the next Buffalo drive, which was followed by another 3-and-out for the Pats. On the punt, Brandon King punched out the ball from Leodis McKelvin's return. New England got a field goal out of the drive to make it 20-10.
Two drives later, Brady threw his third pick of the season on a deep ball to Chris Harper, giving the Bills the ball back at the six yard line. The Bills got to midfield and lost yardage on a third-and-inches run attempt. With the Pats pinned down in their own end, a holding penalty on Bryan Stork killed the drive, forcing a Ryan Allen punt.
The Bills drove the ball 60 yards down to the New England 15 after Taylor connected with Chris Hogan on a deep ball over Patrick Chung. Carpenter hit another field goal to bring the Bills with seven at 20-13.
Yet on the following drive, the Patriots opted to play it safe and kill as much clock as possible. The team ran three straight plays and took the clock to the two-minute warning.
With the game on the line, the Bills converted on 4th-and-6 to extend their drive, but the game came to an end a few plays later when Sammy Watkins failed to get out of bounds on a pass to the sidelines. Rob Ninkovich got the sack off the edge to effectively kill the last gasp chance for the Bills.