Pick-Up Six: Patriots defeat Bills, 25-6

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It had been quite a long time since the New England Patriots had scored a defensive touchdown. To be exact, a Pats defender had last reached the end zone during Week 17 of 2015. That 40-game drought was the longest active streak of its kind in the NFL.

Devin McCourty made sure that the streak did not reach 41.

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On a night in which the Patriots defense stifled the Buffalo Bills’ offense, McCourty returned an interception 84 yards, en route to a 25-6 win on Monday night in Orchard Park, NY.

For much of the game, the Patriots’ offense was stymied by a stout effort by the Bills’ defense. Quarterback Tom Brady was often under stringent pressure and the high-powered Pats’ offense could not find the endzone. Stephen Gostkowski delivered the first 12 points of the night for New England. The Patriots kicker hit four of five field-goal attempts, including two from 25 yards after New England drives stalled inside Buffalo’s 10.

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(cred: USA TODAY Images)


Bills’ kicker Stephen Hauschka connected on two field goals, including a 51-yarder which cut the Patriots lead to 9-6 in the third quarter. However, Brady and the Patriots would not be denied a trip to the endzone. Although the fans at New Era Field began to sense Patriots’ blood in the icy waters of upstate New York, Brady led the Pats on a methodical drive that would be capped with a 1-yard touchdown rush by running back James White.

On the ensuing drive, Bills quarterback Derek Anderson nearly connected with tight end Jason Croom on a diving one-handed touchdown attempt. However, the play was negated following a video review. Replays clearly showed Croom never had possession in attempting to make the 25-yard catch, which would have made it a one-score game.

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Just two plays later, McCourty sealed the win for the Pats with 5:54 remaining by intercepting Anderson’s pass over the middle intended for Bills running back LeSean McCoy.  

(cred: MassLive)

Brady finished 29 of 45 for 324 yards, but was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. For the Patriots, it was their fifth straight win. New England improved to 6-2 on the season, and maintains first place in the AFC East.

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PATS STATS:

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Tom Brady improved  to 29-3 all-time against Buffalo, the most wins by a starting quarterback versus one team in the Super Bowl era.

Although he has never worn a Bills uniform, Brady has the third-most wins in games played in Buffalo with 15.  He trails only former Bills quarterbacks Jim Kelly (59) and Joe Ferguson (46)

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The Patriots beat Buffalo for the seventh straight time and improved to 32-5 in their last 37 meetings under head coach Bill Belichick.

(cred: USA TODAY Images)

 

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UP NEXT:

The Patriots welcome Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on Sunday, November 4 at 8pm

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-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the NFL and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC

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