NFL Wire News

Bills 17, Patriots 9


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Buffalo Bills, taking advantage of the New England Patriots resting players for the upcoming playoffs, won at Gillette Stadium for the first time since 2000 and capped their first winning season since 2004 on Sunday.

With Patriots quarterback Tom Brady playing only the first half and key offensive players missing, the Bills, finishing their 15th straight season out of the playoffs with a 9-7 record, scored a 17-9 victory over New England.

Kyle Orton threw a touchdown pass and Boobie Dixon ran for a touchdown to lead the Bills, who were eliminated with a loss at Oakland the previous week.

Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals for New England, which will have the home-field advantage throughout its stay in the AFC playoffs.

The Patriots, who will sit out next week waiting for the lowest remaining seed of the wild-card round, finished the regular season 12-4 — 10-2 since a rough 2-2 start.

The asterisk quality loss also ended the Pats’ 35-game home winning streak against the AFC, their 16th straight overall home regular-season run and a 17-gamer against the AFC East.

Orton, clearing the 3,000-yard passing mark for the third time in his career, was 16 of 23 for 176 yards.

The Patriots, trying to get through this game without injuries, apparently weren’t that lucky. With their offensive line already a bit banged up, they lost left tackle Nate Solder to a knee injury in the first half.

Brady was 8 of 16 for 80 yards, finishing the season 373 of 584 for 4,109 yards, 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions. It was the only game this season that Brady went without a touchdown pass.

Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo was 10 of 17 for 90 yards and showed some nifty escape moves despite three sacks.

The Bills came in leading the NFL in sacks with 50 and had four.

NOTES: TE Rob Gronkowski, who said earlier in the week he intended to play the entire meaningless final game, and WR/PR Julian Edelman were among the Patriots’ inactives. Edelman, who missed his second straight game with a concussion, finished with a team-high 92 catches for 972 yards and four touchdowns, while Gronkowski had 82 catches for 1,124 yards and 12 TDs. … Buffalo’s inactives included CB Stephen Gilmore and DT Marcell Dareus, who were both listed through the week as questionable with injuries. … The Patriots reportedly signed director of player personnel Nick Caserio to a contract extension through 2020. … Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball player who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge, celebrated his birthday at Gillette Stadium, with the crowd serenading him with Happy Birthday at the first half two-minute warning.

About The Sports Xchange


Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business