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I literally do not even know where to begin breaking down yesterday’s slaughter at Ralph Wilson Stadium … so much happened in just 60 minutes of play. Well, on one side of the scoreboard, anyway.
Despite arriving in Buffalo a team battling both injuries and the flu, the Patriots once again gave fans a full-team effort as they annihilated the Buffalo Bills, 34-3. This marked the fourth time in five weeks that the Pats have beaten their opponent by 20 or more points (the one exception came last week against quarterback Matt Flynn and the Green Bay Packers). This was New England’s 15th consecutive win against the AFC’s permanent basement team.
The win gave New England the best record in football (the Atlanta Falcons, 12-2, play tonight for a chance to tie) and, for the third time in franchise history, the top seed in the AFC. Home field advantage throughout the playoffs was also secured.
Belichick and the Pats entered the 2010 regular season with one goal: to win the division. Yesterday, they did just that. For the second consecutive season and the eighth time in ten seasons, the New England Patriots are the AFC East Division Champions.
Tom Brady, strengthening the argument for MVP, set an NFL record for the most consecutive passes without an interception. He broke the old record, previously set by Browns’ Bernie Kosar (308) in 1990-91, early in the 3rd quarter. Brady finished the day completing 319 consecutive passes. He has not thrown an interception since the October 17th game against the Ravens (which was only his 4th of the season).
Brady also threw three touchdown passes, bringing his season total to 34. He is currently on course to become only the seventh player in NFL history to throw a TD pass in all 16 regular-season games.
Tight end and Buffalo native Rob Gronkowski put on a show for family and friends, contributing two touchdowns in the Patriots romping of the Bills. Veteran tight end Alge Crumpler also put six on the board as scored his first touchdown of the season.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots recovered four fumbles and grabbed three picks in (arguably) Ryan Fitzpatrick’s worst outing of the season.
The Miami Dolphins visit Gillette next Sunday for the last week of the regular season but the Pats won’t play a meaningful game until January 15th or 16th in the second round of the playoffs.
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