For the second straight week, Tom Brady looked like Tom Brady and the Patriots offense beat up a top-ranked defense.
found Brandon LaFell for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter Sunday in Orchard Park, New York, as the Pats held off the Bills, 37-22, and took sole possession of first place in the AFC East. New England is 4-2 on the season and can add to its division lead as soon as this Thursday when it hosts the Jets (8:25 p.m., CBS).
Buffalo cut the Patriots’ lead to eight with under six minutes remaining, and the Pats had to start a drive from their own 7-yard line — but Brady solved the Bills defense. He hit Julian Edelman for 20 yards and then dismissed a third-and-16 with a 17-yard connection to Rob Gronkowski to keep the drive alive. Two plays after the Gronkowski catch, Brady found LaFell for a 56-yard touchdown. The score cemented the win for the Pats as Brady improved his record to 23-2 against the Bills.
At certain points, the Patriots looked as though they were on the verge of blowing out the Bills when Brady’s highlight reel 43-yard touchdown pass to a lunging Brian Tyms put the Pats up 20-7 early in the third quarter. But a third quarter touchdown run by Fred Jackson and Chris Hogan’s eight-yard TD grab from Kyle Orton in the fourth kept the Pats honest.
Brady finished the day with four touchdown passes, zero interceptions and 361 yards through the air. Gronkowski, LaFell and Edelman all finished with over 90 yards receiving.
Buffalo turned the ball over three times. Neither team had much success on the ground as the Pats finished with just 50 yards rushing and Buffalo finished with just 68 yards rushing.
A look at what went right in the Patriots win at Buffalo:
• Darrelle Revis and the Patriots defense once again took out the opposing team’s best receiver as Sammy Watkins finished with just two catches for 27 yards.
• Tom Brady spread the ball around brilliantly, connecting with 10 different receivers. Brady hit on 27 of his 37 attempts.
The Patriots next play the Jets in three days. The Patriots are 4-0 with Tom Brady at quarterback on short week, Thursday games. They did lose in 2008 to the Jets, but Matt Cassel was at QB.