NFL: Buffalo Bills keep coming back but Tom Brady leads New England Patriots to victory
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 11/11/12 10:43pm
Stevan Ridley runs in a score for the New England Patriots
The New England Patriots maintained their dominance over AFC East rivals Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium, but it was anything but a routine victory as they were made to sweat for the 37-31 win.
Tom Brady threw two touchdowns as the Patriots opened up 14-point leads three times during the game, but the Bills would just not go away and in the end they came close to upsetting the odds.
In the end the Bills still had a chance to tie or even win the game before Pats cornerback Devin McCourty ended the contest with an interception in the end zone.
New England are 11-0 against the Bills since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 and have now won 23 of their last 25 games against Buffalo, but this ended up being one of the closest in that series.
Stevan Ridley ran in from a yard for the Pats and Danny Woodhead followed him in the second quarter from 15 yards and the Pats led 17-3.
Fred Jackson responded with a barn-storming run from 14 yards, before tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler traded touchdowns to make it just a seven-point game at the half.
Woodhead scored his second score in the third quarter, but again Buffalo showed a spirited response with Jackson getting his second to keep the visitors well in the game.
And when Ryan Fitzpatrick found Donald Jones inside the final eight minutes the lead was just down to three points and all of a sudden the Patriots looked vulnerable.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 27-yarder to force the Bills to score a touchdown to tie or even win with a two-point conversion, and they moved within striking distance as the clock wound down.
Fitzpatrick tried to hit T.J Graham from the 15-yard line but McCourty pounced to the relief of the home fans to seal the game and move the Pats on to 6-3 for the season.