Dodging a Bullet: Patriots Week 10 Recap

The Patriots were in control of their week 10 matchup with the Bills throughout most of the first half, but Buffalo's rushing attack left New England's defense on its heels all afternoon. Although Brady and company were efficient on the offensive end of the ball, they were unable to finish the game off with a touchdown after having a 1st and goal with under three minutes remaining in the game and settling for a field goal, keeping Buffalo alive. A late Devin McCourty interception in New England's end zone locked the win for New England, 37-31, moving the Patriots to 6-3 on the season. There is still lots that this team needs to improve on with Andrew luck and the Colts coming to town next weekend.

Woodhead is Secret Weapon - With his two touchdowns this afternoon, one rushing and one receiving, Danny Woodhead continues to play the “secret weapon” role for the Patriots. He's the kind of player that isn't going to be a main focus for opposing teams defensive game plans, but he tends to show up right when the Patriots need him most. While there is no telling what kind of production you will get out of Woodhead on a weekly basis, expect him to play a vital role in the Patriots overall success as the second half of the season continues.

Bills Penalties Lost Them Game - While the Bills were able to stack up 481 yards of total offense, their 148 yards in penalties were the reason they couldn’t quite catch up to the patriots all game. The majority of the Bills penalties came in the first half on basic pass interference calls that you wouldn’t even see in a high school game. It is safe to say the Patriots most likely would have lost this game if it wasn’t for those big penalties in the first half.

Offense Keeps the Door Open - Now, it's hard to nit-pick an offense that is statistically the best in the NFL, but as Tom Brady will always say, there are still aspects of the game that they can improve on. Today, it was not closing the door on the Bills when they had the perfect chance to do so. With 2:54 left in the game, the Patriots had a 1st and goal at their own 2-yard line, up by a field goal. If New England wants to contend for the Super Bowl this season, these are the situations that they will need to capitalize on. No matter how good their offense is, they seemingly always need that extra push from Brady and company, as the team can never feel comfortable relying on the defense to secure a victory. Well, after a run for minus 2-yards, a false start penalty, and a few failed attempts to the end zone, the Patriots had to settle for a field goal and they kept the door open for the Bills to win the game, which Buffalo almost capitalized on. The killer instinct in late game situations will be one of the Patriots main concerns in the weeks to come.

Devin McCourty Steps Up, Finally - Many expected this to be a big year for Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty, but those expectations have yet to be met on the field this

season. McCourty’s up and down play has put him in a position where his spot on the team is far from guaranteed in the near future. Well, Devin helped his own cause today by stepping up with his biggest performance of the year. After causing a fumble of Buffalo running back Fred Jackson on New England’s 1-yard line, McCourty later ended the game with an interception in the end zone with under a minute remaining in the game and the Pats clinging to a six point lead. Now McCourty’s main challenge is to string together a couple of these performances, or else games like this will soon be forgotten and the critics will be out in full force once again.

Top Note - The Bills had the most penalty yards in a half since the Seahawks (at Jacksonville) in 1995.

Up Next - Andrew Luck and the surprisingly competitive Colts head to New England next Sunday for a big conference game at 4:25 PM.

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