■ Linebacker Brandon Spikes got bailed out by Aqib Talib’s forced fumble in the first quarter. Spikes was out of position and still communicating with the defensive backs when Smith snapped the ball. He got crisscrossed with Talib and picked his own man, giving Stephen Hill a free release up the seam to haul in a 33-yard pass. Fortunately, Talib punched the ball out and McCourty scooped it up.
■ Strange to see Wilfork so ineffective in the run game. Sometimes he picked the wrong gaps to shoot, and other times he was wiped out by guard Vlad Ducasse and center Nick Mangold, like on Bilal Powell’s 3-yard touchdown run.
The Jets’ game plan was to run right at Wilfork and Tommy Kelly — 17 rushes for 65 yards up the middle, and 14 for 47 yards to the outside.
■ Solid night for rookie Ryan Allen, averaging a net of 42.5 yards on a franchise record-tying 11 punts, but he did have a couple of bad touchbacks. Allen also had a good hold on Stephen Gostkowski’s missed 42-yard kick.
■ Not that you should be surprised, but Matthew Slater was once again an animal on punt coverage, forcing one fair catch and also making an open-field tackle for no gain. Talib wasn’t great blocking the opposing gunner, and his failure to block his man almost caused Edelman to fumble.
■ Interesting that the Patriots kept six defenders up on the front line for kickoff returns, while most teams use five. They clearly didn’t trust the Bills or Jets not to use a little trickery.
Edelman: Touched the ball 21 times — 13 catches for 78 yards, one rush for 4 yards, six punt returns for 72 yards and one fair catch.
Ninkovich: Steadiest member of the front seven hasn’t missed a snap this season.
CB Kyle Arrington: Showed great ability to “recover” on a play, knocking the ball out of Gates’s grasp after getting beaten deep. Also had the initial tip on Talib’s first interception.
Ben Volin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.