PLAY OF THE GAME
The situation: The Patriots were leading, 28-21, with 13:33 left in the third quarter, when the Bills had second and 8 at their 37-yard line.
What happened: Linebacker Brandon Spikes (55) came from the back side to force his second fumble of the game with a jarring hit, but he couldn’t have done it without his teammates. Left end Rob Ninkovich (50) stood up pulling guard Andy Levitre (67), then shed the block to keep running back Fred Jackson (22) inside. Safety Patrick Chung (25) did the same by avoiding the pulling block of tight end Scott Chandler (84). That left Jackson no choice but to run toward the middle of the field, where he was hit by the Spikes freight train.
ON HIS GAME
Sebastian Vollmer, right tackle
There were a lot of worthy candidates, but the nod goes to Vollmer for completely erasing Bills left end Mario Williams, the $100 million man. Not one quarterback pressure.
OFF HIS GAME
Donald Thomas, left guard
It’s too bad the secondary spread its misery around so much because Thomas doesn’t deserve this. On the whole, he played well. But you can’t ignore a half-sack, 2.5 hurries, two stuffed runs, and a knockdown that almost injured Tom Brady.
Greg A. Bedard