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Final: Patriots 25, Bills 24

Posted by Chris Forsberg, Boston.com Staff  September 14, 2009 07:55 PM

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Tom Brady passes against Buffalo. (Jim Davis / Globe Staff)

Keep it here for all in-game updates, including starting lineups, scoring plays, and other observations. For your convenience, here are some highlights to check out:

Watson's TDs | Gostkowski fumble recovery | Schobel INT for TD | Mayo injures knee

FINAL: Patriots 25, Bills 24

The Patriots pull out an improbable 25-24 triumph over the Bills as Benjamin Watson catches two TD passes over the final 130 seconds of play.

More to come after a trip to the locker room.

PATRIOTS 25, BILLS 24 (0:50, 4th)

Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson reeled in a 16-yard touchdown pass -- his second in little more than a minute -- from Tom Brady as the Patriots have improbably come from behind to take the lead over the Bills.

The play was reviewed by the official, but the touchdown stood as Watson maintained possession going to the ground.

The 2-point conversion pass intended for Moss fell incomplete.

The scoring drive covered 31 yards on 3 plays over 1:06.

FUMBLE!

Bills returner Leodis McKelvin fumbled on the kickoff return with Pierre Woods stripping the ball after Brandon Meriweather made the initial stop. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski recovered for the Patriots at the Buffalo 31 with 1:56 to go.

BILLS 24, PATRIOTS 19 (2:06, 4th)

Benjamin Watson reeled in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady, but the 2-point conversion pass to Watson failed, keeping Buffalo out front by five with little more than two minutes to play.

The Patriots needed 11 plays to cover 81 yards and it took 3:26 off the clock.

BILLS 24, PATRIOTS 13 (5:32, 4th)

Fred Jackson produced a 10-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass from Trent Edwards. The scoring drive covered 62 yards on 13 over 6:11.

Linebacker Adalius Thomas picked up a personal foul penalty for unnecessary roughness after whipping Buffalo QB Trent Edwards to ground at the end of a 10-yard sack. Instead of facing second down at the Patriots 36, the Bills got a new set of downs at the 21.

Earlier in the drive, facing 3rd and 15 from their 33, the Bills completed an 18-yard screen pass to Jackson to keep the drive alive.

BILLS 17, PATRIOTS 13 (11:43, 4th)

Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 66-yard drive that spanned 5:49.

The Patriots marched to the Buffalo 11, but again stalled with a chance to put more points on the board. Lot of trips inside the opponent's 40 tonight for New England, and not much to show for it.

END OF 3rd QUARTER: Bills 17, Patriots 10

The Bills lead the Patriots, 17-10, at the end of three quarters.

Quarterback Tom Brady, who has the Patriots at the Bills 30 with a new set of downs when play resumes, is 24 of 35 passing for 245 yards with an interception.

BILLS 17, PATRIOTS 10 (2:32, 3rd)

Bills kicker Rian Lindell booted a 40-yard field goal to cap a 42-yard, 7-play drive that spanned 3:25.

On the drive, wide receiver Terrell Owens caught his first pass of the game, but No. 952 of his career, good for No. 6 on the NFL's all-time receptions list.

DEFENSE WITHOUT MAYO

When utilizing Derrick Burgess and Tully Banta-Cain as edge rushers, the Patriots have moved Adalius Thomas to inside linebacker in a 3-4 set up.

PATRIOTS' TURNOVER ON DOWNS

The Patriots drove out of the shadow of their own end zone on their opening drive of the second half, Tom Brady and Randy Moss connecting on three straight plays, but the drive sputtered at the Buffalo 36 and the Patriots turned the ball over on downs.

MORE MOSS ACCOLADES

With eight receptions for 115 yards so far, Randy Moss has recorded his 60th 100-yard receiver game, second most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice.

MOVE OVER ROD SMITH, HELLO IRVING FRYAR

Randy Moss caught back-to-back receptions on the Patriots' first drive of the second half. With 850 career receptions, Moss leapfrogged Rod Smith into 14th place on the NFL's all-time receptions list.

For good measure, Moss caught a third straight pass for career reception No. 851, which tied him with Irving Fryar for 13th on the all-time list.

HALFTIME: Bills 14, Patriots 10

Buffalo came up with a defensive stand inside its 10 and the Patriots settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 20-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. The scoring drive covered 68 yards on nine plays over 3:29.

BILLS 14, PATRIOTS 7 (3:29, 2nd)

Aaron Schobel intercepted a Tom Brady offering and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. Coming off a play-action fake, Brady seemed to want to flip the ball over the oncoming defensive linemen to Sammy Morris, but Schobel simply reached up and grabbed the ball, then outraced Morris to the end zone.

NINKOVICH AT LB

With Jerod Mayo sidelined due to a knee injury, Rob Ninkovich is getting snaps on the most recent series at outside linebacker as the Patriots have also brought in Mike Wright and switched to a 4-3 defense (with Gary Guyton alone in the middle).

On third down, Derrick Burgess came on to rush off the edge in a passing situation.

PATRIOTS 7, BILLS 7 (6:22, 2nd)

Fred Taylor's 1-yard touchdown run capped a 14-play, 72-yard drive that spanned 7:12. The Patriots utilized plenty of the power package mentioned below and the score was set up by a 13-yard pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker.

POWER PACKAGE

The Patriots are utilizing a similar power package to what they showcased in the preseason, bringing in rookie Sebastian Vollmer at left tackle, then having Matt Light declare eligible and line up next to right tackle Nick Kaczur (with tight ends Chris Baker and Benjamin Watson lined up on that same side).

END OF 1st QUARTER: Bills 7, Patriots 0

The Bills lead the Patriots, 7-0, after the first quarter.

Tom Brady completed 4 of 8 passes for 29 yards in the frame.

MAYO UPDATE

Official word from the Patriots' sideline: Jerod Mayo has a knee injury, his return is questionable.

BILLS 7, PATRIOTS 0 (2:58, 1st)

Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Shawn Nelson. The drive covered 68 yards on six players over 3:17.

MAYO SHAKEN UP, GOES TO LOCKER ROOM

Patriots second-year linebacker Jerod Mayo was shaken up on a play at 4:19 of the first quarter. Trainers attended to Mayo, looking at his right leg (knee area), before he walked off the field under his own power.

Mayo was attended to by trainers on the bench and seemed to be able to stretch out his right leg, but walked -- under his own power again -- to the locker room, with a slight limp.

Interesting scene as Tom Brady, who injured his left knee in last year's season-opener, kept an eye on Mayo as he warmed up in front of him near the bench.

GOSTKOWSKI: WIDE RIGHT

Stephen Gostkowski missed a 41-yard field goal attempt badly to the right (kicking towards the north end zone). For the second time tonight in as many tries, the Patriots trek past the Buffalo 40, but come away with nothing to show for it.

Maroney is running hard early with 29 yards on four carries. Brady has completed 4 of 7 passes for 29 yards, but has been hurt by drops early.

MARONEY SPARK, THEN STOPPED

Laurence Maroney returned the game's opening kickoff 52 yards to the Buffalo 49. Facing 4th and 1 from the Buffalo 39, the Patriots went for it and Maroney was stopped for a turnover on downs.

STARTING LINEUPS

Defense (3-4):

DE: Jarvis Green
DT: Vince Wilfork
DE: Ty Warren
OLB: Adalius Thomas
ILB: Gary Guyton
ILB: Jerod Mayo
OLB: Tully Banta-Cain
CB: Jonathan Wilhite
CB: Leigh Bodden
FS: James Sanders
SS: Brandon Meriweather

Offense (2 TE, 1 RB):

QB: Tom Brady
RB: Fred Taylor
TE: Chris Baker
TE: Benjamin Watson
WR: Randy Moss
WR: Joey Galloway
LT: Matt Light
LG: Logan Mankins
C: Dan Koppen
RG: Stephen Neal
RT: Nick Kaczur

PREGAME

Buffalo wins the toss, defers. New England will receive to start the game.

Randy Moss, Sam Aiken, Jerod Mayo, and Vince Wilfork were the captains at midfield for the toss.

Tonight's weather: Clear skies, warm conditions. Game-time temperature: 70 degrees, 53 percent humidity, Winds: 5 mph SW.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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