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Final: Patriots 52, Bills 28

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  September 30, 2012 03:30 PM

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The New England Patriots had a pair of 100-yard rushers and a pair of 100-yard receivers as they defeated the Buffalo Bills, 52-28, on Sunday in Orchard Park, NY.

Stevan Ridley (106 yards, two touchdowns) and Brandon Bolden (137 yards, one touchdown) paced the Patriots on the ground and Rob Gronkowski (104 yards, one touchdown) and Wes Welker (nine receptions, 129 yards) led the air attack as the Patriots evened their record at 2-2.

Quarterback Tom Brady passed for 340 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran for another score. The Patriots defense forced six turnovers.

The Patriots trailed 14-7 at halftime and 21-7 early in the third quarter after Buffalo's Donald Jones scored on a 68-yard pass play.

But Brady directed drives of 80 and 85 yards to tie the score. He capped the second with a 4-yard run for a touchdown.

The Patriots took the lead on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Gronkowski, then went up 34-21 when Stevan Ridley scored his second touchdown in the fourth quarter.

In-game updates
1:56 4th quarter: Patriots 52, Bills 28 -- After missing two field goals earlier in the game, Stephen Gostkowski got a measure of redemption when he converted on a 30-yard attempt.

3:54 4th quarter: Patriots 49, Bills 28 -- Tavon Wilson records the sixth takeaway by the Patriots defense, intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick and setting the Patriots up in Buffalo territory.

4:02 4th quarter: Patriots 49, Bills 28 -- Brandon Lloyd joins the touchdown party on a 25-yard strike from Tom Brady to cap a six-play drive that covered 48 yards.

6:32 4th quarter: Patriots 42, Bills 28 -- The Bills aren't going down without a fight. Brad Smith hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass to pull Buffalo with two scores.

10:29 4th quarter: Patriots 42, Bills 21 -- Brandon Bolden scores on a 7-yard run. Patriots in complete control now on both sides of the ball.

11:19 4th quarter: Patriots 35, Bills 21 -- The Patriots continue to make things happen on defense. Devin McCourty's second interception comes just moments after Vince Wilfork delivered a crushing blow to Buffalo's Donald Jones.

11:42 4th quarter: Patriots 35, Bills 21 -- Stevan Ridley scores his second touchdown to pad the lead for New England. Buffalo can't stop the Patriots on the ground, as Brandon Bolden and Ridley continue to find seams for big gainers.

13:26 4th quarter: Patriots 28, Bills 21 -- Brandon Spikes forced a fumble out of Fred Jackson -- Buffalo's fourth turnover -- and the Patriots recovered. They start this drive on Buffalo's 42.

14:55 4th quarter: Patriots 28, Bills 21 -- Tom Brady found a wide open Rob Gronkowski in the middle of the field for a 28-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter as the Patriots reclaimed the lead. It capped a five-play, 63-yard drive over 2:01.

End of the 3d quarter: Patriots 21, Bills 21 -- The Patriots end the third quarter on better footing than how they started it. Right now they're threatening to score and go up on the Bills.

2:09 3d quarter: Patriots 21, Bills 21 -- After a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass to Donald Jones for 22 yards, the Patriots clamped down on the Bills, forcing another punt after a Rob Ninkovich strip sack and tackle for loss.

3:53 3d quarter: Patriots 21, Bills 21 -- Tom Brady, unable to find an open receiver, scrambled in for a 4-yard touchdown to knot the game at 21. The play was reviewed and upheld.

Brady connected with Wes Welker for three passes on the drive and Brandon Bolden broke off a 20-yard run to spur the Patriots along. It was an eight-play, 80-yard drive over 3:19.

7:20 3d quarter: Bills 21, Patriots 14 -- The Patriots held the Bills to a three-and-out with Devin McCourty showing good coverage on a deep throw by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

8:10 3d quarter: Bills 21, Patriots 14 -- Tom Brady escaped from the pocket and found Danny Woodhead who was able to scamper in for a 17-yard touchdown, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive in 2:58 as the Patriots responded to Buffalo's touchdown.

Brandon Bolden rushed the ball twice on the drive, including a 27-yard scamper that put the Patriots in Bills territory.

11:08 2d quarter: Bills 21, Patriots 7 -- Ryan Fitzpatrick found Donald Jones over the middle of the field and Patriots safety Steve Gregory took a bad angle as he raced away for a 68-yard touchdown.

The Bills went five plays, 83 yards, in 2:37.

13:54 3d quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7 -- A possible touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski was broken up by Stephon Gilmore, who hit Gronkowski in the hands as he was pulling in the would-be catch.

The Patriots punted after a Brady pass was batted down by Kyle Williams at the line.

15:00 3d quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7 -- The second half is underway with the Patriots receiving the kick.

End of the 2d quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7 -- Two missed field goals, an inability to capitalize on two interceptions, and costly turnovers have the Bills leading the Patriots 14-7.

A fumble by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski led to a 24-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Scott Chandler and Stephen Gostkowski's second missed field led to another Fitzpatrick and Chandler hookup in the end zone.

The Patriots have three takeaways to their credit, with Devin McCourty intercepting an under thrown pass and Jerod Mayo intercepting another tipped ball, but have not been able to take advantage of those opportunities.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady is 10 of 18 for 141 yards while running back Stevan Ridley has 63 yards rushing on 11 attempts and one touchdown. Fitzpatrick leads the Bills with 13 of 19 passing for 178 yards.

1:11 2d quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7 -- Brandon Spikes delivered a huge hit on Bills running back CJ Spiller, forcing a fumble on the goal line as Vince Wilfork recovered to give the Patriots the ball back.

2:15 2d quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7 -- The Bills' Jairus Byrd forced another fumble, this time on Patriots receiver Wes Welker, and Bryan Scott recovered for Buffalo as the Patriots are seemingly stumped by this defense. The play was reviewed and upheld.

Tom Brady was sacked by Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams on the prior play.

The Bills take over at the Patriots' 21-yard line.

3:30 2d quarter: Bills 14, Patriots 7 -- Ryan Fitzpatrick hooked up with tight end Scott Chandler again, this time for 20-yard touchdown as the Bills took the lead.

The scoring strike was set up by a deep pass from Fitzpatrick to running back Fred Jackson, who was covered by Patriots LB Jerod Mayo, for 34 yards. The Bills went 68 yards over five plays in 2:12.

5:42 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 7 -- Stephen Gostkowski missed his second field goal of the game, this one a 42-yard attempt wide left.

Again, it appeared that Gostkowski didn't get much on the kick. Normally his kicks are powerful and these last two attempts are anything but that.

9:43 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 7 -- Scott Chandler went up and grabbed a 24-yard touchdown pass over Patriots safety Patrick Chung as the Bills capitalized on Rob Gronkowski's fumble.

9:51 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Rob Gronkowski was stripped on the Patriots first play after a reception. The fumble was forced and recovered by Jairus Byrd.

10:10 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Good coverage on Bills tight end Scott Chandler on third down and on TJ Graham on second down to give the Patriots the ball right back after only four plays.

11:16 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Stephen Gostkowski missed a 49-yard field goal, wide right, appearing to not get much on the kick as the Patriots failed to capitalize on their second takeaway of the game.

Dont'a Hightower is officially listed with a hamstring injury and his return is questionable.

After sitting out a series, Rob Gronkowski returned to the playing field.

12:56 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Ryan Fitzpatrick underthrew T.J. Graham after beating Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty, and McCourty took advantage of the opportunity, picking off Fitzpatrick. The Patriots take over in Bills territory.

14:04 2d quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Tom Brady whiffed on a pass to Wes Welker and the Patriots had four plays on offense before being forced to punt.

Rob Gronkowski was noticeably absent on the last drive, not playing in the series. Prior to this series, he didn't play the last two snaps of the previous offensive series.

End of the first quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- The Patriots' fast start has been slowed a bit by the Bills. We're monitoring the Dont'a Hightower situation.

1:01 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Chandler Jones sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick after he was hurried from the pocket by Jermaine Cunningham as the Patriots held the Bills to four plays.

LB Dont'a Higtower, who left the field with a limp on the previous drive, was on a stationary bike on the sideline. He was replaced on defense by Tracy White.

3:26 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- The Patriots went three-and-out, with Tom Brady unable to connect with Brandon Lloyd on an out route on 3d-and-2.

4:06 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Vince Wilfork tipped a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass and Jerod Mayo intercepted it, giving the Patriots the ball at the Bills' 49-yard line.

LB Dont'a Hightower limped off the field for a play after chasing down Fitzpatrick just a down earlier. We'll monitor that.

6:49 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Bills 0 -- Stevan Ridley sliced through the left side of the defense for a 6-yard touchdown to cap a quick 7-play drive covering 90 yards in 3:07.

Tom Brady connected with tight end Rob Gronkowski twice, including a 41-yard reception, on the drive and got second-year running back Shane Vereen involved with a 5-yard pass, Vereen's first touch of the season. Brady also connected with tight end Daniel Fells on the drive for an 18-yard reception.

9:58 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Bills 0 -- After the Patriots gave up four first downs, Chandler Jones managed to find his way in the Bills' backfield to stop Fred Jackson for a 3-yard loss and force a Buffalo punt.

15:00 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Bills 0 -- The Patriots won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Bills will receive the opening kick.

Pregame: We're about to get underway here at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The coin toss is coming up and then 60 minutes of Patriots and Bills action.

You can stay right here for all of the game updates, series by series.

It's 57 degrees here in Orchard Park, N.Y., with winds of 7 mile per hour. Chances of rain are at 10 percent as of 1 p.m., and will increase to 15 percent by the 3 p.m. hour, according to Weather.com.

Enjoy the game.

@zuriberry

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

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