<
>

Officials burn Bills twice on opening Pats drive

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL is getting obnoxious in penalizing aggression.

On the New England Patriots' first play Sunday in Gillette Stadium, Buffalo Bills safety Ko Simpson laid a clean lick on receiver Randy Moss, who had a high Matt Cassel pass glance off his fingertips.

Moss was vulnerable while leaping, and Simpson drilled him in the chest a second after the ball arrived.

Referee Walt Coleman's crew whistled Simpson for unnecessary roughness to put the Patriots on their 44-yard line.

Also on the drive, Cassel found Wes Welker on a deep out pattern for a 21-yard gain to the Buffalo 17. But replays indicated Welker didn't have possession and failed to get both feet inbounds.

Bills coach Dick Jauron threw the challenge flag, and several assistants jumped up and down to get the officials' attention, but play wasn't halted. The Patriots got off another play to eliminate any possibility of a video review.

Two plays later, Cassel scrambled 13 yards for a touchdown.