1. Mankins at LT, Kline at LG. As expected, it was veteran guard Logan Mankins taking over for Nate Solder at left tackle, with rookie guard Josh Kline playing in Mankins' normal spot. Veteran Will Svitek's play time is limited as he's dealing with an ankle issue. Mankins is making his second career start at left tackle.
2. Blount barrels in.LeGarrette Blount earned his third straight start at running back, absorbing the role Stevan Ridley held before his fumbling issues. He paid dividends early, scoring from 1 yard after receiver Julian Edelman drew a pass-interference call in the end zone on a long throw from Tom Brady.
3. Ryan picks Flacco. Rookie Logan Ryan, who has been playing in base defense personnel groupings, registered his fourth pick of the season, grabbing a Joe Flacco pass off of a deflection by Dont'a Hightower. Ryan is tied for the team lead with Aqib Talib and shares the lead with Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso among all rookies.
4. Vereen scores, Pats up 14. The Patriots have had struggles in the red zone without tight end Rob Gronkowski this season, but not so far in this one. In two trips, they've scored twice, with running back Shane Vereen scoring on a 4-yard catch with just less than five minutes to go in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 14-point lead. Danny Amendola had a key 34-yard third-down catch on the drive to put the Patriots in scoring territory.
5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were flagged for penalties in the first quarter: Amendola (illegal shift; declined).