Sunday, September 30, 2012
Bills embarrassed by Patriots in lopsided loss
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't waver when he had to evaluate yet another lopsided Buffalo Bills loss to the New England Patriots.
"That was really embarrassing," he bluntly said following the Patriots 52-28 rout of the Bills on Sunday. "We have a lot of pride, and right now we have our tails between our legs."
Buffalo (2-2) fell to 1-17 in its past 18 meetings against New England, and 2-22 dating to the 2000 season. The Patriots lost their last trip to Orchard Park, 34-31 after blowing a 21-0 lead.
This time, though, it was the Bills turn to unravel after building a 21-7 lead on their first possession of the third quarter, when Fitzpatrick hit Donald Jones for a 68-yard catch and run. Undaunted, Tom Brady led the Patriots (2-2) to five unanswered touchdowns that helped them avoid their first three-game skid in 10 years.
New England racked up 580 yards on offense, including 137 yards rushing by Branden Bolden and another 106 yards on the ground from Stevan Ridley. Both Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark, and Brady finished 22 of 36 for 340 yards and three touchdowns, plus one rushing.
"When you have two guys rushing for 100 yards, something's up," Bills defensive end Mario Williams said. "We have to have a reality check and see what's going on."
Cornerback Devin McCourty had two interceptions in keying a New England defense that forced six turnovers and had three sacks.
Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, became only the 17th player since 1960 to throw four touchdowns and four interceptions in the same game. And the last player to do that happened to be Brady in last year's 34-31 Bills win at Buffalo.
Over the last two meetings between the two teams, the Bills have lost by a combined score of 101-49. In last season's finale, the Bills led 21-0 before collapsing.
"For some reason these games versus these guys, when they start rolling unfortunately we have not had an answer," Fitzpatrick said. "We have to figure out why."
The Bills high-priced and revamped defense produced a significant dud. Williams -- who signed a six-year, $100 million contract in March -- and company managed one sack and allowed the most points Buffalo's given up since a 56-10 loss to New England on Nov. 18, 2007.
More embarrassing, the 580 yards allowed were the second most in team history, just short of the 598 Buffalo allowed in a 34-31 win at San Francisco in 1992.
"It's frustrating," linebacker Nick Barnett said. "The second half, we gave up the ball, didn't get enough turnovers, didn't stop the run...everything."
The Bills offense sagged despite the return of its two top running backs. Fred Jackson had 13 carries for 29 yards and three catches for 50 yards, but lost a fumble in his first game back since spraining his right knee in a season-opening loss at the New York Jets.
C.J. Spiller didn't fare much better. He had 33 yards on eight carries, and also lost a fumble at the goal line late in the second half that prevented Buffalo from building a 21-7 lead. Spiller played a week after hurting his left shoulder in a 24-14 win at Cleveland.
Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 39 for 350 yards passing.
"Honestly, they whipped us," Bills coach Chan Gailey said. "Did not expect that at all."
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