Date Posted: September 30, 2011
Print Edition: September 28, 2011
If someone told me that by the end of the Buffalo-New England game Tom Brady will have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, I would feel the need to exploit their lack of football intelligence. However, that was the case at Ralph Wilson stadium in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon. To add on to a game which was full of unordinary occurrences, the Bills beat the Patriots with a last second field goal by Rian Lindell.
Although Brady finished a solid 30 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns, it was the four interceptions he threw which made the difference. Yes, that was not a typo, Brady did indeed throw as many interceptions in one game as he did all of last season. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s had a tremendous start to this season, finished the game having completed 27 passes for 369 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
As usual when it comes to the Patriots, the record books were changed. Just three games into the season, Brady has thrown for an astounding 1326 yards, which is the most in the first three games in NFL history. However, the more important streak to be broken was the Bills 15-game losing streak to the Patriots. The last time the Bills had defeated the New England club was in the season opener of the 2003 season, in which the Bills shut out the Patriots 31-0. This was also the first three-plus interception game Brady has thrown since November 2006, where he threw four interceptions versus the Colts.
Predicted to be a shoot out by many experts and analysts, this game did not let down. Defensive backs on both teams were lit up by the aerial attack displayed by both Fitzpatrick and Brady. For the Bills, Donald Jones led the way with five catches for 101 yards followed by Steve Johnson who had eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. As per usual, the reliable Wes Welker led the way for the Patriots, hauling in an incredible 16 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, starting in place of the injured Aaron Hernandez, caught seven catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Chad Ochocinco, who brought a lot of hype over from Cincinnati, continues to be integrated very slowly into this offence, only catching two passes for 33 yards.
At the beginning of the season, no one could have predicted the Bills starting with a perfect 3-0 record, with a very good chance of being 4-0 as they head into Cincinnati to play the Bengals the next week. Running back Fred Jackson continues to lead the league in rushing and is a vital part of this offense as a deadly check down option for QB Fitzpatrick. The Patriots head to the West Coast next week into Oakland’s “black hole.” Look for QB Tom Brady to have a huge bounce back game; he has never had back-to-back games with multiple interceptions in his career.
Around the League: The self proclaimed, “dream team,” the Philadelphia Eagles lose 29-16 and drop to 1-2 on the season; QB Michael Vick who was questionable with a concussion heading into the game, broke his non-throwing hand during the game but continued to play. Detroit keeps their winning streak alive, winning a nail-biter versus the Vikings in overtime.