Best & Worst from Patriots’ victory over Bills
BEST HIT: Dont’a Hightower blasted Mike Gillislee on a 3-yard run on the Bills’ first drive that caused the Buffalo running back to take himself off the field.
BEST RECOVERY: After a Bills field goal in the first quarter, Matthew Slater fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but Shea McClellin avoided the disaster when he recovered the loose ball.
WORST HANDS: Buffalo’s Brandon Tate dropped what would have been a sure completion and first down on a pass from Tyrod Taylor in the first quarter.
BEST HOME RUN: Brady lofted a beautiful 53-yard bomb to receiver Chris Hogan, who burned Stephon Gilmore for the touchdown.
WORST DISCIPLINE: Both teams were sloppy from a penalties perspective, combining for 22 overall for 200 yards.
BEST ANSWER: Tom Brady orchestrated a 14-play, 70-yard drive that ended in a 9-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola in the first quarter to respond to Buffalo’s opening scoring drive.
WORST CONFUSION: The Patriots were hit with a 12-men-on-the-field penalty in the second quarter, then had to take a timeout when two others ran off to give the team just 10 on defense with the Bills driving deep into Pats territory.
BEST MILESTONE: Rob Gronkowski set franchise records for most touchdowns (69) and most touchdown receptions (68) with a 53-yard catch and run from Brady in the second quarter.
BEST SIGN: It may have been a close call, but Stephen Gostkowski banging home a 51-yard field goal off the upright just before halftime had to be a confidence boost for the struggling kicker.
BEST SPARK: Danny Amendola’s 73-yard kickoff return to start the second half set up a Julian Edelman touchdown that pushed the Pats’ lead to 31-10.
BEST UNEXPECTED PLAY: Somehow, despite dropping the ball as he went to kick it, Bills punter Colton Schmidt picked it up and rumbled 16 yards for a first down in the third quarter.