ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) New-look Buffalo Bills. Same old result.
Add Rex Ryan to the ever-growing list of Bills coaches who have come up short against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
In silencing a raucous crowd and exposing Ryan’s brash talk for bluster, Brady threw three touchdowns and 466 yards passing – the second-most of his career and most by any player against Buffalo – in a 40-32 win Sunday.
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Brady improved his record to 24-3 against Buffalo. It’s a string of dominance that began in 2001, when Gregg Williams was coaching the Bills. And Brady has managed to beat all six Bills coaches since – including Perry Fewell, who took over on an interim basis after Dick Jauron was fired during the 2009 season.
”First off, this loss is squarely on one man’s shoulders. It’s on my shoulders,” Ryan said. ”Hell yeah, I’m taking it personal.”
So much for this year being different in Buffalo when it comes to the Patriots, who have now won 27 of the past 30 meetings against their AFC East rivals.
The Bills (1-1) looked nothing like the team that opened the season with a 27-14 win over Indianapolis.
Their attacking defense surrendered 507 yards, and allowed the Patriots to score 21 points over a 5:48 span to open a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter. And their Tyrod Taylor-led offense was held to 127 yards and 13 points, before mounting a 19-point fourth-quarter rally that fell short.
The Patriots (2-0) approached the win by downplaying it after a week in which Bills players voiced how much they didn’t like New England.
”For us, it’s nothing new,” Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty said. ”I don’t care who we play. I’m probably bettering that the whole league’s rooting for them to beat us, too.”
A number of things that stood out:
FLAG DAY: The Bills were penalized 14 times for 140 yards, including an unsportsmanlike penalty against Ryan for questioning an offensive pass interference call against receiver Sammy Watkins.
”The guy’s got rabbit ears,” Ryan said of the official who threw the flag. ”I obviously have to control my emotions a little better.”
The Patriots were penalized 11 times for 119 yards.
FOURTH-AND-SHORT: Both teams had their share of questionable decisions on fourth down.
Up 21-7, the Patriots gave up the ball when Brady threw an incompletion on fourth-and-1 at his own 48. The Bills scored four plays later, when Tyrod Taylor hit Charles Clay for a 9-yard TD.
A series earlier, Ryan elected to punt than gamble on fourth-and-3 from the Patriots 43.
NEXT STOP 400: Brady is one touchdown passing short of becoming the fourth player to reach 400. And he moved one TD pass ahead of Drew Brees, who was threw just one in a 26-19 loss to Tampa Bay.
As for Brady’s 466 yards passing performance, it ranks second behind his career-best 517 yards against Miami on Sept. 12, 2011. He also beat the record of 464 yards against Buffalo, set by Houston’s George Blanda on Oct. 29, 1961.
SCARY PLAY: Bills safety Aaron Williams was released from the hospital after being examined for a neck injury. Williams was immobilized and loaded into an ambulance on the field after being hurt while making a diving attempt to tackle Julian Edelman on a 22-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS: Edelman scored twice, tight end Rob Gronkowski also had a TD receiving, while Dion Lewis scored on a 6-yard run for New England. Chandler Jones had three of the Patriots eight sacks.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw touchdown passes to Charles Clay, Robert Wood and Sammy Watkins, and also scored on a 7-yard run. Rookie running back Karlos Williams also scored on a 2-yard run.
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