Tom Brady stretched his record of dominance over the Buffalo Bills on Monday as the New England Patriots scored two late touchdowns to clinch a 25-6 win over their divisional rivals.
Patriots quarterback Brady improved to 29 wins and three defeats against the Bills in his 19 seasons in the NFL as New England scored a dogged victory in freezing conditions at New Era Field.
“They made it tough on us,” Brady said afterward. “But we’ll take a win however we can get it, and try and learn from it and move on next week.”
A game dominated by defense saw the Patriots leading 12-6 at the end of the third quarter after four field goals from kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
The Bills’ points came from two field goals from Stephen Hauschka in the second and third quarters.
But the Patriots gave themselves some breathing space in the fourth quarter when James White burrowed over from one yard out for a touchdown to put the Patriots 18-6 ahead with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The Bills thought they had scored a touchdown when backup quarterback Derek Anderson found Jason Croom in the end zone with six minutes left, with Croom making a spectacular one-handed catch.
Replays showed Croom failed to secure the ball as he hit the turf, however, and the touchdown award was reversed to leave the Patriots 12 points ahead.
Victory was assured for the Patriots soon afterward when Anderson attempted to find Bills receiver Kaelin Clay on a third and long, only to be picked off by Patriots safety Devin McCourty.
🗣 HOUSE CALL 🗣
Devin McCourty takes an INT back 85 YARDS! #NEvsBUF
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2018
McCourty galloped 84 yards down the sideline to score a touchdown and make the game safe for the Patriots, who improved to 6-2 at the top of the AFC East.
Brady, 41, finished with 29 completions from 45 attempts for 324 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
“They don’t give up any big plays,” Brady said of the Bills.
“We had a couple of opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. But we hung in there and grinded it out.”
© Agence France-Presse (Additional edits by Joseph McBrien)