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Key Moment: Second Stevan Ridley TD puts game away

09.30.12 at 4:22 pm ET
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For the Patriots, the key moment in Sunday’s 52-28 win over the Bills came with 11:46 left in the fourth quarter. Stevan Ridley followed Dan Connolly (in at fullback) and Donald Thomas to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, giving the Patriots a 35-21 lead that the Bills wouldn’t challenge. It was part of a stretch that saw the Patriots wipe out a 21-7 Buffalo lead by scoring touchdowns on six consecutive drives. The 45 points scored by the Patriots in the second half is a franchise record.

The Patriots began the drive at the Buffalo 42-yard line following a Fred Jackson fumble forced by Brandon Spikes, the second fumble forced by the linebacker on the day (and one of six Buffalo turnovers). The Patriots went to the ground to drive down the field, as Brandon Bolden and Ridley combined for 40 yards on three carries (two by Bolden for a total of 27 yards) to land at the Buffalo 2-yard line. After a first-down toss to Rob Gronkowski that was nearly intercepted (a strange call at best, given how the drive was progressing), Ridley rushed to the left side the TD.

That rush for Ridley was part of an astonishing afternoon of production for the Patriots rushing attack, as Ridley (106) and Bolden (137) both went over 100 yards, the first time since November 23, 1980 (Don Calhoun and Vagas Ferguson) that two Patriots backs had 100 or more yards rushing in the same contest. The Patriots, without Logan Mankins, rushed for 247 yards in the win, most since December 14, 2008 vs. Raiders (277 yards).

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