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First-quarter notes: Patriots 10, Bills 0

FOXBORO — One quarter is in the books here at Gillette Stadium [1], and here are a few quick notes:

‘€¢The Patriots won the toss and decided to defer. The Bills received the opening kick and put together a short drive before being flagged for three consecutive penalties on third down, setting up the punt. On the whole, Buffalo was wildly undisciplined early — at one point, the Bills had run seven offensive plays and had six penalties.

‘€¢The Patriots’ defense [2] opened with Devin McCourty [3] and Steve Gregory [4] at safety, and Alfonzo Dennard and Kyle Arrington [5] at cornerback. In passing situations, Marquice Cole occasionally served as the nickel corner in place of linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Meanwhile, Jermaine Cunningham [6] replaced defensive lineman Kyle Love inside on passing downs.

‘€¢On Buffalo’s second series of scrimmage, the Patriots forced their first turnover of the afternoon when Vince Wilfork [7] strip-sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick [8]. The ball was recovered by Cunningham at the Buffalo 13-yard line. The Patriots quickly turned that into a touchdown, as Stevan Ridley went in three plays later from the one to make it 10-0 with 3:54 left in the first quarter.

‘€¢The New England offense opened in a two-tight end set with Rob Gronkowski [9] and Michael Hoomanawanui, as well as running back Stevan Ridley and wide receivers Wes Welker [10] and Brandon Lloyd [11]. In addition, left guard Logan Mankins [12] was back in the starting lineup after missing the last couple of games with an injury.

‘€¢The Patriots offense [13] was living dangerously early on. The Bills nearly forced an early turnover when Marcel Dareus batted a Tom Brady [14] pass in the air, but Buffalo’s Bryan Scott couldn’t corral the loose ball. Later on the same drive, Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin [15] almost came away with a loose ball after knocking a pass away from Deion Branch [16]. (And on the same drive, despite the fact that he had Buffalo defensive back Justin Rogers beat up the seam, Wes Welker dropped a sure touchdown.) In the end, the Patriots settled for a 43-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski [17] — that put the capper on a 13-play, 48-yard sequence for the Patriots that took 4:27 and was highlighted by a nice nine-yard run from Ridley.