|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price recap Tom Brady’s 4 TD, Rob Gronkowski’s 69th, sex toy on the field||10.30.16 at 6:19 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Where to begin? Tom Brady throws for four touchdown passes, Rob Gronkowski catches his 69th touchdown and a sex toy winds up on the field. Just another Patriots win in Buffalo over the Bills, 41-25. Mike Petraglia and Chris Price have your recap inside New Era Field.
|Snap Judgments: Tom Brady throws 4 TDs, Rob Gronkowski scores 69th, Patriots roll Bills||at 3:59 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — So much for Tom Brady ignoring his wide receivers.
Brady threw four touchdown passes Sunday, including one each to wideouts Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski set a new franchise record with his 69th touchdown as the Patriots avenged their only loss with a 41-25 romp over the Bills at New Era Field.
Brady finished 22-of-33 for 315 yards and four touchdowns. In four games this season, Brady has 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. Gronkowski had five catches on seven targets for 109 yards.
There was no pregame drama between the teams in warmups and there was little in the game once it began.
The Patriots (7-1) all but clinched the AFC East with the win while the Bills (4-4) lost their second straight.
The Bills had their chance to establish momentum early in this game and with a couple of big runs on the opening drive from Mike Gillislee (filling in for LeSean McCoy), they were doing just that. Then a dump pass to fullback Jerome Felton got the Bills down to the Patriots 6.
But the Bills and Tyrod Taylor stalled there and they had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter.
Once Tom Brady got a hold of the ball, there was no looking back. The Patriots marched down the field, going 65 yards in 14 plays, capped off by a nine-yard pass on third-and-goal to Danny Amendola. It was Brady’s first touchdown pass this season to a wide receiver.
Brady was brilliant on third down, converting all four chances by spreading the ball around.
The next time the Patriots got the ball, Brady needed just three plays to go 55 yards. Brady took a huge hit but connected to a wide open Julian Edelman down the middle to the Bills 1. But just as was the case on Oct. 2 when Jacoby Brissett connected with Edelman for a 90-yard pitch and catch to the Buffalo 1 on the first play, this play was called back when right tackle Marcus Cannon was called for being downfield illegally.
Tom Brady is now 26-3 against the Bills as a starter.
But that hardly phased Brady. On the next play, Brady dropped back on third-and-13 from the Patriots 47 and found an open Chris Hogan streaking down the left sideline. The high-arching pass fell right into Hogan’s arms for a 53-yard touchdown for the second Brady TD strike to a receiver this season and the second of the game for a 14-3 Patriots’ lead.
|Jonathan Kraft insists he didn’t have a heated exchange with Jerry Jones: ‘I would not walk out’||at 12:53 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Jonathan Kraft is shooting down any speculation that he and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have a feud going on.
Last week, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that the Patriots team president stormed out of an owners meeting after a loud disagreement over the league’s social media policy.
“We didn’t have a heated exchange,” Kraft told the team’s pregame radio show. “It was more to try to get to the definition. It’s not a heated exchange and I didn’t storm out. My son had a high school football game that I was trying to get to.”
“I would not walk out. That’s OK. He didn’t have all the facts right,” Kraft said of the La Canfora report. “Jerry was just trying to get [clarification]. Jerry was saying, ‘If I want to stream a practice I should.’ And the policy allows him to do that. I definitely didn’t storm out. I wanted to get to a high school football game. The league should probably publish what [policy] is.
Kraft insisted that the heart of the issue and the reason for the restrictions is to make sure teams aren’t taking NFL-licensed footage and “cannibalizing” for their own benefit.
“The rest of the policy has completely opened up,” Kraft added. “In the discussion, we were talking about ways it could be enhanced.”
As for the weather from the field in Buffalo, where he was speaking from, Kraft said it was typical weather for Western New York.
“It’s good Tom Brady weather,” Kraft said. “It’s classic Buffalo. Totally gray.”
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Martellus Bennett will be active and on the field today against the Bills.
The Patriots inactives are offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton, Cyrus Jones, receiver Malcolm Mitchell, running back D.J. Foster, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and running back Tyler Gaffney.
For Cyrus Jones, he is missing his third straight game as a healthy scratch.
For the Bills, LeSean McCoy, Buffalo’s best feature back, will miss the game with a hamstring injury that he re-aggravated last week in Miami. McCoy caught six passes for 38 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo’s win Oct. 2. He also ran for 70 yards on 19 carries.
|Scene-setting from Western New York: Rain, wind in forecast for Patriots-Bills, Martellus Bennett expected to play||at 10:50 am ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Weather could play a factor in the much-anticipated rematch between the Patriots and Bills at New Era Field (formerly Ralph Wilson Stadium, Rich Stadium) in Western New York.
The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 50s for the 1 p.m. kickoff with an 85 percent chance of light rain throughout the game. The temperature will fall into the upper 40s by the end of the game.
The wind will be out of the north at 8-10 MPH.
The Patriots will need to win on hostile turf to avoid being swept in the division for the first time since the Bills turned the trick in 2000.
On the injury front, Martellus Bennett and Julian Edelman are expected to play in the game despite nagging injuries. Bennett left practice early Friday and did not participate. He left the Patriots locker room Friday wearing a white plastic brace on his right ankle, initially injured against the Browns on Oct. 9.
Adam Schefter reports that Bennett is expected to suit up and play. Also expected to play is Edelman, who has been questionable the last several weeks with a foot issue.
The biggest storyline leading up to the game figures to be warmups. The last time the Bills and Patriots played, Jacoby Brissett was shoved by Bills safety Robert Blanton in warmups when Blanton and the Bills felt Brissett veered too close to them in warmups.
The Bills vowed similar retaliation this week if there was a repeat. The Patriots took the unusual measure of traveling Brissett to Buffalo. Brissett is on injured reserve after surgery on his right thumb.
Tom Brady was finishing his four-game suspension the last time the two teams played on Oct. 2. Brady has thrown eight touchdowns without an interceptions in his three games back on the field.
|Martellus Bennett (ankle) misses practice, among 7 questionable, Jamie Collins, Brandon Bolden full go||10.28.16 at 5:05 pm ET|
Martellus Bennett was in the locker room Friday getting dressed but sporting a white plastic brace on his right ankle as he got up to leave.
Bennett was spotted Friday leaving practice as the team was beginning stretching exercises before practice. Bennett initially injury his right ankle when he fell awkwardly on a red zone play in the first quarter of the game against Cleveland Oct. 9.
He kept playing in that game and caught Tom Brady’s first three touchdown passes of the season. Then he served mainly as a blocking tight end in wins over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Bennett, who was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday before missing practice Friday, has just six catches on seven targets in the last two weeks for 53 yards and no touchdowns.
In another development, linebacker Jamie Collins (hip) and Brandon Bolden (knee) were removed from the injury report and are execpted to be available for the game. Nickel corner Jonathan Jones was also added to the injury report Friday, as he was limited with a hip injury.
For the Bills, safety Aaron Williams (neck) and receiver Marquise Goodwin (concussion) have been ruled out while running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is doubtful.
Here is Friday’s complete Patriots practice report.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
CB Jonathan Jones (hip) QUESTIONABLE
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
DL Vincent Valentine (back) QUESTIONABLE
WR Julian Edelman (foot) QUESTIONABLE
For a second straight week, the Patriots may not have to worry about the opponent’s best offensive weapon.
One week after facing the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger (and DeAngelo Williams), the Patriots might not have to contend with star running back LeSean McCoy.
Bills coach Rex Ryan confirmed Friday that McCoy is doubtful against the Patriots after coming out of last week’s game in Miami with a hamstring injury.
He ran eight times for just 11 yards before leaving the game, won by Miami, 28-25.
On Oct. 2, McCoy didn’t do major damage on the ground, gaining just 70 yards in 19 carries. But he caught six passes on six targets from Tyrod Taylor for 38 yards, including the game’s only touchdown, a seven-yard reception in the flat.
“Obviously he never practiced (this week),” Ryan said when asked about McCoy’s availability Friday. “You guys [media] can figure that out.”
If McCoy can’t go Sunday, the running game is likely to be put in the hands of Mike Gillislee, veteran Reggie Bush and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Gillislee had 30 yards on six carries while Taylor ran five times for 28 yards on Oct. 2.
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