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Bills shoot themselves in the foot with a boatload of penalties 11.11.12 at 6:48 pm ET
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Ryan Fitzpatrick's Bills were frustrated by 14 penalties. (AP)

FOXBORO — When all was said and done at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots narrowly escaped the Bills with a win, thanks in large part to a penalty-ridden Buffalo team Sunday. The Bills racked up 14 total penalties for a total of 148 yards and still managed to gain 481 yards of offense, including 162 on the ground against the league’s eighth-best rush defense.

On the first offensive series alone for the Bills, a third-and-1 situation turned into a third-and-26 after three consecutive flags were thrown – two for a false start and one for holding. It was certainly an indication of the way things would turn out.

After the game, Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson said that some of the defensive pass interference calls against his team were “bogus,” because the same calls could have gone both ways yet it seemed like the yellow laundry didn’t fly as much for the home team.

“We’d go down and have a fade rout, and the guy’s, he’s holding me too,” Johnson said. “I’m not saying that his was a pass interference either, but if you called it on Stephon [Gilmore], you have to call it on their defensive player also.

“It’s something that we’ve got to fix as far as offsides go. We’ve got to fix that on our own. But some of the calls were pretty weak, and some of it was football.”

Gilmore said afterwards that he didn’t know what else he could do to try and defend the throw, and tried to explain the pass interference call on him.

“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what else I can do,” Gilmore said. “On the first penalty, he ran into me, and the ball bounced off of him. On the second penalty I was running with him and he tripped on my feet, and they threw the penalty on me.”

There is no timely penalty in the NFL, but for the Bills it seemed that some of the flags thrown came at points during the game when the Patriots struggled to get offensive production. Safety George Wilson said that ultimately it came down to the fact that they put themselves in a tough position to win based on their foul trouble.

“They started calling the game real closely on their own,” Wilson said. “[The Patriots] weren’t moving the ball with offensive production. It wasn’t anything they were doing to us; we just have to be smarter and not put ourselves in that position.”

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Bills draft Stephon Gilmore 10th overall 04.26.12 at 9:03 pm ET
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The Bills weren’t able to get their hands on Luke Kuechly, so they stayed on defensive by taking South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore 10th overall.

Gilmore is the second corner drafted this year behind LSU’s Morris Claiborne, who went sixth overall to the Cowboys.

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore 03.23.12 at 4:04 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore runs with an interception during a game against Kentucky on Oct. 8. (AP)

STEPHON GILMORE

Position: Cornerback

School: South Carolina

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 190 pounds

Achievements: Coaches All-SEC first team (2010), AP All-American third team (2010), Phil Steele Freshman All-American (2009)

What he brings: One of the draft’s second-tier cornerback prospects, Gilmore doesn’t have the numbers or pedigree of LSU’s Morris Claiborne or Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick, but his physical attributes and athleticism jump off the page. Standing a hair above 6 feet tall, Gilmore features prototypical size for the cornerback position, while maintaining elite speed and excelling in stopping the run. While the speed is a plus, Gilmore’s size, ability to match up with tall wideouts and play strong in the running game will please many Patriots fans still haunted by images of Darius Butler and Terrence Wheatley.

At South Carolina, Gilmore excelled when he was placed in press alignment against a receiver, particularly in man coverage, when he could use his size and aggressiveness to his advantage. However, Gilmore’s skills playing off a receiver and in zone coverage are spotty and his ball skills have been called into question. He projects to be a poor man’s Nnamdi Asomugha, where he could excel in a system just asks him to line up outside on a receiver but could struggle in zone systems early on.

Gilmore is also a talented ball carrier, seeing some duty at punt returner and quarterback in South Carolina’s wildcat package.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Gilmore’s time of 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash ranked third among cornerbacks at the scouting combine. He also performed well in the 3-cone drill that is so coveted by Bill Belichick and his scouting staff with a time of 6.61 seconds, fourth best among cornerbacks.

In his most recent mock draft, Mel Kiper Jr. had Gilmore going No. 23 overall to the Lions. However, other draft outlets gave Gilmore rated as low as eighth among cornerback prospects in the draft, showing the clustering of talent at the position once experts move past the top tier of Claiborne and Kirkpatrick.

Related articles:

The New York Times: The Fifth Down: Scouting the Draft: South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore

Charlotte Observer: Former South Carolinal DB Stephon Gilmore hopes to make a real name for himself

Yahoo! Sports: Is South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore the 3rd best corner in the draft?

Video: Here’s a highlight package showing Gilmore’s strengths and weaknesses over his career at South Carolina.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Dre Kirkpatrick, Morris Claiborne Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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