Bill Belichick praises Patriots for 'grinding out' a victory

Members of the Detroit Lions lock arms during a rendition of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday Dec. 3 2017 in Baltimore

Bill Belichick praises Patriots for 'grinding out' a victory

The New England Patriots were supposed to waltz into Buffalo and blow out the Bills on Sunday.

The Bills would receive their offense in the first half from an unlikely source in that of a special teamer and backup quarterback Joe Webb.

Buffalo drove deep into New England territory on its first series, but came up empty when Taylor threw an interception to Eric Lee at the 1-yard-line.

At 6-5, the Bills have been a surprise team. But losing Taylor might be the nail in their coffin. Following an opening offensive drive for the Buffalo Bills that saw them march down the field to only be stopped short has been a storyline all season long.

Quarterback Tom Brady's emotion was at red-hot levels as evidenced by a sideline outburst in the first quarter, but with his on-field performance not quite at peak levels early, the New England Patriots needed to support him in different ways on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Stephen Hauschka booted a 49-yard field goal as Buffalo trailed 9-3 at the half. "There was quite a bit of stuff going on in that play".

He finished 17-for-25 for 205 yards. The defense would feed off the momentum of their offense as the quickly forced a Bills punt following a big David Harris sack on third down on the very next possession. A highlight reel catch by Gronkowksi as he grabbed a ball over the head of rookie corner Tre White for 30-yards put the Patriots in striking distance. In a 12-9 overtime victory on December 16 of that season, wide receiver David Patten had fumbled along the sideline and was knocked out briefly on the play, but because his head was out of bounds and the ball was still touching him, the Bills couldn't recover it legally.

Improving to 10-2, the Patriots will clinch the AFC East with either a Bills loss to the visiting Colts next Sunday or with a win over the host Dolphins on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Tyrod Taylor suffered an injury, Nathan Peterman was forced to play a lot of snaps and Rex Burkhead scored twice.

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