Jerod Mayo (Getty)
It has been eight years since they've had to try and shake the feeling. Monday the Patriots woke up to the fact that a team they'd beaten 15 straight times just pulled off a stunner of a win to take top spot in the AFC East. Though Tom Brady turned the ball over again, and again, it was the defense that let the team down. It was a feeling they didn't like.
FOXBOROUGH (AP) -- The New England Patriots' quick start is over and
the once-rosy outlook significantly dimmer just three weeks into the
After blowing a 21-point lead in a loss to Buffalo on Sunday, the
Patriots find themselves trying to avoid a .500 start instead of making
a big run through the early part of their schedule.
New England was still a little stunned Monday. The Patriots often jump
out to big leads, but rarely let them slip away -- especially against
the Bills. And Tom Brady regularly throws for hundreds of yards and
multiple touchdowns, not interceptions.
Brady matched his career worst with four picks on Sunday and the
defense couldn't hold the big lead, allowing the Bills 448 yards of
offense as Buffalo rallied and won 34-31 on a last-second field goal.
The winning kick was set up by a 38-yard pass on one of several
defensive breakdowns by New England.
"The game came down to us on the defensive side of the ball and we just
didn't make the plays that were needed to win the game," linebacker
Jerod Mayo said Monday. "Plays were being made on both sides of the
ball. Buffalo just made more."
So instead of playing for a 4-0 start, the Patriots will be trying to
avoid opening the season 2-2 when they visit Oakland on Sunday. The
surprising Raiders are also 2-1 and could really set back the Patriots
before they return home for their first showdown of the season against
the rival New York Jets on Oct. 9.
The loss overshadowed a record start for Brady, whose 1,327 yards
passing are the most in any three-week span in NFL history. Brady
surpassed the 1,257 yards Drew Brees compiled in 2006 and already has
11 touchdowns with five interceptions, four of which came Sunday in the
debacle at Buffalo.
"It's like a boxing match. We're going to get hit, and they're going to
get hit, and hopefully at the end you connect more times than they do.
I thought we had our opportunities," Brady said Monday during his
weekly appearance on WEEI radio. "I don't think we come out of the game
... thinking that we're a bad football team. It's just, if we play the
way that we played, we're not going to be very good."
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