Game Balls & Goats: Patrots-Bills

Matt Cassel scores

The New England Patriots knocked off the Buffalo Bills 20-10 on Sunday at Foxboro. Who looked good and who didn't? We hand out our Game Balls and Goats for both the good and the bad.

Fans can submit their own HERE

GAME BALLS

1) Wes Welker - Welker continues to be the type of player the Patriots need in their passing game, efficient, tough and reliable. Welker broke the NFL record by catching 6 or more passes in each of his first nine games. The catch was a 12-yard reception from Matt Cassel on 3rd-and-1 with 13 minutes to play in the third quarter. Welker finished the game with 10 receptions for 107 yards on the day.

2) BenJarvus Green-Ellis - 26 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby for a rookie who went undrafted. The Patriots have to be ecstatic with Green-Ellis' production in light of the injuries the team has had at the running back position.

3) Patriots Defense - Holding Marshawn Lynch to just 46 yards on 14 carries and Trent Edwards to just 120 yards through the air is a banner day for New England. The Bills averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on the ground and a little over 9.2 through the air. More impressive was the Patriots ability to keep Buffalo off the board until the final minutes of the game.

Honorable Mentions:

Offensive line -- Matt Cassel was sacked just once, and had plenty of time to throw the ball. New England's record-setting 19-play 9-minute drive in the fourth quarter won the game. Most of the credit belongs to the linemen up front.

Matt Cassel -- 23 of 34 for 234 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Managed the game well, although a couple of passes to Randy Moss could have been the perfect ending to a solid game. The fumble on a sack because he didn't get rid of the ball fast enough was the only lack spot of the day.

Patriots secondary -- Two interceptions, and holding Lee Evans to just 22 yards on the day deserves some credit.


GOATS

1) Third Down Defense -- Against a team that had little production on offense, the Patriots inability to snuff out drives when backing up the opponent on third and long does not bode well against better offenses. New England allowed the Bills to convert 5 of 11 third downs (45%)

2) Red Zone Offense -- The Patriots had two drives stall out inside the Bills 20 yard line. If New England is going to win big games, they have to find ways to finish off those drives with touchdowns rather than field goals.

3) Trent Edwards -- He was off target, hurried some passes, and threw two interceptions that he never should have thrown. Edwards was pressing to come back late in the game, but he made similar mistakes early on.

Dishonorable mentions:

TV Replay - on a critical onside kick late in the game, CBS didn't show the camera angle, which indicated a Buffalo defender, touched the ball before it went the required 10 yards. That play was clear on one of their replays, but they showed every other angle as the debate raged whether the ball was touched or not. A similar event occurred on Wes Welker's sidelines catch in the first half. The Bills could have challenged the play had a replay been shown soon enough.

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