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Late interception saves Pats

New England Patriots corner back McCourty is blocked by Buffalo Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham during the second quarter of their NFL football game in Foxborough Reuters

Even after a slew of questionable calls that seemed to be stacking the deck in favor of the Patriots, the Bills still had a chance to win the game late.

And that chance evaporated when defensive back Devin McCourty intercepted a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone.

The Bills were down 14 points on three different occasions, but they kept fighting back.  With the Pats seemingly destined to blow another double-digit fourth-quarter lead, the Bills worked their way from their own 20 to the Patriots 15.

But McCourty jumped up and picked off a ball that otherwise could have been caught, ending the threat and allowing the Pats to move to 6-3.

With the Dolphins losing to the Titans and the Jets likely to fall in Seattle, the Pats are in the process of nailing down yet another AFC East crown.

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51 Responses to “Late interception saves Pats”
  1. dd2189 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:27 PM

    Awesome game!

  2. catquick says: Nov 11, 2012 4:27 PM

    The play before the pick I told my friend ” the one hing they can’t do is toss a pick” next play, season over. What’s wrong with an underneath pass to Spiller, who N E had no clue how to stop?

  3. aboselli says: Nov 11, 2012 4:29 PM

    If those DPI’s called against Buffalo in the endzones were called by the replacements, they would lead every Sportscenter for a week. One was zero contact and one was uncatchable. Then another DPI called in the field of play for action on Gronkowski as the ball flew 30 yards over his head. A collective shrug from the media.

  4. trbowman says: Nov 11, 2012 4:30 PM

    Sick to my stomach. The entire Bills coaching staff can hit the unemployment line right now for all I care. You can start with Dave Wannstedt

    There’s ZERO excuse Spiller isn’t getting more touches. And when I say more, I mean more. He should be in all game and only come out for the occasional breather. The guy gets AT LEAST six yards on almost every touch. I want to see the numbers.

    Fitz had a chance to make Nix eat his words. Instead, he proved him right. But I blame the coaching staff too. Where was CJ Spiller on that play? Get it into his hands. The Pats had no answer. It’s 2nd down, don’t force a throw into the endzone. And man, Fitz’s 1st down throw in the endzone was such a beauty too. If Chandler was just a little faster…..

    Season’s over. Bills are cursed.

  5. jtchernak says: Nov 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    The thought process going in for me was just get through this game get healthy and get talib in to help put our awful secondary hopefully we can improve

  6. blackngold4life says: Nov 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    Pats get saved every week..between the refs and Bad QBs they should be undefeated

  7. trbowman says: Nov 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    Oh, and man did the NFL make the call for their precious Patriots in this game. Brutal officiating.

  8. mrconnors says: Nov 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    I just love how after close victories and “questionable calls” the Patriots post game write-up is on here instantly.

    In blowouts, there’s nothing but maybe a blip the next day. Keep up the unbiased reporting.

  9. geniusfan says: Nov 11, 2012 4:33 PM

    This was by far the worst game the Patriots defense has played this year. It wasn’t so much the bad coverage which we’ve come to expect it’s the disgraceful tackling that burned this fan today.

    Brady has so much pressure on him right now it’s unreal. He didn’t even get much help today either, Welker dropped an easy walk in touchdown in the first drive of the game, and right after that Branch dropped an easy first down catch.

    Hopefully with Talib coming in this week the defense starts improving gradually like they did last season. I think they will and the Pats will be playing their best football in January.

  10. tbd3 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:35 PM

    The Patriots need to improve their fourth quarter offense – it’s horrible. The defense, of course, is pretty bad all four quarters.

    McCourty really lucked into this one, it was thrown right to him. But at least it’s an opportunity for good press for him. He get’s a rap and doesn’t deserve most of the criticism he gets.

  11. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Nov 11, 2012 4:36 PM

    Cmon man.. It seems like the bills only have offensive success against the pats.. it can’t be that there offense is good because they got shut out by the niners

  12. ballsohardu says: Nov 11, 2012 4:38 PM

    See yah Fitzpatrick. What a bum

  13. blackbug99 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:38 PM

    Who says the replacement refs are gone? They just work the NE games!!

  14. csilojohnson says: Nov 11, 2012 4:38 PM

    Surprised the refs went with the Pats today. Would’ve thought a Bills win would be a better story line for the coming week of talking heads.

  15. alskdh says: Nov 11, 2012 4:44 PM

    This was too close a game for a Patriot team coming off a bye. As a Pats fan, we are vulnerable and I am worried about the playoffs.

  16. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Nov 11, 2012 4:46 PM

    What’s ironic, of course, is that New England’s defense “saved” that game after nearly giving it away. Doesn’t any AFC East team want to win the division title?

  17. 1historian says: Nov 11, 2012 4:49 PM

    This was a nail-biter, and, even though I am a Pats’ fan, I almost feel sorry for the Bills, because they would NOT give up.

    Almost

  18. hjb9999 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:52 PM

    I know the Bills are the Bastard offspring of the NFL empire, and Tom and the Pats are the Golden Boy’s( ie $$$$money makers) and the Bills never get a call to go their way, but the ref’s in this game brought a new meaning to the word incompetant or they were paid off

  19. ynot1381 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:52 PM

    I’m sure Belichick will treat this game as a loss, as he was pretty disgusted in his press conference and on the sidelines all game. They only manage to win by 6 points despite the Bills self destructing all game, and turning over the ball repeatedly.

    Positives: Their offense will continue to roll. The upteenth time they poured in over 30 points. Special teams played really well. Their defensive front is outstanding and shined in the first half.

    Negatives: A better QB doesn’t throw the ball directly to McCourty to end the game. Offense does seem to struggle in the redzone. Their blitz and pressure scheme stopped working in the second half, which allowed a spotty secondary to get torched. Run defense was unusually terrible today. Too many drops of offense.

    This felt like a loss.

  20. ronswansonsdinner says: Nov 11, 2012 4:54 PM

    Death, Taxes and the Buffalo Bills coming up short.

  21. steelers88 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:58 PM

    This is why the Bills suck and the Pats are one of the best franchises.

  22. tigerlilac says: Nov 11, 2012 5:03 PM

    It would really benefit the site if Florio stuck to legal and league issues and left the game analysis to people with a knowledge of the game. The definition of slew is large. The Bills had a large number of penalties for a large number of penalty yards but there were not a slew of questionable calls against the Bills. I counted two questionable calls against the Bills, both were pass interference penalties that were clear penalties that should have been defensive holding or illegal contact. The personal foul on Spike’s hit on Fitzpatrick was the most questionable call in the game and was at a critical junction. The biggest missed call was the Patriots’ recovery of Jackson’s second fumble, on the last drive, that was ruled by the officials as a Bills’ recovery.

  23. patriotinvasion says: Nov 11, 2012 5:03 PM

    ynot1381 says:
    Nov 11, 2012 4:52 PM

    This felt like a loss.
    _______________

    Only in Boston can a team win their 3rd straight…score 37 points to go t0 6-3…and get a game saving INT and our spoiled, “gotta get a blowout” fan base thinks its a loss.

    Look around the league Pats fans. Other teams give up yards, they give up points, and most of the usually LOSE games. Enjoy what you have because if you think it stinks to give up yards in a WIN, wait until #12 is retired and then you’ll really have something to complain about.

  24. tbd3 says: Nov 11, 2012 5:06 PM

    People act like the Patriots didn’t have a single penalty – they had seven for 78 yards. Maybe the Bills got more penalties because they were on the road, facing a more talented offense, and are coached by Chan Gailey? Wouldn’t that be something, a Bill Belichick-coached team being more disciplined than Gailey’s team? But, no! It’s the NFL! It’s a conspiracy! Grow up.

  25. deathonwings410 says: Nov 11, 2012 5:08 PM

    With Fitzpatrick, you just KNEW he gonna throw a pick in what could have been a clutch drive. He went to Harvard, but he makes so many dumb decisions. It doesn’t make sense.

  26. cover200 says: Nov 11, 2012 5:12 PM

    Bills just need a defensive coordinator. Who yells more at his own players, Jay Cutler or Tom Brady? Fitzpatrick was remarkable: can’t kill him because his rookie wideout ran the wrong route

  27. cover200 says: Nov 11, 2012 5:17 PM

    CJ Spiller reminds me of Marshall Faulk.

  28. geniusfan says: Nov 11, 2012 5:18 PM

    “This felt like a loss.”

    Ah another spoiled Patriots fan. I get the frustration with the defense I really do, but to say this “felt” like a loss to me is really unfair to the team they made the plays they needed to in order to win.

    A lot of Pats fans have a bad memory when it comes to the way the 2001-2005 teams won games. They won 9-3 ugly affairs against losing teams like the Browns. They went to overtime against Tony Banks and the Texans. They struggled with bad teams.

    2007 ruined a large portion of this fan-base. The Bills have talent and have played the Patriots tough these past few years. Style points don’t matter in the NFL. The Giants have shown everybody that, all I care is that the Patriots are playing their best football of the season in January.

    The AFC East is all but locked up now, I’m eager to see where this team is in about a month when they take on the Texans and 49ers in back to back weeks.

  29. richwizl says: Nov 11, 2012 5:19 PM

    “A slew of questionable calls” would be an exaggeration, Mike; perhaps one or two, I’d say. Basically, The Bills have some real talent, but lack the discipline necessary to consistently win. They killed themselves today with a ton of foolish penalties. They shredded the Pats’ Defense and should have won this game easily. Bad game for my guys and lucky to get the W.

  30. flbills says: Nov 11, 2012 5:19 PM

    Just knew that pick was coming..why not let Spiller pound out last few yards, like he was all game?

  31. dtjano says: Nov 11, 2012 5:23 PM

    Spiller wide open on the last play. Good thing Gailey hates having his best player have the ball.

  32. patfaninbflo says: Nov 11, 2012 5:27 PM

    Pats fan here. One wonders which way the game would have gone if not for at least 4 awful calls against the Bills: 3 of the PI and one other that I can’t remember what it was for. Very poor showing by my boys. I guess a W is a W, though. I live in the Buffalo area, and feel really sorry for their fans.

  33. ynot1381 says: Nov 11, 2012 5:39 PM

    patriotinvasion says:
    Nov 11, 2012 5:03 PM

    Only in Boston can a team win their 3rd straight…score 37 points to go t0 6-3…and get a game saving INT and our spoiled, “gotta get a blowout” fan base thinks its a loss.

    Look around the league Pats fans. Other teams give up yards, they give up points, and most of the usually LOSE games. Enjoy what you have because if you think it stinks to give up yards in a WIN, wait until #12 is retired and then you’ll really have something to complain about.
    —————————–

    I am beyond grateful that we have #12, and its always great to get a win. Just like Belichick said in his presser, I’ll take a win any way it comes.

    At the same time, if you look at the game without any form of bias, there were certainly issues that came up. That is what I was talking about.

    New England gets more flack for its defensive struggle because of their success on offense and because they’ve won so consistently for so long

  34. tedmurph says: Nov 11, 2012 5:44 PM

    Typical cry of the inferior losing teams(and especially their fans). It’s never ‘we got beat by a better team’, it’s always the refs or luck. Hey, it was a good game and the Bills fought hard. The refs called it a little too close and threw too many flags, but a lot of the calls against the Bills were offsides and motion. Can’t do that. Can’t drop INTs on the road against a better team. Can’t turn it over 2x @ the goaline. You shouldn’t call roughing the passer when the QB’s helmet falls off after he hits the ground. Maybe a ball becomes uncatchable because a receiver gets grabbed and taken out of his route.

  35. joeinbuffalo says: Nov 11, 2012 5:51 PM

    would love to hear Pats fans if the bills defense took the cheap shots on Brady (sideline at knees/helmet to helmet hit) or sideline tackle by mayo on spiller out of bounds Also how was PI in endzone called ball landed out of the endzone uncatchable ball

  36. mistrezzrachael says: Nov 11, 2012 5:55 PM

    hjb9999 says:Nov 11, 2012 4:52 PM

    I know the Bills are the Bastard offspring of the NFL empire, and Tom and the Pats are the Golden Boy’s( ie $$$$money makers) and the Bills never get a call to go their way, but the ref’s in this game brought a new meaning to the word incompetant or they were paid off

    PLEASE!!!!

    Start watching a game objectively…The Bills are obviously quite a ways below NE as a team.

    The only way the Bills stay in a game vs NE, is to scratch , claw, hold etc…in other words, get away with as much as they can…which they did.

    Bills fans crying over officiating,,thats pitiful..Your team lost to a better team..And the only way it was close was because NE was flat,,,as most NFL teams would be if they threw up 45 points in 2nd half last time they played.

    I thought Bills played best game of year…and best game they will play this year..So be happy with that, they aren’t any good.

  37. bratbeach says: Nov 11, 2012 5:56 PM

    Your use of the word slew isn’t questionable, it’s flat out wrong. There were a couple bad PI calls, particularly the one in the end zone where the ball was uncatchable. That’s it.

    Blatant face mask grab. MULTIPLE false starts. Delay of game. Blatant holding. But that was all the refs fault somehow right? Please. There were definitely a couple bad PI calls but majority of Buffalo’s penalties were not questionable at all and were a result of Buffalo being sloppy and stupid.

  38. vincentbojackson says: Nov 11, 2012 6:02 PM

    This game set football defenses back 40 years.

    Man that was a pathetic display of defense by both teams.

  39. 8man says: Nov 11, 2012 6:06 PM

    Patriots defense is just awful. I mean, potentially record setting awful.

    This is just like last year when I said, “There is no way a team with a defense this bad is gonna win in the playoffs…or go to a Super Bowl.”

  40. billsfan1 says: Nov 11, 2012 6:07 PM

    would really benefit the site if Florio stuck to legal and league issues and left the game analysis to people with a knowledge of the game. The definition of slew is large. The Bills had a large number of penalties for a large number of penalty yards but there were not a slew of questionable calls against the Bills. I counted two questionable calls against the Bills, both were pass interference penalties that were clear penalties that should have been defensive holding or illegal contact. The personal foul on Spike’s hit on Fitzpatrick was the most questionable call in the game and was at a critical junction. The biggest missed call was the Patriots’ recovery of Jackson’s second fumble, on the last drive, that was ruled by the officials as a Bills’ recovery.

    typical of some Pats fans on here….. you walk out with a win yet NOTHING ever goes your way…sorry to say but the most questionable calls do not always go against the Pats at the wrong time. Most Pats fans i see on here are classy and greatful and respectful.. you are not one of them.. Even many pats fans cant believe other fans are whining about a win, i suspect that they are referring to you….

    and for the record, had Spiller been given the ball, its a Buffalo win, but that didnt happen so again we lose to you… but enjoy the ride while you can… when 12 rides off into the sunset, we will see if you are still the machine..

  41. cover200 says: Nov 11, 2012 6:09 PM

    Cheap shot out of bounds on Fitzpatrick’s knees won’t even get a look by the NFL. If that was Tom Brady it would be a $25k fine.

  42. nesuperfan says: Nov 11, 2012 6:13 PM

    The only calls I thought were very questionable were the second PI, which should have been called illegal contact. Clearly Brady threw the ball away on that one.
    The first PI was not uncatchable because you can’t tell what would have happened had the defensive player not almost fully stopped the receiver.
    I also thought that phantom hold they showed in replay was incorrect, however, it is easy to see how they thought he had been held since he was turned coming off the block.
    I also thought the helmet-to-helmet call on Spikes was questionable. Yes, the facemasks touched, but there was no force there…it was all lower.

  43. billsboy88 says: Nov 11, 2012 6:21 PM

    This one hurt.

    The running backs played outstanding, especially Spiller. Jackson was great, aside from his fumble on the goal line. (I can’t fault him for his second fumble since he got knocked unconcious).

    If Fitz makes that last throw, he would have completed his best game as a pro. Instead, he threw a nasty pick, I screamed and pounded my fist into the carpet, and the Pats are off to another AFC east crown.

    It’s the same problems: soft defense, undisciplined play, and Fitzpatrick not coming through in the clutch.

    I really wanted this one…

  44. billsfan1 says: Nov 11, 2012 6:44 PM

    fyi when facemasks touch, its helmet to helmet…. and for the record, Brady gets a whole lot of p*ssy calls like that too… Even my best friend who is a pats fan admits that..

  45. 8man says: Nov 11, 2012 6:50 PM

    billsfan1 says:
    Nov 11, 2012 6:07 PM
    when 12 rides off into the sunset, we will see if you are still the machine..
    ——————————————————
    Yeah. The Patriots got breaks. Yeah. That defense is essentially a cullender. Yeah. The McCourty pick was a gamble.

    But, really dude? That’s akin to saying, “When Batman retires, crime will get a break in Gotham.”

    That’s all you have? To wait for guys who get it done in nautical blue to hang it up? The only way the Bills get better is when the Patriots lose personnel?

  46. richwizl says: Nov 11, 2012 6:52 PM

    I’m happy my guys won, but feel bad for Bills fans, too. The Bills really played hard today and never showed any quit. They did, however, commit a huge amount of legitimate penalties, which is the real reason they lost the game. I think the Refs made bad calls against both teams, but the raw, talented Bills showed inexperience and it hurt them.

  47. patriotinvasion says: Nov 11, 2012 6:59 PM

    geniusfan says:
    Nov 11, 2012 5:18 PM
    “This felt like a loss.”

    Ah another spoiled Patriots fan. I get the frustration with the defense I really do, but to say this “felt” like a loss to me is really unfair to the team they made the plays they needed to in order to win.

    A lot of Pats fans have a bad memory when it comes to the way the 2001-2005 teams won games. They won 9-3 ugly affairs against losing teams like the Browns. They went to overtime against Tony Banks and the Texans. They struggled with bad teams.

    2007 ruined a large portion of this fan-base. The Bills have talent and have played the Patriots tough these past few years. Style points don’t matter in the NFL. The Giants have shown everybody that, all I care is that the Patriots are playing their best football of the season in January.

    The AFC East is all but locked up now, I’m eager to see where this team is in about a month when they take on the Texans and 49ers in back to back weeks.
    _______
    Could not say it any better myself. People forget how we won in 2001-2004….it wasn’t anything like 2007. I don’t remember a huge outcry of negativity because we only beat the Browns 9-3…it was a win. The media is terrible around here…

  48. tigerlilac says: Nov 11, 2012 7:04 PM

    Billsfan1, I said nothing derogatory of the Bills. As always, the played the Patriots down to the wire. Turnovers and penalties were the difference. A fair assessment of this game is that it was won and lost by the play on the field and not by bad calls. The thread, as written, implied the Patriots won due to bad calls and and a late interception. That assessment is a disservice to the players and fans of both teams. I have been a Patriots fan for over 50 years and fully appreciate how blessed we are to have Kraft, Belichick, Brady, and Wilfork leading our franchise.

  49. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 11, 2012 7:17 PM

    How does Fitzpatrick escape the criticism that Vick (mostly unwarranted) gets? Everyone knew he would throw that pick. All that money for what?

  50. CKL says: Nov 11, 2012 7:37 PM

    I said on here earlier in the week that the Bills most likely would play my Pats very tough because they almost always do. Sometimes I hate being right!
    Heart attack games for the Pats are now like this: 31-37 instead of the past years when they were 17-10.

  51. nytroutdog says: Nov 12, 2012 10:01 AM

    Shocking that Pats fans think the calls were legitimate and Bills fans think they weren’t. Many penalties are judgment calls and this clearly displays how bias shows itself in people.

    The pass interference calls simply weren’t pass interference in my opinion…but they were called so that’s that.

    At the end of the day, the Bills weren’t good enough to spot NE 10 points thus they lose. Simple as that.

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