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Sidelights to the game


* Best move -- Bethel Johnson's inside fake on the way to a 9-yard scoring reception for the Patriots' 14-0 advantage late in the first quarter.


* Best home-field advantage -- The Patriots, who have had six home fields in Massachusetts since 1960, are now 17-3 (13-3 in regular-season games) at home since Gillette Stadium opened last year. The Patriots were 133-104-0 at Foxboro Stadium. Outside of Norfolk County, the Patriots have compiled a home-field record of 34-35-7 in games at Boston College (3-5-0), Boston University (12-7-1), Fenway Park (17-16-5), Harvard University (2-6-0), San Diego Stadium (0-0-1), and Birmingham, Ala. (0-1-0).

* Best protecting advantages -- The Patriots have a 22-game winning streak after having a halftime lead and are 26-1 in the last 27 games in which they have led at halftime.

* Best start -- Tom Brady's three touchdown passes in the first 15:46 of the game gave the Patriots a 21-0 lead in the first minute of the second quarter and signalled his best start to a game since joining the team. Brady tied his career high for first-half touchdown passes with four. The Patriots are 11-0 when Brady completes at least three TD passes. The Patriots have scored on their first possession in three straight contests. This was the Patriots' most productive first quarter since they scored 17 points in a 27-17 win over Buffalo Dec. 8, 2002.

* Best streak -- The Patriots' 12th successive victory tied the 1991 Washington mark as the ninth-best winning streak in NFL regular-season history (statistics compiled since 1970). The Patriots' 14-2 record broke the team mark of 11-3 set in 1976.

* Worst pass -- Drew Bledsoe's pop fly intended for Mark Campbell, intercepted by Mike Vrabel, on Buffalo's third play of the game. The turnover led to the Patriots' second touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Buffalo would not have a productive pass play until Bledsoe's 5-yard completion to Josh Reed early in the second quarter.

* Worst penalty -- The Bills' delay-of-game penalty as Rian Lindell missed a 40-yard field goal attempt late in the first quarter. The play began with 10 Bills on the field, then Ryan Neufeld arrived just before the center snap. That was the Bills' best scoring opportunity of the half.


"I don't think we have very grand illusions of ourselves. You know, I don't think we put ourselves on this pedestal. I think we pride ourselves on a little bit of humility and being a good player and contributing in whatever your role is on the team. I don't think we come in here and say we are the '85 Bears or the '72 Dolphins. We just enjoy playing ball and we like going out there and competing. You know, it has been fun to be a part of a team that doesn't have an ego."

-- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

"Based on the way that the season started you never would have guessed that that is the way that it would have ended. But [the Patriots] are a damn good team right now. And we're not."

-- Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe

"This is now the second season, this is what it's all about. We've been there before, we have experience, and we are pretty healthy. This is the best season I have ever been a part of but I know all year our goal is not for stats but to win a championship. We are all focused on the second season."

-- Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo

"It is a whole new season. Everybody is 0-0 now. We all know what it is; lose and you are out. Win, and you keep going. That is it. It doesn't matter how you got here, whether you won them in a row, however it happened. Teams that are in are in and they are fighting. It is going to be a death match now. Whoever is standing at the end, that is who moves on."

-- Patriots coach Bill Belichick



Tom Brady, knee, returned

Damien Woody, foot, unknown

Mike Vrabel, arm, day-to-day

Chris Akins, unknown, day-to-day

Troy Brown, wind, day-to-day

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