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Bills Fall in Season Opener Against Pats

Manuel looked steady, but penalties help N.E. to road win
The more things change for the Bills, the more things stay the same for them against the New England Patriots.

Tom Brady once again showing that he has 4th quarter comebacks up his sleeve, as he marched the Patriots deep into Bills territory before Stephen Gostkowski's go-ahead field goal gave New England a 23-21 win at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Bills entered the day with a new head coach and quarterback, as well as several new pieces on the roster and coaching staff. Bills 1st round draft pick, quarterback EJ Manuel, looked steady in his NFL debut, completing 18 of 27 passes for 150 yards including two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Buffalo led 21-20 with ten minutes remaining in the game and with possession of the ball. On 3rd and 1 from midfield, Manuel threw a screen pass to a wide open Stevie Johnson, but the wideout could not corral the throw, resulting in an incomplete pass. Earlier in the week, Johnson proclaimed that nobody on the Patriots could cover him. Although he finished the game with 3 catchers for 39 yards and a touchdown, Johnson's drop drew ire from Bills fans hoping for only their third win over Tom Brady in the future-Hall-of-Famer's career.

With 4:31 remaining in the game, Brady led the Patriots from their own 34-yard line to deep in Buffalo territory. Brady went 7-for-7 on the drive, including a key pickup on 3rd and 3 at midfield. With nine seconds remaining, Stephen Gotskowski converted a 35-yard field goal that looked more academic than challenging.

The Bills biggest problem on the day came from penalties. The team finishing with 10 penalties for 75 yards that either stopped their own drives or supplanted the Patriots when their offense sputtered.

Buffalo will look for their first win of the season on Sunday, September 15th when they host the Carolina Panthers at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park at 1:00.
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