Another monster game from Tom Brady saw the New England Patriots pound the Bills 41-25 in Buffalo on Sunday — avenging an embarrassing shutout defeat four weeks ago.
Brady improved to 26-3 against the Bills, tying Brett Favre’s NFL record for most wins against a single opponent.
The Bills hadn’t swept AFC East division rivals New England in two regular-season games since 1999, and with Brady back in the saddle — after missing their first clash this season serving his Deflategate suspension — their chances of doing so were dim.
And Brady lived up to expectations, throwing for 315 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the third player in league history to have at least 12 TD passes without an interception in his first four games of a season.
Brady threw scoring passes to Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, who set a New England record with his 69th career TD reception.
With leading rusher LeSean McCoy and receiver Sammy Watkins injured the Bills struggled offensively. Tyrod Taylor completed 19 of 38 passing attempts for 183 yards. He ran for 48 yards and a touchdown.
But the 4-4 Bills have now lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak and trail the 7-1 Pats by three games in the AFC East.
“It’s pretty early, so there’s a long way to go,” Brady said. “Seven wins is a good place. It’s, I think, decent position. But coach always says seven wins won’t get you anything in this league, and he’s right.
“We’ve got a lot of football ahead. This is when it starts to get really into football season.”
– Panthers pounce –
The puzzling Carolina Panthers, who have failed to reproduce the sparkling form that saw them surge to a Super Bowl berth last season, came back strong from a bye week, beating the Arizona Cardinals 30-20 in a rematch of last season’s National Football Conference title game.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera called it a “huge” win for his 2-5 team “because it’s one of those things you can build momentum on”.
The Panthers got off to a quick start with linebacker Thomas Davis’s returning a fumble for a touchdown in the opening minutes.
“It definitely feels good to get to the end zone,” said Davis, who had never scored in a 12-year career. “Maybe it was a momentum swing for our team.”
The Panthers didn’t score a second-half touchdown, with quarterback Cam Newton completing a modest 14 of 27 passes for 212 yards. But running back Jonathan Stewart ran for a pair of touchdowns and the Panthers defense sacked Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer seven times in the first half.
– Chiefs defy injuries to down Colts –
Kansas City kept going in the right direction, backup quarterback Nick Foles coming off the bench when Alex Smith suffered a concussion to lead the Chiefs to a 30-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Foles completed 16-of-22 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs won their third straight and improved to 5-2. The Colts fell to 3-5 and haven’t won back-to-back games all season.
Andrew Luck completed 19-of-35 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns but was bitterly disappointed in the defeat.
“It feels like we moved backward this weekend,” he said. “We’re sick of it.”
The Oakland Raiders continued their road heroics, beating the Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime in Tampa Bay to improve to 5-0 in away games.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr passed for an astonishing 513 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions to help Oakland overcome a league-record 23 penalties that cost them 200 yards.
The New York Jets came up with a big road win, rallying from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat the winless Browns 31-28 in Cleveland.
Matt Forte ran for two second-half touchdowns and Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for a touchdown as the Jets outscored the Browns 24-8 in the second half and spoiled the return from injury of Browns quarterback Josh McCown.
© 2016 AFP
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