|Pats Beat Bills 12-9 (OT)
By: Bob George
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The
New England Patriots survived a tough Buffalo Bill defense, and got a lucky
break on a replay call in overtime.
David Patten hauled in a controversial
13-yard catch, then Antowain Smith ran for 40 yards to set up a 23-yard
field goal by Adam Vinatieri, and the Patriots gutted out a 12-9 overtime
win at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
Patten's catch was initially ruled
a fumble, as he was clobbered by Keion Carpenter at the Buffalo 43. But
as Patten lay on the ground, still clutching the football with his legs,
his helmet was out of bounds. Despite Nate Clements picking up the loose
football, referee Mike Carey ruled that Patten was out of bounds and down
by contact, the catch good.
The play allowed the Patriots to
maintain possession of the football. Antowain Smith then ran 40 yards down
the right sideline to the Bills' 3. Two plays later, Vinatieri nailed the
The Patten catch seemed to typify
this season for the Patriots, and how lots of breaks have gone their way.
Earlier in the game, Peerless Price caught what seemed to be a 7-yard touchdown
grab in the fourth quarter. The Bills did not ask for replay, and it showed
that Price juggled the ball before getting only one foot in bounds. Shayne
Graham kicked a 25-yard field goal to tie the contest at 6.
Tom Brady had a rough day, completing
only 19 of 35 passes and one interception. He was sacked five times, and
was under siege most all day. He overthrew several receivers, including
two in the end zone on the Patriots' final drive of regulation.
The game was a field goal duel. Vinatieri
also connected from 40, 32 and 25 yards. Graham missed a 43-yarder in the
first half, but did connect from 41, 25 and 41 yards.
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