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Taking deep breath, Lindell seals the deal

It's never the actual kick that makes Rian Lindell nervous, but the drive leading up to the field-goal attempt can be unsettling. So Lindell wasn't the most tranquil player as the Buffalo Bills drove downfield to set up Lindell for a chip shot.

"It's kind of like a horror movie when you don't see the bad guy and finally when he comes out you relax because you can start fighting him," he said. "Maybe I shouldn't equate it to a horror film, but it's kind of how it is, that anticipation of driving. But once they get into field-goal range, I kind of get into my routine."

It would have been quite bloodcurdling for Lindell had he missed the field goal, but he easily knocked in the 28-yarder as time expired and the Bills defeated New England, 34-31, on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

"They're all big to me because you're trying to keep a job," Lindell said. "Once I get out there and I look at [Brian Moorman's] fingers, it's kind of calming."

The nerves started to kick in when the Bills reached the New England 39. Then Ryan Fitzpatrick dumped a pass to Fred Jackson for a touchdown that was eventually reversed and the ball was placed at the Pats' 1. Time to shake the tension.

"It's kind of like, 'We're going to get this, take a deep breath and get ready,' " Lindell said. "When I go out on the field, they're all big."

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Chan Gailey said the Bills were going to get Donald Jones more involved in the offense and the No. 2 receiver finished with a personal high 101 yards.

It was also the first 100-yard receiving game for a Bill since Fred Jackson last season against Pittsburgh.

"Definitely very satisfying to make plays down the field in a big game like this, just to come up big for the team," Jones said. "Nobody outside the locker room thought anybody could get deep but Coach Gailey knows his personnel."

Jones was pivotal on the Bills' winning drive against Oakland, coming up with a fourth-down reception and breaking up an interception in the end zone that would have sealed the win for the Raiders. But he came into the New England game with just six receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown.

"He is a great deep threat for us," Gailey said. "He's got great body control, strong hands. He can go downfield and get the ball and compete for the ball when it's in the air."

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There was some confusion about why New England was charged its second timeout shortly after Fred Jackson's 39-yard touchdown reception was reversed.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was seething after a review showed Jackson was down at the Patriots' 1-yard line and referee Carl Cheffers explained what happened.

"Coach Belichick wanted an explanation as to what was going to take place after the replay," Cheffers said. "Obviously, we had a reversal. We put the ball at the half-yard line. The clock was going to start. He wanted a confirmation of what was going to happen at that point."

Cheffers said he explained to Belichick that the ball was at the half-yard line and Belichick asked when the clock was going to start.

"I said as soon as I was done with the explanation with him that I was going to go out on the field and start the clock," Cheffers said. "He stayed down there. I didn't understand exactly why he stayed down there. I went back over there and he said he wanted a timeout. So I gave him his second charged timeout."

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The Bills woke up this morning as the lone unbeaten team in the AFC with a win over the Patriots, long proven to be the class of the division. But as George Wilson said, "It doesn't mean anything."

"It just shows we can beat the Patriots now," he continued. "It's the third game of the year and you don't win a championship by being 3-0. You don't earn the respect around the league by winning three ball games. We have to do this for an entire season."

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Inactives on Sunday for the Bills were Terrence McGee, Justin Rogers, Kirk Morrison, Kraig Urbik, Sam Young, Lee Smith and Torell Troup. Drayton Florence started in place of McGee at corner while Chad Rinehart started for Urbik at right guard.

New England's inactives were Albert Haynesworth, Aaron Hernandez, Ras-I Dowling, Patrick Chung, Sebastian Vollmer and Mike Wright.

The only Bills injury was rookie cornerback Aaron Williams, who suffered a chest injury trying to make a tackle on Wes Welker. Although Williams was moving his legs, he was taken off on a stretcher for precautionary reasons.

"I don't think it's serious-serious," Gailey said. "That's a bad term but I don't think it's something that's going to keep him from playing the rest of the year."

Linebacker Shawne Merriman went back to the locker room briefly in the second half because of cramps but returned.

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Tom Brady established the NFL mark for the passing yards in a three-game stretch with 1,327, passing Drew Brees, who set the NFL mark in 2006 with 1,256. While the secondary should be praised for intercepting Brady four times, Welker finished with 16 receptions for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 109 yards and two TDs. The Bills had four players finish in double figures in tackles: safety Jairus Byrd (12), linebacker Nick Barnett (11), Wilson (10) and Bryan Scott (10).

email: rmckissic@buffnews.com