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First-quarter analysis: Even in a meaningless game, Doug Marrone's all about the punt

From the some-things-never-change department comes another decision to punt on fourth down by Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone.

The latest example came Sunday at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots. Facing a fourth and 3 from the Patriots' 49-yard line, Marrone elected to punt ... despite the fact the game was meaningless to the Bills' playoff chances. Despite the fact the ball was in New England territory. Despite the fact the Bills had moved the ball well to that point, with a touchdown on their opening drive.

Say this for Marrone: He stays true to form.

Frequent target: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasted little time in going after Bills cornerback Ron Brooks, who made his first start of the season Sunday in place of the injured Stephon Gilmore. Brooks was targeted five times by Brady, and gave up a key first down when he fell, allowing New England receiver Brandon LaFell to gain 27 yards.

Inching closer: Rookie receiver Sammy Watkins needed 75 yards coming into the game to reach 1,000 for the season. Watkins got 43 of those yards on a reception in the first quarter, his longest reception since Week Eight against the New York Jets.

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