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Vic Carucci's Rapid Reaction: Bills reach milestones, but the feeling is ... empty

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- OK, so the Buffalo Bills broke the Gillette Stadium curse and won their first game at the stadium today to close the 2014 NFL season.

OK, so the 17-9 victory gave them their second win against the New England Patriots, who already won the AFC East crown and secured home-field advantage through the playoffs, in 23 tries.

The feeling was, to say the least, empty, given that there was nothing at stake for either team.

Tom Brady, Buffalo's primary nemesis, only played through the first half, with Patriots coach Bill Belichick wisely deciding to preserve his quarterback for the postseason. The same applied for Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, both of whom were inactive.

The Bills had no such concerns. They're missing the playoffs for a 15th consecutive season.

The Patriots hardly gave their best effort and rested other starters through the game. Meanwhile, the Bills used all of their available front-liners, and needed to give maximum effort to pull out the win.

Still, they finish the season 9-7, their best record since 2004 ... even if it did feel more like a preseason game.

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