Tom Brady rules as much as ever at age 38.
The New England Patriots’ quarterback skewered the proud Buffalo Bills’ defense in a 40-32 decision Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. His 466 passing yards were the most ever vs. the Bills.
* The Bills’ defense had a massive advantage along the line of scrimmage. It mattered not a whit because of No. 12. Brady runs out of a spread, empty formation so often that he always has a quick dump to the flat to one side of the other. Why doesn’t every offense do it? Most quarterbacks don’t make the correct decision every time. Brady completely neutralized the Bills’ great pass rush.
* New England coach Bill Belichick didn’t try to take Sammy Watkins out of the game. He let cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Tarell Brown match up with Watkins depending on which side of the field Watkins took. Instead Belichick played eight men in the box and dared Bills QB Tyrod Taylor to beat him from the pocket. Taylor didn’t do it enough. Taylor wasn’t terrible. He stuck with it and put points on the board. But he couldn’t make the Pats pay enough for overplaying the run.
* The Bills’ offensive line didn’t have a great day. Left tackle Cordy Glenn had trouble with Pats star DE Chandler Jones. Rookie guard John Miller had some struggles.
* Rob Gronkowski is all world, as everyone knows. Nobody is going to shut down the Pats’ tight end. But you don’t want to make it too easy for him. The Bills used a variety of coverages on Gronkowski. But they had some busts. Gronkowski broke free against a poorly executed zone coverage on a 36-yard pass early in the game. Bills safety Duke Williams was on the wrong page on a 2-yard TD pass to Gronk in the second quarter. Gronk now has TDs in eight straight regular-season games.
* Brady is 24-3 vs. Buffalo. Belichick is 27-5 vs. the Bills.