The Patriots jumped ahead of the Bills with two third-quarter scoring drives, including a touchdown from former Bills running back Mike Gillislee.
Gillislee had been inactive in recent weeks after a strong start to the season but dressed Sunday with fellow running back Rex Burkhead injured. So of course Bill Belichick was going to give him a goal-line carry, right?
Right. That happened in the final minute of the third quarter. Gillislee rumbled in from 1 yard out to give the Patriots a 23-16 lead. The play was set up by a Trae Elston pass interference penalty on Rob Gronkowski in the end zone.
The Bills' red zone offense stalled again early in the third quarter, although they took the lead with a field goal on their first possession after Kelvin Benjamin's overturned touchdown.
Too many men: Sean McDermott's defense was flagged for too many men on the field for the second time in the game just before Gillislee's touchdown.
Benjamin involved: Tyrod Taylor made a point to target top wideout Kelvin Benjamin in the game. He received his sixth target during the third quarter, matching his high with the Bills. Taylor seemed more confident forcing the ball into the big receiver.
Hyde banged up: Bills' Pro Bowl safety Micah Hyde had to be tended to late in the third quarter.