Ryan Fitzpatrick - aided by a young and highly suspect New England Patriots defense - was the spark that Chan Gailey hoped he'd be, but two critical second-half interceptions prevented the Buffalo Bills from perhaps pulling off a monumental upset in Foxborough. Buffalo dropped their third consecutive game by a final of 38-30.
Fitzpatrick completed 20 of 28 passes for 247 yards and two scores - one to C.J. Spiller, the other to Steve Johnson - and added 18 rushing yards, but interceptions to Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather prevented Buffalo from coming all the way back in the second half. Led by Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo also ran for 134 yards on just 24 attempts, and aside from the turnovers and a missed Rian Lindell field goal, pretty much did whatever they wanted offensively.
Spiller's receiving score was his first as a professional, and he also added a 95-yard kick return for a score in the third quarter to cut New England's lead to 24-23.
The real story of the game, however, was the lackluster effort by Buffalo's defense. Tom Brady completed 21 of 27 passes for 252 yards with three scores - two to Randy Moss, the third to WNY native Rob Gronkowski - and was sacked just once. A forced fumble and subsequent recovery aside, New England, too, did whatever they wanted to offensively, as the Pats also rushed for a whopping 200 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead each scored on the ground.
As far as reasonable expectations go, this was a fun game to watch on occasion. Buffalo came into this contest with 17 total points in two games, so there were obvious strides made. Still, Buffalo had this game handed to them on a silver platter, and turnovers and untimely penalties ruined their chances at victory. Baby steps are fine, but there's a long, long way to go.