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Without three of their best running backs, the Patriots were down to Kevin Faulk and rookie free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Playing against another 5-3 squad with a good defense in the Bills, Green-Ellis capitalized on his opportunity with a career-high 105 yards rushing on 26 carries, including a key one-yard touchdown with 1:57 to go to seal the deal in a 20-10 win.
Matt Cassel rushed for the other touchdown on a 13-yard scramble in the first quarter. Cassel played well again at the helm, finishing 23-34 for 234 yards. He didn’t throw an interception and only took one sack, which is a positive sign. He lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, but it did not affect the outcome.
The Patriots defense stepped up, allowing only 10 points (including a garbage touchdown late in the game with a short field). They also held the overrated Marshawn Lynch to just 46 yards on 14 carries and no touchdowns. Trent Edwards threw for just 120 yards and the late touchdown pass. In all, the Patriots out-gained the Bills 370-168, and dominated the time of possession 37:40-22:20.
The Patriots have a short week of practice ahead of them, then they host the Jets this Thursday on the NFL Network/Ch. 5. SoB’s Jeff will have more on this game in his Verdict piece (when he gets home from the game) and will have the Pats-Jets showdown for AFC East supremacy covered too.