Patriots stun Buffalo Bills with late rally in 25-24 win

Patriots 25 Bills 24 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady doesn’t do mediocre.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards (5) is sacked by New England Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (95) as Derrick Burgess is in on the play late in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game Monday

Patriots 25 Bills 24

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady doesn’t do mediocre.

That’s not what all those long rehab sessions and months of preparing for his return to the NFL were about. So while Brady’s performance was pedestrian for much of Monday night’s season opener, when the spotlight was at its most intense, he lived up to the advance billing.

It seemed to take forever, though.

A year after being sidelined with torn knee ligaments, Brady resembled a rusty game manager more than the invincible record-setting quarterback who guided the Patriots to a perfect 2007 regular season. Yet, he threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:06 as New England beat the Buffalo Bills 25-24.

“I felt good all night, we were just off,” Brady said. “The plays we needed to make — fourth downs we missed, third downs we missed, two chances in the red area, the interception — those things really get you behind the 8-ball. We recovered with just a few seconds left. Sometimes it happens like that.

“It’s a pretty special victory.”

Brady needed help in the form of Leodis McKelvin’s fumble on a kickoff return after the Patriots pulled within five points.

Placekicker Stephen Gostkowski, of all people, recovered at the Buffalo 31. Brady needed three plays before hitting Benjamin Watson over the middle for the decisive 16-yard touchdown with 50 seconds to go.

“We have a real competitive locker-room, a real competitive team,” Brady said. “When you’re in a situation like we were, it’s when you really have to step it up. It takes every guy on the field to step it up. Hopefully, we will continue to do that.”

Just 1:16 earlier, he found Watson on a similar play for an 18-yard score. It was vintage Brady, who threw for a record 50 TDs two years ago in leading New England to a perfect record.

“Two-minute drives always are fun for a quarterback,” Brady said. “Spread it out, the pass rush gets a little tired, you get a feel for the coverage, you just have to be patient.

“I’m glad it’s over, glad we are moving on, got a win, and we’ll learn from it.”

That unbeaten season was spoiled in Brady’s last full game that counted, the February 2008 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. He was hurt in last season’s opener.

Now he’s back, although for much of the game he and the Patriots played conservatively, even passively. Indeed, Buffalo seemed ready to break an 11-game losing streak against New England and win for the first time in Gillette Stadium.

Then came the late fireworks, demonstrating that Tom Terrific hasn’t lost his touch.

“That’s not how we drew it up, but I’ll take it,” Brady said. “We did a lot of things poorly, but we got the win.”

Buffalo did a lot of things well, but got a shocking loss.

“I chose to bring it out because that’s me, no matter what it is,” McKelvin said of the lost fumble. “If I had that choice, probably 100 times, I’d do it again.”

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read