After the 31-0 blowout in 2003, Brady got on a roll for over half a decade against the Bills. He won 13 games in a row against Buffalo. He won every contest from 2004 through 2010. (That math looks weird because he started his streak in 2003 and he also missed both games in 2008.)
Then Brady suffered his second career defeat to Buffalo. In Week 3 of the 2011 campaign, the Bills beat the Patriots 34-31 behind a game winning field as time ran out. After leading 21-0 at one point, the Patriots collapsed in Buffalo. Brady would throw four interceptions, including with the score tied at 24 with 10:32 remaining in the 4th quarter. He finished with 387 yards and four touchdown to go along with his four picks.
The 2011 Patriots were a good team but not one of the best from this era. They would go on to lose against the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46.
The most recent loss to the Bills comes with the biggest sports asterisk not currently owned by Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong. The Patriots played the Bills at Gillette to finish off the 2014 season. They had already clinched the #1 seed in the AFC, so there was no incentive to win that game. It was more important to keep the team, especially Brady, healthy for the playoff run. Brady threw for just 73 yards before being yanked at the half. The Pats lost 17-9.
The 2014 Patriots were one of the best two way teams of this run. They went on to win the Super Bowl thanks to Brady’s legendary second half performance and this play you might remember.
So let us recap. In 2003, the Bills beat down the Patriots in the season opener. The Patriots respond with two of the most dominant consecutive seasons a professional sports team has endured. The 2003 and 2004 Patriots finished the season at 14-2 and won the Super Bowl. So really, Brady and Belichick should thank that Bills team for lighting a fire under them.
Then the loss I always forget about, 2011 Week 3. The 2003 loss is important considering the 2003 championship team’s story and drive. The 2014 is memorable since you can basically throw that loss out due to Brady not playing in the second half. The 2011 loss was a really strange game. The Patriots blow a 21 point lead and Brady had four turnovers, both very rare events for New England. Bizarre that both occurred in the same game.
The 2014 loss is an even bigger indicator of Brady’s dominance against Buffalo. The only time Brady has lost to the Bills at Gillette was when he did not take a snap in the second half. Glorious.
So the Bills have beaten Tom Brady twice when he intended to play the entire game. In those two loses, Brady has thrown eight interceptions, which is ⅓ of his career picks, against Buffalo. So the Bills have a clear game plan for Sunday. Either intercept Brady four times (which should be easy since Brady has not thrown an interception yet this year.) Or they could try to convince Belichick at halftime that the Patriots have already clinched the 1st seed, and they should bench Brady for the half.
Photo courtesy of NBC Sports Boston
Story by Chad Jones
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