|Other Week 15 Game Recaps|
|ARI at DET||ATL at NYJ||CHI at BAL||CIN at SD||CLE at KC||DAL at NO||GB at PIT||HOU at STL|
|IND at JAX||MIA at TEN||MIN at CAR||NE at BUF||NYG at WAS||OAK at DEN||SF at PHI||TB at SEA|
Week 15 Game Recap: New England Patriots 17, Buffalo Bills 10
New England Patriots
|QB Tom Brady, Pass: 11 - 23 - 115 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - -3 - 0|
In what was probably one of the worst performances of the season, Bardy led the offense to two TD's, which was just enough to overcome the penalty-plagued Bills. Buffalo was flagged for 11 penalties, including two pass interference calls in the end zone, which set up both Patriot scores. Brady didn't even complete a pass until two minutes into the 2nd quarter when he hit Randy Moss for a 13 yard TD. He ended the first half with only 5 completions, his fewest in an opening half since September 10th, 2006 against, you guessed it, Buffalo. He finished the game with just 11 completions. And without the 124 yards in penalties, that the Bills so graciously gift-wrapped, New England didn't move the ball that well. Brady's lone interception came in the 1st quarter when he was pressured, looking for Wes Welker, but threw it behind him. It was an ugly game for the New England offense and those fantasy owners that were hoping for big plays saw nothing of the sort. Brady did get Randy Moss involved early and was looking to test the defense deep, going to him on several occasions. But his favorite target, Wes Welker, was held to a meager 4 receptions for 40 yards causing the offense to sputter. Brady did attempt a QB sneak at the goal line, trying to catch the Buffalo defense off guard, but failed to even get back to the line of scrimmage in a busted play.
|RB Laurence Maroney, Rush: 23 - 81 - 1|
Maroney continues to be the dominating force in the Patriots rushing attack, touting the rock 23 times and getting almost all of the handoffs in the backfield. He found pay dirt yet again, and is developing a reputation and nose for the end zone. Maroney was the benefactor of some good blocking by the offensive line at the goal line, scoring his 9th rushing TD of the year. He showed good drive by keeping his legs churning, running hard, and setting the Patriots up for a plethora of 3rd and short distances, which made the play calling more manageable. Look for Maroney to continue as the team's featured back as they get ready for post season. And if he continues his steady play, he just may end up being the workhorse back they're looking for going into next season.
|RB Sammy Morris, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets)|
The old veteran faded into a backup role with the Patriots today, as his number was called softly and infrequently. Morris carried the ball just four times in comparison to Maroney's 23 carries, and cannot be trusted in fantasy line-ups apart from desperation. This could be the last ride for 32 year old Slammin' Sammy as he continues to spell Maroney in certain situations.
|RB Kevin Faulk, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)|
The Patriots "jack of all trades" had only two touches in this contest and did little to contribute to fantasy rosters this week. With Maroney's solid play as of late, we could see less of Faulk in the backfield in the coming weeks, but don't be too surprised if his rather diverse contributions pop up again before season's end.
|WR Randy Moss, Rec: 5 - 70 - 1 (7 targets)|
After numerous critics pointed the finger at Moss, questioning his effort against Carolina last week, Brady and Moss looked to muzzle the naysayers with some pitch and catch. Brady was looking Moss' way early and often, leaving no doubts that the game plan involved one, Randy Moss. New England's first TD of the day was set up by a 43 yard pass interference penalty on a deep ball thrown to Moss, which he capped off two plays later with a 13 yard TD that was brilliantly played as he tiptoed, streaking through the end zone. The Patriots seemed to be reversing the WR roles, where at times, it appeared that Moss was the one running the underneath routes while fellow receiver, Wes Welker, was relegated to the deep patterns on the outside. Although the Patriots offense looked anemic for much of the game, Moss made some plays, giving New England just enough to claim the victory.
|WR Wes Welker, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 4 - 40 - 0 (11 targets)|
This was the sort of game that would make Houdini proud, as Welker performed his best disappearing act of the season. Just when his owners were beginning to rely on his double-digit catches and triple digit yardage, the Patriots pulled out the rug from their feet. In what appeared to be a complete role reversal, it was Moss who was running many of the underneath routes and Welker was pushed to the outside, playing the role of Randy Moss. Welker did draw one of the two pass interference flags in the end zone, setting up the Patriots 2nd TD, a one yard plunge from Laurence Maroney. But the chain moving, elite possession receiver, who is known for his consistency and dependability, was nowhere to be found. Welker has now caught 70 passes without a TD.
|QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Pass: 17 - 25 - 178 - 1 TD / 1 INT|
The Patriots defense was too much for the Fitzpatrick and the revamped (for the 8th time this season) offensive line. After allowing Fitzpatrick to orchestrate a 69-yard drive on their first possession, the Pats held the Bills to 172 total yards the rest of the contest. Bellicheck's depleted defense (missing Ty Warren and Vincent Wilfork) racked up six sacks and an interception and pressured Fitzpatrick all day long. His interception came in the 2nd quarter on a roll out intended for Josh Reed on the sideline. After taking a bludgeoning by the Patriot's defense, looking a little gimpy and ineffective, Fitzpatrick was replaced in the 4th quarter by Trent Edwards, but was forced to return when Edwards injured his ankle after just four plays. As poorly as the Bills played, they were still in the game late, when Fitzpatrick rallied the offense, after a previously failed red zone trip (a dropped ball by Josh Reed), and found Lee Evans for an 11 yard TD strike just inside the left pylon with three minutes remaining.
|QB Trent Edwards, Pass: 1 - 2 - -1 - 0 TD / 0 INT|
The nightmarish season continued for Edwards as he replaced Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 4th quarter, but injured his knee on his fourth snap. He was eventually carted off the field into the locker room finishing the day with negative passing yards.
|RB Fred Jackson, Rush: 15 - 80 - 0, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (5 targets)|
The Bills continue to run their offense through Fred Jackson, who despite an ugly game filled with Buffalo penalties, pitched in with 19 touches for 112 yards of offense. Jackson had three opportunities inside the red zone on the Bills opening drive and had a TD called back due to a false start, stealing his lone scoring opportunity. While there is nothing overly fancy in his game, Jackson does everything well and is turning into a nice feature RB in his own right. He hit the hole hard today, protected the ball, and ran relentlessly, refusing to be wrestled down by initial contact, which is becoming a trademark of his. Jackson's ability to shake tackles, though unspectacular, keeps him on the field and heavily involved in the Buffalo offense.
|RB Marshawn Lynch, Rush: 8 - 25 - 0|
The bulk of the workload went to Fred Jackson once again as Lynch received 8 carries to Jackson's 15. His first carry was a nice 12-yard run up the gut, where Vince Wolfork was missing. Three of his eight carries came on the Bills first scoring drive where he racked up 19 of his 25 yards rushing. The once promising RB is simply being phased out of the Bills plans with the emergence of Jackson.
|WR Josh Reed, Rec: 4 - 63 - 0 (8 targets)|
The Bills 3rd option at WR played a big role in this game, but dropped what would have been a 4th down conversion inside the New England 5-yard line late in the 4th quarter. Despite the big drop, he still led the team in receiving and made one elevating catch where he stretched for a sailing ball, pulled it down, tapping both feet in bounds for the reception. Reed showed some promise in this game, but his late drop reminded fans and coaches alike that even with all his talent, his inconsistency remains a glaring weakness in his game.
|WR Lee Evans, Rec: 3 - 35 - 1 (6 targets)|
One of Evans three catches on the day was a late grab with three minutes remaining in the game. Evans spun around, after losing his defender, and hauled in an 11-yard TD pass over the left pylon to pull the Bills within striking distance. Buffalo then recovered the ensuing onside kick, but it was negated by an offside penalty by rookie Aaron Maybin.
|WR Terrell Owens, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (2 targets)|
Owens displayed more frustration than big play potential in this game, being limited to two receptions, leaving him two short of becoming the 6th NFL player to hit the 1,000 catch mark. The Bills did give Owens a sniff of the end zone on their first scoring drive, but Owens was unable to shed a multitude of tacklers, eventually getting tackled at the 7-yard line. The camera shot of Owens sitting on the sidelines, agitated and disgruntled, is something that we've grown accustomed to seeing this year. In defense of Owens, his feast or famine play (mostly famine) with the Bills, is due in large part to limited opportunities as they fail to implement him into the game plan.
|WR Roscoe Parrish, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)|
The Bills speedy receiver was held to just one catch on the day and continues to hold little to no value from a fantasy perspective.
|TE Shawn Nelson, Rec: 4 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)|
While Nelson was limited to 17 yards, his four receptions gives him a small margin of value in PPR formats in the very deepest of leagues.