The Patriots have turned to the Bills to fill several holes on their roster in recent years, with Lee the most recent example.
One positive from the first half has been the play of former Bill Eric Lee, who seems to be flourishing in his new haunts. Luckily, that did not matter. This time, it was Taylor throwing the ball directly into the arms of Patriots defensive end Eric Lee for an interception.
The two-headed running back attack of Dion Lewis (15 carries, 92 yards) and Rex Burkhead (12 carries, 78 yards, 2 TDs) helped, and so did a bend-but-don't-break defense that decisively slammed the door shut in the red zone. They play Indianapolis next week before finishing the season with two games against the Dolphins and another on the road against the Pats. But the real story here was that questionable hit in the fourth quarter on Bills' cornerback Tre'Davious White following an interception of Tom Brady. Gronkowski drove his shoulder as he lay face down on the turf after the whistle and was penalized for unnecessary roughness.
Chalk it up to Bill Belichick to pluck another Bill player and turn him into a useful asset.
Forced into a more prominent role with Trey Flowers inactive, Lee responded with the day of his life.
Speaking of revenge games, Stephon Gilmore gave Bill fans grief on Sunday with another shutdown performance. He was benched after Buffalo managed 99 net yards and four first downs through 55 minutes in a 47-10 loss to New Orleans on November 12.
In Sunday's victory, Gilmore made two timely pass breakups and even made a few physical tackles. Taylor completed 9-of-18 passes for 65 yards and an interception. If Gilmore keeps up this level of play, the Patriots will be very pleased with their investment at playoff time. It's the second-lowest total allowed in the league next to Jacksonville's nine.
New England gained 212 yards in the first half, but could only manage three Stephen Gostkowski field goals (50, 31 and 39 yards) to build a 9-3 lead. Give him credit on the play, but man, what a bad throw by Taylor. The result extended the team's road winning streak to 14 games and puts the Patriots one step closer to winning the AFC East championship.