New England Patriots' defense exposed in narrow win

Another win over the Buffalo Bills.

That's nothing new for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but Sunday's 37-31 squeaker came down to the final seconds because of a New England defense that can't close games.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the New England Patriots' 37-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Week 10 on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The Bills were crafted by coach Chan Gailey to wage war with the Patriots. They've failed largely on that front, but when the two-headed monster of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are rolling, there isn't a more dangerous backfield duo in the league. They had their way against the Patriots.

Spiller and Jackson combined for 150 yards on the ground and another 96 through the air. Both backs penetrated into the second and third level of New England's defense repeatedly as Buffalo climbed back into the game in the second half.

The Bills, of course, can't stop anyone, but that's the one trait coach Chan Gailey didn't hope to copy from Bill Belichick.

the Patriots' defense is young. The front seven has potential. I love the way defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich were employed early -- stationed wide outside the tackles and set free to heat-seek Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick -- but the secondary (and we're not breaking news here) shows no ability to slow down a fast-paced passing game that uses its backs the way Buffalo did Sunday.

It was another win for the Patriots, but New England will go only as far as its offense can take them -- or the defense will allow -- in 2012.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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