The New England Patriots looked vulnerable. Down 14 points in the second half on the road to a division rival, they were staring a 1-3 record and the AFC East basement in the face.
So they scored 35 points in less than 14 minutes against the Buffalo Bills. And then they added 10 more points just to rub it in.
There was no changing of the guard in the AFC East on Sunday, just a reminder that New England's offense is as dangerous as ever. Some ridiculous facts from the Patriots' 45-point second half in Sunday's 52-28 win:
- The Patriots had two 100-yard rushers (Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley) and two 100-yard receivers (Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski). That's only the second time in NFL history that has ever happened. (The 2008 Green Bay Packers also pulled it off).
- New England rushed for 247 yards. Buffalo's prized defensive line hasn't been great rushing the passer, and this was an embarrassing effort defending on the ground. Bolden, an undrafted free agent, is a find. He runs with great aggression. The Patriots played power football even without guard Logan Mankins. The holes were massive.
- Tom Brady's legs turned this game around. Really. Brady bought time and threw on the run to Danny Woodhead on third-and-long to get New England within seven points. Brady rushed for a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game.
- We'll give an assist to Brandon Spikes in the turnaround. The Patriots linebacker forced a fumble by C.J. Spiller on the goal line to end the first half, and then forced another fumble by Fred Jackson to start the fourth quarter. The Patriots cashed in to take a 14-point lead, and the game essentially was over. Buffalo turned over the ball six times overall.
The Bills, New York Jets and Patriots are tied at 2-2 in the division. But not all 2-2 records are created equal. Buffalo had a chance to put New England in a big hole, and the Patriots responded in the most Patriot way possible.