Bills Beat Patriots 24-21 on Newton’s Late Fumble
Backup defensive lineman Justin Zimmer punched the ball out of Cam Newton's arms and the fumble was recovered by safety Dean Marlowe at the Buffalo 13 with 31 seconds remaining to secure the Bills' 24-21 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Zack Moss scored two touchdowns rushing and the AFC East-leading Bills are off to consecutive 6-2 starts for the first time since a six-year run from 1988 to 1993.
Buffalo snapped a seven-game skid against the division-rival Patriots, and beat a New England-coached Bill Belichick team for just the sixth time in 41 meetings, going back to 2000.
New England dropped to 2-5 and has lost four in a row, matching its worst skid since 2002.
The game was decided just as the Patriots were threatening to at least force overtime. Facing second-and-10 at the Buffalo 19, Newton took the snap and followed a line of blockers to his left.
Zimmer came diving in from behind and punched out the ball, which rolled directly into Marlowe's arms.
It was Newton's only turnover of the game and came after he threw three interceptions and was benched in a 33-6 loss to San Francisco last week.
Newton finished 15 of 25 for 174 yards passing, and added 54 yards rushing plus a touchdown. Damien Harris had 102 yards rushing and scored on a 22-yard run.
Josh Allen went 11 of 18 for 154 yards passing and also scored on a 2-yard run in a game the Bills never trailed. He had one interception, which led to the Patriots cutting Buffalo's lead to 7-6 on Nick Folk's 33-yard field goal with 8 seconds left in the first half.
Tyler Bass' 28-yard field goal with 4:06 remaining broke the 21-21 tie, after Allen's pass to Gabriel Davis sailed through the receiver's arms in the end zone.
The game was played in an empty stadium, and amid wet, blustery conditions with the temperature dropping to the low 40s by the fourth quarter. Winds off nearby Lake Erie were persistent at between 17 and 25 MPH.
The Patriots were without several key starters. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore was sidelined by a knee injury. New England was also down its top two receivers this season with Julian Edelman placed on injured reserve after having knee surgery this week, and N'Keal Harry sidelined by a concussion.
TAKE THE POINTS
Belichick elected to take the points and not risk a sack in the final seconds of the first half. With no timeouts remaining and facing third-and-1 at the Buffalo 16, the Patriots elected to have Folk hit a 33-yard field goal to cut the Bills' lead to 7-6.
Patriots: Defensive lineman Lawrence Guy did not return after hurting his shoulder in the second half. Linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley hurt his groin in the fourth quarter.
Bills: Center Mitch Morse did not return after sustaining a head injury on Buffalo's opening drive. RB/special teamer Taiwan Jones was ruled out after hurting his hamstring in the third quarter.
The Bills continued their season-long decision to stay inside their locker room for the performance of the national anthem.
Patriots: Travel to face the winless New York Jets on Monday Nov. 9.
Bills: Host Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in stretch of facing three NFC West opponents in five weeks.