Even though they one big today, one of the things to work on this week for the New England Patriots will be holding on to the ball. Two of Tom Brady's main targets, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker both turned the ball over to the Bills early on in the game. They both talked about the fumbles post game, as did Bill Belichick.
Gronk's fumble came at 10:00 in the second quarter after a 15 yard reception. The Bills came back immediately on the next play and scored on a Fitzpatrick to Chandler TD. It could have turned into a big momentum shift on the day. "Yeah it’s tough, I had a fumble and everything, a couple of drops, and I just need to execute plays." Gronk said afterward. "I can’t be having that. It hurts the team a lot, I need to be protecting the ball better. No doubt about that. It’s awesome that Tom came back to me, trusted my abilities, trusted me the whole game, kept throwing me passes. A lot of great plays, running backs had great games, the o-line men -- overall, it was a great team, awesome team win."
Welker's fumble could have sent the Pats down further at the half. Following the Bills second TD to go up 14-7 in the first half, Welker lost the ball on third down, coughing the ball up just outside the red zone with 1:11 in the half. As it turned out, the defense picked up Welker's mistake, as Vince Wilfork recovered a C.J. Spiller fumble at the New England two yard line, stopping the Bills from going up 21-7 at the half. "That was huge." Welker said "Since I am the one that fumbled, for them to go in there. Hats off to the defense, for making that big play, it really put us in a good position going into half time, and being able to fight back going into the 2nd half."
"There’s nothing we have to say other than ‘ball security’." The Hoodie added. "We’ve said that since day one. Everybody knows how important it is to take care of the ball. It always has been the number one priority and it always will be. Whoever handles it; we’ve just got to do a better job taking care of it. That’s not a good way to win football games."