Turnover #1 With just over three minutes to go in the first quarter, and the score 7-3 Patriots, the Bills drove all the way down to the New England 12 with an "assist" from Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington, who would be picked on all day for deep completions by the Buffalo offense. But there, deep in the red zone, Buffalo QB (and Harvard alum, as we were reminded ad nauseam) Ryan Fitzpatrick was dropping back for the kill when he found himself chased by Rob Ninkovich into the waiting arms of Gary Guyton. The ball came loose as Fitzpatrick was sacked, and was recovered by Jerod Mayo.*
The Patriots offense would capitalize on this with a touchdown to make it 14-3, New England. Score one for the Patriots linebacking corps.
Following this, Alge Crumpler would step out from the blocking woodshed into the pass-receiving spotlight with his first touchdown catch of the season, bringing the score to 24-3, Patriots.
Turnover #3 After a three-and-out by the Patriots to begin the second half, Buffalo took over at its own 12 yard line. As had become routine by that point in the game, Buffalo's impressive runningback, Fred Jackson, laid down a carry on first down, this time for three yards. On the next play, only the Bills' second from scrimmage for the second half, Fitzpatrick attempted a pass from the 15-yard line to wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Patriots safety Jarrad Page picked it off.
With the ball handed over to them on the Buffalo 9 yard line, it took the Patriots offense just three plays to make the score 31-3, with the last of the three an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski.
Turnover #4 Just over 8 minutes were left to play in the third quarter, and Bills runningback CJ Spiller took the ball on a first and ten from the Buffalo 31. He was swarmed by Patriots defensive backs as he tried to turn the corner at the left edge, and those New England defensive backs stripped Spiller of the ball and recovered his fumble at the Buffalo 34 yard line. This was ruled an official, actionable fumble only after a coach's challenge from New England--the ruling on the field was that Spiller was down by contact when the ball came out.
This time, the Patriots offense would wind up turning the ball over on downs instead of scoring after the turnover. In fact, they were done, at this point, scoring TDs for the day. Rather than scoring opportunities, the remaining turnovers turned out to be more about keeping Buffalo from even thinking about trying to possibly mount a comeback, and preserving the Pats' D's touchdown-free streak for another day.
Turnover #5 The third quarter stretched on. On the very next opportunity for Buffalo's offense to redeem itself following Turnover #4, Fitzpatrick outran the Patriots blitz up the right sideline, but his scramble for naught when Devin McCourty forced a fumble that was recovered by fill-in D-lineman Eric Moore.
Turnover #6 By now we're talking garbage time: a Patriots field goal had just made it 34-3, now also known as your final score. But with about ten minutes left to play, Buffalo began at least threatening to salvage a little dignity, and with 4:43 remaining in the fourth quarter, had backed the Patriots defense all the way up to its 11 yard line. On third and seven, Fitzpatrick made an attempt for Roosevelt, which was deflected and nearly picked off by Chung, but it was ruled Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher had held Roosevelt as Roosevelt crossed in front of him. The Bills were handed a first down on the New England 6...where on the next play, Fletcher intercepted Fitzpatrick instead.
Turnover #7 With less than two minutes remaining at this point, this was just the final humiliation for Buffalo. The Patriots had let the clock run down to the two-minute warning before punting the ball, which came down in the vicinity of CJ Spiller. Actually, to put a finer point on it, the ball came down in the vicinity of Spiller's hands, which touched the ball before it fell to the ground, making it an official fumble. The ball was quickly fallen on by New England special teams DB Sergio Brown, making it officially the Bills' seventh turnover of the game.
Following this, the Patriots offense finished things out in victory formation.
* Mayo would have to be my overall Player of the Game today, at least defensively. While the D-line was still getting its act together in the first quarter (the experiment of Wilfork at left end and rookie Kyle Love at nose appeared to have officially been deemed a failure by the end of the first half), he helped fill the gaps against Buffalo's running game, and then "owned the middle of the field" with ringing (but clean) hits against Bills receivers once Buffalo was playing from behind. And, of course, there was his role in the turnovers...