|Date of game: 12/28/2014
Recap: New England vs. Buffalo
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Orton threw a touchdown pass, Boobie Dixon ran for another score and the Buffalo Bills concluded their season with a 17-9 win over the New England Patriots.
Orton was 16-of-23 for 176 yards as the Bills (9-7) finished a campaign with a winning record for the first time since 2004.
Buffalo, which ended a 13-game losing streak at New England, will miss the playoffs for the 15th straight season, the longest active drought in the league.
"Obviously we didn't accomplish everything that we wanted to do," Orton said. "But we played hard all year, played for each other, and came up a little short."
With home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs already locked up, New England quarterback Tom Brady played just the first half in a game in which wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski were inactive.
Brady completed 8-of-16 passes for 80 yards over five series.
"We always hate losing. We didn't make enough plays to win, but hopefully we make them in a couple weeks," Brady said.
Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo totaled 90 yards on 10-of-17 passing for New England (12-4), which had its regular-season home winning streak against AFC opponents snapped at 35 games.
The Bills breezed down the field on the game's opening drive, with Orton hitting Robert Woods for a 6-yard touchdown. A 1-yard run by Dixon capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive and gave Buffalo a 14-3 lead with 10:38 remaining in the second quarter.
On the next Bills possession, Orton was stripped on a sack by Jamie Collins, who recovered the fumble in Buffalo territory. The turnover led to a 44-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
Marcus Thigpen returned the ensuing kickoff 49 yards, however, leading to a 48-yard Dan Carpenter field goal with 2:14 left in the opening half.
New England made consecutive trips to the red zone in the third quarter with Garoppolo in at quarterback, but came away with only three points.
The Bills stopped Garoppolo on a keeper on 4th-and-1 at their own 13 before forcing the Patriots to settle for a 35-yard Gostkowski field goal with 37 seconds remaining in the period.Game Notes
The Patriots' last regular-season loss at home against a conference opponent
was a 33-10 setback to Pittsburgh on Nov. 30, 2008 ... The Bills posted their
first-ever victory at Gillette Stadium and beat the Patriots on the road for
the first time since Nov. 5, 2000 ... Carpenter set a franchise record for
field goals in a season with 34 ... New England wide receiver Brian Tyms
caught four passes for 39 yards. He had three catches in his career entering