Patriots vs. Bills 2013 game recap: Patriots avoid upset, edge Bills 23-21

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots needed a last second field goal to beat the Bills, 23-21.

The New England Patriots spoiled E.J. Manuel's NFL debut on Sunday, completing a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Buffalo Bills, 23-21.

The Patriots took advantage of a C.J. Spiller fumble to take an early lead when Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman in the end zone. The Bills struggled to get much going on offense, but got a lucky break in the second quarter on a bizarre play. Stevan Ridley took the handoff and fell down behind the line of scrimmage without getting touched, losing the ball. Da'Norris Searcy took it 74 yards to the house to give Buffalo its first points of the game.

The Patriots got a 10-point lead when Brady hooked up with Edelman for the second time, but Buffalo got another big break when Brady threw an interception on their next drive. Two plays later, E.J. Manuel threw an 18-yard touchdown to Robert Woods. The Patriots led the Bills, 17-14, at halftime.

The Bills took the lead in the third quarter as the Patriots struggled on offense. Manuel found Stevie Johnson in the corner of the end zone to give the Bills a 21-17 lead. The Patriots drove close to the goal line in the fourth quarter, but the Bills held them to a field goal with 10:52 left.

Brady got another chance, though, when he led the team down to the red zone at the end of the game. Stephen Gostowski nailed a 35-yard field goal with five seconds to avoid the upset.

Fantasy studs and duds

C.J. Spiller struggled in his 2013 debut, rushing 17 times for 41 yards and losing the fumble. Danny Amendola filled in just fine for Wes Welker, getting 10 catches for 104 yards.

Injury report

Danny Amendola limped off into the lockout room shortly before halftime, favoring his groin. He returned in the third quarter.

Did they cover?

The Patriots opened as 9.5-point favorites. They failed to cover by a wide margin.

What's next?

Sept. 12, 8:25 p.m. ET: New England vs. New York Jets

Sept. 15, 1:00 p.m. ET: Buffalo vs. Carolina

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