Bills get a taste of the Patriot game

THE New England Patriots secured the number one seed in the AFC and home advantage for the NFL play-offs as they came from three touchdowns down to hammer the Buffalo Bills.

Tashard Choice, Steve Johnson and CJ Spiller put the Bills 21-0 up inside the first quarter but BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Rob Gronkowski scored twice as the Patriots responded to win 49-21.

Quarterback Tom Brady, who also hit Gronkowski’s fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez for one of his three touchdown passes, followed New Orleans’ Drew Brees in surpassing Dan Marino’s 27-year-old record for passing yards in a season, reaching 5,235.

The Saints’ offence continued to rewrite the record books as they routed the Carolina Panthers 45-17.

Brees broke Peyton Manning’s 2010 record of 450 completions and set the all-time record for the most offence yards in a season, passing the St Louis Rams’ total of 7,075 from 2000.

But the Saints were beaten to the number two seed in the NFC – behind the Green Bay Packers – as the San Francisco 49ers beat the St Louis Rams 34-27.

The Packers completed a 15-1 season with a pulsating 45-41 win over the Detroit Lions, whose quarterback Matt Stafford threw for an incredible 520 yards to follow Brees and Brady past the 5,000-yard mark.

Titus Young caught two of those touchdown passes, but Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson hauled in three and his side clinched the game with Jermichael Finley’s late score as Matt Flynn, in a rare start as Aaron Rodgers rested, racked up 480 yards and six touchdowns.

The New York Jets’ play-off hopes were ended by a 19-17 defeat to the Miami Dolphins, with Mark Sanchez throwing three interceptions. The Indianapolis Colts will have the first overall draft pick next season after losing 19-13 to the Jacksonville Jaguars to finish 2-14.

The Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-13, the Philadelphia Eagles finished a difficult season on a high note with a 34-10 win over the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans edged out the Houston Texans 23-22.

Denver clinched the NFC West division and are heading for the play-offs for the first time since 2005, even though they lost 7-3 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Two touchdowns from Ray Rice helped Baltimore to a 24-16 victory over Cincinnati that earned the Ravens a third AFC North title and the number two seed in the play-offs.

The Bengals also got through to the play-offs – their third appearance in history – as the Jets and Broncos fell to defeat. The Atlanta Falcons secured the number five seed in the play-offs with a 45-24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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