That approach led the New England Patriots to their third straight rout to open the season. The latest—and probably not the last—was a 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in which Moss scored on touchdowns of 45 and 3 yards.
“He’s a mismatch every time he’s out there,” Brady said. “My job’s easy. I’ve just got to throw it up there.”
Now opponents must figure out how to play against the Patriots. A popular preseason pick to reach the Super Bowl, they’ve given no reason to change that opinion with their third 3-0 start in six years and a 114-35 scoring advantage.
“They’re a team with no weaknesses,” Bills coach Dick Jauron said. “We knew it could be a long day, and it definitely was for us.”
Especially for his secondary. The injury-riddled Bills (0-3) were missing three of their first-string defensive backs.
Jabari Greer, five inches shorter than the 6-foot-4 Moss, got a rare start. He covered him closely on the long touchdown, but Moss made an over-the-shoulder catch.
“As we say in high school,” Greer said, “I got Mossed.”
After the Patriots beat the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers by identical scores of 38-14 before dispatching the Bills by an even wider margin, you could say their first three opponents got Brady-ed. The quarterback had his third consecutive brilliant performance, throwing for four touchdowns with no interceptions. He had just six incompletions for the third Sunday in a row.
The Brady-Moss combo has produced five touchdowns and 403 yards receiving. Moss, sidelined for all four exhibition games after being traded from Oakland on April 29, had five catches for 115 yards Sunday. He became the first receiver in NFL history to gain at least 100 yards receiving in each of his first three games with a new team.
The 45-yard touchdown gave him 11,040 yards receiving and made him the 19th player with 11,000 yards.
Brady did lose a fumble at the Bills 1-yard line. But Buffalo couldn’t advance from there, and the Patriots got the ball back at the Bills 47. Six plays later, they took the lead for good at 10-7 after Brady threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Benjamin Watson.
“I think he’s played well,” tough-to-satisfy coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s had some other games that were pretty good games. It doesn’t really matter. We’ve got a long way to go.”
The Patriots outgained the Bills by nearly 300 yards (485-193). Laurence Maroney had 103 yards rushing and Brady went 23-for-29 for 311 yards. He’s completing 79.5 percent of his passes this season.
“The offensive line, the way they performed today was exceptional,” Brady said. “We had a lot of holes there in the run game and they did a great job in pass protection.”
Brady has been sacked just three times all season.
The Patriots started slowly and trailed 7-3 on Marshawn Lynch’s 8-yard run, a lead that held up until Watson scored with 5:08 left in the half. Then New England scored on four of its next five possessions, including touchdown passes of 3 yards to Moss and 4 yards to Jabar Gaffney.
“Randy ran an in route and the defense went with him,” Gaffney said, “which allowed me to break wide open.”
All four touchdown passes came after Posluszny’s injury, which Jauron said may be season-ending.
“It’s unbelievable, the whole season so far,” Posluszny said. “It’s tough to lose guys.”
Losman’s injury needed to be evaluated, but Jauron called it “pretty severe.”
The Bills lost their opener to Denver 15-14. In that game, tight end Kevin Everett sustained a spinal cord injury and defensive backs Ko Simpson and Jason Webster had season-ending knee injuries. Cornerback Terrence McGee, who played the first two games, sat out Sunday with a rib injury.
Watson and Moss have scored in each of their three games. Brady even connected for the first time with another Brady—tight end Kyle—for a 20-yard gain. Two plays later, Brady hit Moss for the 3-yard touchdown and the Patriots led 17-7 at halftime.
Losman was replaced by Trent Edwards, a rookie from Stanford who went 10-for-20 for 97 yards in his NFL debut.
The Patriots have won their last eight games against the Bills and haven’t lost at home to them since a 16-13 overtime defeat in 2000, Belichick’s first year as New England’s coach.
The Bills have gained only 600 yards all season, just 115 more than the Patriots piled up Sunday. … The Patriots lost two challenges to officials’ calls in four seconds. The first followed Brady’s fumble with 9:07 left in the second quarter. The next came after Edwards dropped back and the Patriots contended his foot touched the end line for a safety.