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New England Patriots Pound out 14-10 win Over Buffalo Bills

In a raging windstorm, they turned to their ground game, which produced more than 200 yards.

A defensive scrum played in the wind tunnel that was Highmark Stadium on Monday night was decided by the New England Patriots' power running game, which controlled the trenches just enough to lead them to a 14-10 victory over the host Buffalo Bills.

The win gave New England (9-4) undisputed command of the AFC East as the Bills fell to 7-5. 

Playing in a wind that gusted up to 50 miles per hour, the Patriots at one point called 32 straight runs. They also surprisingly struck first, going into the wind, when Damien Harris ripped off a 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Brandon Bolden followed with a crucial 2-point conversion around left end.

Their powerful attack proved to be a problem for Buffalo's overmatched defense all evening. Though they didn't win every battle along the line of scrimmage, they won more than they lost, including a fourth-down quarterback sneak by Mac Jones that was challenged unsuccessfully by Bills coach Sean McDermott late in the fourth quarter, keeping alive a long drive that would end with a 34-yard field goal by Nick Folk.

The only touchdown the Bills could muster on this evening came courtesy of a gift turnover by New England that set them up with a short field. Punt returner N'Keal Harry tried to evade the bouncing ball, but it glanced off his helmet and the Bills' Siran Neal recovered at the New England 14-yard line.

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Quarterback Josh Allen responded by hitting Gabriel Davis with a 14-yard scoring pass on the next play, after which the Bills elected to kick an extra point instead of going for two in an attempt to tie it.

That decision would loom large in the fourth quarter after the Patriots kicked a field goal to go up by four points, putting the Bills in a position to have to score more than a field goal going into the wind.

They couldn't even get that. After driving as far as the Patriots' 6, Allen failed to spot Dawson Knox open in the end zone, took a sack for a loss of 9 yards and threw incomplete on the next play, setting up Tyler Bass for a 33-yard attempt that was blown wide right with 7:24 remaining.

After getting the ball back, the Bills once again drove deep into New England territory, only to come up empty when they were forced to go for it on fourth down with under two minutes remaining and Josh Allen's pass was batted down at the goal line.

Jones would attempt just three passes in the game, completing two, for 19 yards.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.