FOXBORO, MA (AP) – Kyle Orton threw for one touchdown, Anthony Dixon ran for another and the Buffalo Bills finished their first winning season in 10 years with a 17-9 win over the going-through-the motions New England Patriots on Sunday.
With the top seed in the AFC playoffs already clinched, the Patriots used quarterback Tom Brady for only the first half and held out tight end Rob Gronkowski and five other starters.
The victory snapped several streaks: Buffalo’s 0-12 record at Gillette Stadium and New England’s 35 straight home wins against AFC teams.
It was a price the Patriots (12-4) were willing to pay to protect key players, although left tackle Nate Solder didn’t return after hurting his knee late in the first half.
The Bills (9-7) were eliminated from the playoffs a week earlier.