Brady back with Patriots, but Edwards throws TD pass to give Bills 7-0 lead after one quarter

By Howard Ulman, AP
Monday, September 14, 2009

Brady returns, but Bills lead 7-0 after first

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady returned and got upstaged by the opposing quarterback as Trent Edwards threw a touchdown pass and the Buffalo Bills led the New England Patriots 7-0 after the first quarter Monday night.

Terrell Owens, released by Dallas in March, made his debut for Buffalo, but Edwards didn’t throw to him.

Edwards completed a pass to Shawn Nelson on the left side and the tight end dived into the end zone with 2:58 left in the quarter for an 11-yard touchdown.

Brady played in his first meaningful game since last year’s opener with Kansas City when he tore ligaments in his left knee with 7:33 gone in the first quarter and was lost for the season. On Monday, he made it through the quarter but was sacked once, knocked down twice and hurt by two dropped passes.

The Patriots may have suffered another costly injury, though.

Inside linebacker Jerod Mayo, last year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and the team’s signal-caller, injured his right knee with about four minutes left in the quarter on a 16-yard run by running back Fred Jackson. His return was questionable.

The Bills capitalized immediately.

On the next play, Edwards threw a 21-yard completion to Jackson, filling in while Marshawn Lynch serves a three-game suspension imposed by the NFL. Xavier Oman then ran for 1 yard before Edwards connected with Nelson for the touchdown.

Earlier, two of the NFL’s best receivers dropped short passes over the middle for the Patriots, Randy Moss on the first series and Wes Welker on the second. Brady was knocked down once on each of the first two drives but got up quickly.

On the Patriots’ third possession, Brady was sacked by first-round draft pick Aaron Maybin, who got around left tackle Matt Light. Again, the quarterback showed no effects from the hit.

The Patriots wasted opportunities on their first two possessions.

Laurence Maroney, who played only three games last season because of a broken shoulder, began the game with a 52-yard kickoff return. But the Patriots couldn’t get a first down and Buffalo got the ball at its 40 after Maroney was held to no gain on fourth down.

The Bills failed to get a first down and punted.

New England then began a solid drive. An 11-yard run by Maroney and Brady’s 20-yard pass to Moss gave the Patriots a first down at the Bills 45. They got down to the 26 on Maroney’s 10-yard run, but Kevin Faulk’s 3-yard run left them a yard short of a first down.

The usually reliable Stephen Gostkowski then was wide right on a 41-yard goal field goal attempt.

Both teams wore their original AFL uniforms to mark the 50th anniversary of that league. Officials also wore AFL shirts.

will not be displayed