Patriots notebook: former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore refuses all attempts to score on him by former teammates –

Patriots notebook: former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore refuses all attempts to score on him by former teammates


ORCHARD PARK, NY – When the Patriots left New Era Field yesterday, they could not help but laugh at the Buffalo Bills.

Reserve quarterback Nathan Peterman scored Stephon Gilmore three times in the end zone for a fourth fourth, and the cornerback broke two of the pbades and covered wide receiver Zay Jones in the other quarter.

The Patriots kept the Bills out of the end zone during their 23-3 victory, and were particularly stingy when the road apparently pbaded through Gilmore.

"It felt good," Gilmore said. "I was not going to let him score no matter what, I do not care if we were over 60. I was not going to let him score.

Similar to the postgame configuration after the Week 5 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Gilmore closed Mike Evans in a featured performance, his teammates turned their backs on him proudly. Bills fans flatly booed Gilmore in the first race of the game when he approached running back LeSean McCoy, so the Patriots were happy that their $ 65 million cornerback made the loudest noise of all.

"It looked like they wanted to score a goal a touchdown on him, a lot of balls in the end zone, and he probably came up with four or five PBUs today," said safety Devin McCourty. "The boy has been pretty constant going out and playing tough guys in man-to-man coverage, and we needed him today."

Holder Tyrod Taylor, Gilmore's teammate for two seasons, largely bypbaded the corner. But when Taylor was brought to the locker room with a knee injury, rookie Peterman scored the Bills inside the 10-yard line in his first series. Three of his last four pitches went to Jones, who was covered by Gilmore, including a fading in the fourth and a goal of 1.

"I'm like, they're trying to score a touchdown on me no matter how much they're below, "said Gilmore. "You have to ask them why they were throwing him in. I do not know why, I just was not going to let him tag me in. I'll fight to the end and have him make a great pbad and catch."

It was not the only time that Gilmore got big in victory, as he was one of the three former Bills who stifled the hosts' opening drive. In the first and goal from 6, Taylor wanted to hit Jones in a crossing pattern, but Gilmore took it off. As Taylor advanced in his readings, defensive tackle Alan Branch hit him and the wayward pbad was intercepted on the 1 by Eric Lee's side.

"I had a good problem with him," Gilmore said. "I knew he had help inside, and that's why he pumped it."

Gilmore had to leave the game for a series in the third quarter due to an unspecified leg injury, but he shook it while receiving a brief summary of attention from the coaches. After the game, he said he was fine, which was obvious during the last stage of the goal line.

As for the boo birds, Gilmore knew that throughout the week he would arrive. Such is the life of any known player looking for a rival and a large-scale contract.

"I'm not surprised," Gilmore said. "You know how it is, they're fanatics and they feel like I'm from the Patriots, everything is fine."

Role of an evolving linebacker

Linebacker David Harris again played a prominent role with a full workload in the defense of the base. The Patriots have given him more responsibility since Week 7, and it has helped the defense play so well with him.

"I just tried to approach him as a professional," Harris said. "I was not playing that much, and I tried to be ready when my number was called in. There are a lot of guys in the locker room that are like that, that's what makes this place special."

Harris had 1.5 sacks against the Bills, including a knockdown of Taylor on the first play of the game. It was only the third time in his career when he had more than one sack in a game, including the end of the Jets' season against the Bills.

Harris said the initial sack, which came after Taylor while trying to break the pocket and run, helped him get going.

"A little, but it's a long game," he said. "The second sack, thanks (fellow linebacker) Kyle Van Noy right there, he made a great play in the bombing, and I was happy to clean it up."

Stuck in a corner

Cornerback Malcolm Butler was tagged with a defensive flag in the fourth quarter, which denied a third stop when the result was already decided. Coach Bill Belichick summoned Butler to the bench, perhaps to calm him down, and Butler threw his helmet on the bench.

Butler said the frustration was completely directed towards the Gene Steratore officer team.

"Only frustration, that's all," Butler said. "We were both being aggressive, and we (as defensive players) paid more."

Happy for Jimmy G.

Several coaches and players were happy discussing Jimmy Garoppolo's debut for the San Francisco 49ers, which beat the Bears, 15-14, in Chicago. So minutes after their own victory, the Pats were checking to see how Garoppolo did it, and they were in a festive mood for the quarterback's victory.

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