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updated: 9/8/2013 3:34 PM

Kicker clinches Pats' 23-21 win over Bills

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  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Orchard Park.

      New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Orchard Park.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Stephen Gostkowski hit a 35-yard field goal with 5 seconds left to send the New England Patriots to a season-opening 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Tom Brady set up the decisive score by leading a 49-yard, 12-play drive during which he twice completed passes to convert third downs. It was Brady's 36th career victory in which the Patriots were tied or trailed in the fourth quarter.

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Brady finished 29 of 52 for 288 yards passing and two touchdowns in helping the Patriots win their season opener for the 10th straight season.

The new-look Bills nearly pulled off a stunning upset in the first game under coach Doug Marrone and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel. The rookie first-round pick completed 18 of 27 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

It was an all-too-familiar outcome for the Bills against their AFC East rivals. They dropped to 1-19 in their past 20 meetings.

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