Woodhead scores twice in Patriots win over Bills

Woodhead scores twice in Patriots win over Bills
November 12, 2012, 1:50 am
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FOXBORO -- He isn't the Patriots lead back. And it's been well-publicized, he isn't the biggest. But Danny Woodhead's big plays have seemed to be weekly occurrences this season, and he had a handful more in New England's 37-31 win over the Bills on Sunday.

He touched the ball five times, and two of them were scores.

"It's a pretty good day because we got the 'W,' " Woodhead said. "That's really the only thing that matters. Two touchdowns, whatever, that's not the most concern. It's just getting the win and we got the win."

Woodhead made his presence felt early in the second quarter, catching a 15-yard pass on third down, grabbing another for seven yards on the next play and then, one play later, running for 15 more yards and a touchdown.

He made an innocuous 6-yard catch at the end of the first half, but his next (and last) touch of the game was an 18-yard touchdown to make the score 31-17 in the third quarter.

Usually Woodhead is the running back trusted by the Patriots coaching staff to run with the offense when they are engaged in their fast-paced no-huddle. He was employed in those situations again on Sunday, and the Bills had trouble keeping tabs on him.

"Trying to cover him, obviously he's a quick guy," said Bills defensive end Mario Williams. "But whoever's back there, if you got him, if you got a gap you're supposed to play, do what you're supposed to do. I think I got matched up with him one time. It happens. Do what you gotta do and get through the down, especially if it's a mismatch."

A mismatch. That may not be a word often used to describe Woodhead, but his body of work this season has been impressive. He's not only trusted by the coaching staff to be on the field when the pace is quickened, he's trusted to have the ball in his hands.

He came through earlier this season with conversions on both third-and-14 and a third-and-17 plays in a 31-21 win over the Broncos. He scored on a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter of a game the Patriots eventually lost to the Ravens.

He proved his worth again on Sunday.

"Phenomenal, man," said Stevan Ridley of Woodhead's performance. "That's the leader in our room and Woody does it all. He runs well, he catches well. He's a threat for the defenses. They've got to find the little short guy out there somewhere, but most of the time he's making plays and it's too late. My hat's off to Woody for leading our room and doing it strong."