Here's a look at how the Patriots' first-year players are faring through 15 games:
CB Devin McCourty (first round): It was a quieter game for McCourty in his pass defense, but he forced one of the Bills' four lost fumbles when he stripped QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. He also had four tackles. Browns CB Joe Haden has tied McCourty for the rookie lead with six interceptions.
TE Rob Gronkowski (second round): With Aaron Hernandez out with an injury and the flu, Gronkowski stepped up and led the team in receiving, going 4-54-2 and catching touchdowns Nos. 8 and 9, putting him in second place among rookies. He also made a crucial block on Danny Woodhead's touchdown run.
OLB Jermaine Cunningham (second round): Cunningham missed his first game of the season with a calf injury.
ILB Brandon Spikes (second round): Spikes served the third game of his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
TE Aaron Hernandez (fourth round): Hernandez missed Sunday's game because of the flu as well as a hip injury.
P Zoltan Mesko (fifth round): Mesko had five punts on Sunday, dropping three inside the 20-yard line. He had a solid net of 41.2 yards and a long of 48.
DE Brandon Deaderick (seventh round): Deaderick missed Sunday's game with a shoulder injury.
LB Dane Fletcher (undrafted): Fletcher had one tackle, an interception and a fumble recovery, continuing to be a surprising boost to the Patriots' linebacking corps.
DL Kyle Love (undrafted): Love had two tackles and a sack on Sunday, helping slow down the Bills' rushing attack.
Notes: S Sergio Brown (undrafted) had a fumble recovery on special teams. ... WR Taylor Price (third round) was inactive.