New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount scores a touchdown in front of Buffalo Bills safety Jim Leonhard during Sunday’s game in Foxboro.
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount scores a touchdown in front of Buffalo Bills safety Jim Leonhard during Sunday's game in Foxboro. AP PHOTO

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FOXBORO (AP) -- LeGarrette Blount ran for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns and had two long kickoff returns as the New England Patriots clinched a first-round AFC bye with a 34-20 win over the Buffalo Bills on a rainy Sunday.

Tom Brady was content to hand the ball off during a steady downpour against a team first in the NFL in sacks and second in interceptions. And Blount responded, leading the charge into the playoffs.

Stephen Gostkowski helped make sure the Patriots (12-4) wouldn't have a game next weekend with four field goals.

While the Patriots earned their eighth bye in Bill Belichick's 14 seasons as coach, the Bills (6-10) missed the playoffs for the 14th straight year, the league's longest current streak.