By Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Is Brandon Spikes the 21st century Bryan Cox?
Spikes, the hard-hitting New England Patriots linebacker, has gotten under the Buffalo Bills' skin.
"He's a headhunter," Bills center Eric Wood said today after the Patriots beat the Bills, 37-31, in Gillette Stadium.
The NFL fined Spikes $21,000 for his blindside hit on Bills tight end Scott Chandler in Week Four, and Spikes might get zapped again for his helmet-removing hit of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter this afternoon.
Spikes was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. Fitzpatrick popped off the ground and got into Spikes' face with some profanities.
"I'm not going to back down from anybody," Fitzpatrick said. "Spikes is an emotional player. I think he's a punk at times. He took a cheap shot at Scott in the first game and was doing a lot of jabbering and talking and hitting out there.
"He's not one of my favorite players, not high on my list. ... I think it's important to make sure you don't back down from anybody."
On the Bills' final drive, Spikes knocked running back Fred Jackson out of the game and forced a fumble with 75 seconds left. The Bills recovered the ball.
Spikes had 11 tackles -- four in the fourth quarter -- and a pass defensed.