FOXBORO, Mass. (WROC) — The Patriots finally forced the Bills to punt but that was just about the only positive for New England as the Bills took home a 24-10 win which wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated.
The Bills offense didn’t have a “perfect game” as they did against the Patriots in the playoffs last year. But Josh Allen and company did plenty enough to grab their third straight win.
The win was even more impressive given that the Bills were playing their third game on the road in the last twelve days.
“We could have used every excuse in the book,” said Allen. “But our guys, we work extremely hard, we care about each other. We care about each other’s families. When you have that type of love in the locker room, you’re going to find ways to win football games. It wasn’t easy I’ll say that.”
While technically the first game of the stretch was a home game, it was played in Detroit due to the massive snowstorm that blanked Western New York two weeks ago.
“Guys just one day at a time, fighting,” said safety Jordan Poyer. “From the moment we got snowed in, having to go to Detroit twice. Guys just kept battling and battling. It was a rough 15 days, but we got it done.”
Up against a Patriots defense that ranks in the top 10 in several statistical categories, Allen led the Bills to three 50+ yard touchdown drives. QB1 completed 22 of his 33 passes for 223 passing yards and two touchdowns. Allen also added 23 yards on the ground.
“I think that we just have the right pieces. We have the right guys here,” said offensive guard Rodger Saffold. “This stretch shows you what type of character you have and the character on this team is absolutely amazing. Guys are lifting each other up, guys are playing hurt, guys are playing for each other.”
His second touchdown pass was a beauty. Allen was flushed out of the pocket and nearly was sacked. He brushed off the defender and then while almost out of bounds, threw the ball back across his body to Gabe Davis for a touchdown. That gave the Bills a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Running back James Cook had his best game as a Bill with 105 total yards on 20 touches. Devin Singletary had a strong game as well, with 51 yards on thirteen carries and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs came up with a handful of clutch catches with seven catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, Buffalo’s first of the game.
“I thought [offensive coordinator Ken] Dorsey did a really good job of changing it up,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “When the run is working like it was at times, just being able to stick with it. Sometimes it wasn’t but it’s going to happen like that. Just being able to stick with it, I thought he was very patient in that regard. The o-line I thought did a really good job up front.”
The game was sealed on a 15-play, 94-yard drive that started with more than eight minutes left in the third quarter and ended with Singletary plunging in from a yard out to start the fourth quarter. The Bills outgained the Patriots 355-242 and possessed the ball for over 38 minutes.
A week after Mac Jones and the New England offense lit up the Vikings for 382 passing yards and two scores, the Bills defense clamped down on the Patriots’ attack. Jones was limited to 195 passing yards on just 5.4 yards per attempt. New England’s leading receiver was cornerback/return man Marcus Jones, who finished with 51 yards after taking a short pass 48 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
This was the first game the Bills played without Von Miller, who tore his meniscus on Thanksgiving against the Lions. The Bills placed him on injured reserve which will keep him out for at least three more games.
Bills rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam was inactive and a healthy scratch. McDermott indicated they wanted to get a closer look at Xavier Rhodes. Tre White also playing more snaps led to his benching.
“The competition’s good. It’s healthy for all of us,” said McDermott.
The Bills (9-3) will have a mini-bye week before taking on the New York Jets at Highmark Stadium on Sunday, December 11th.
“It’s great. I think a lot of guys are feeling that twelve-day stretch physically, even mentally,” said center Mitch Morse. “It’ll be a great time to reset, be a dad for a little bit, get your body right and come back with a little bit of fire going against a really good Jets team.”