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After a scoreless first quarter, Buffalo RB Devin Singletary woke up the scoreboard with a 16-yard run to cap a six-play, 50-yard scoring drive early in the second quarter. The touchdown gave the Bills a 7-0 lead, one they would never relinquish on their way to a 31-14 defeat of the Carolina Panthers.
The victory snapped a two-game losing skid for the Bills, who have now won just four of their last nine games. At 8-6, Buffalo is still right in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Currently, the Bills are holding onto the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC. Buffalo has the same record as the Chargers and Colts, but their inferior conference record puts them in the seventh spot. The Ravens are currently eighth, also at 8-6, but the Bills own the tiebreaker.
After Singletary’s touchdown broke open the scoring on Sunday, the Bills never looked back. QB Josh Allen, who was nursing an injured ankle, promptly tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to WR Stefon Diggs for Buffalo’s second touchdown at the 9:41 mark of the second quarter. A Tyler Bass field goal on the last play of the first half gave the Bills a 17-8 lead.
Carolina scored late in the first half on QB Cam Newton’s four-yard run. The Panthers were left without a kicker when Zane Gonzalez was hurt in pre-game. The Panthers went for two after each of their touchdowns. They were successful on the first try but not the second.
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Bills WR Gabriel Davis had himself a second half as he ended up on the receiving end of two Allen scoring passes. In the third quarter, the first was a 20-yarder from Allen that capped a 10-play, 74-yard scoring drive. The second closed out the scoring for the day. Allen connected with Davis on a 14-yard scoring pass with 2:07 left in the game.
The Bills’ defense played well, limiting Carolina to just 275 yards of offense. Buffalo harassed Newton all game long, sacking him four times and forcing him to throw one interception. Newton would end the day throwing for just 156 yards. He did, however, gain 71 yards on 15 carries, and he also had a rushing touchdown. Newton has now lost 12 consecutive starts for Carolina. He hasn’t led the Panthers to a win since November 2018, when Carolina beat Tampa Bay 42-28.
Allen finished the day completing 19-of-34 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Singletary led the Bills rushers with 86 yards on 22 carries. Buffalo rushed for 119 yards on the day. Davis led all receivers with five catches, 85 yards, and two touchdowns. Efe Obada recorded two of the four sacks on Newton.
Buffalo travels to New England next Sunday to take on the Patriots, a team the Bills just lost to 14-10 on Dec. 7. Buffalo is currently a game behind the Patriots (9-5) in the AFC East standings.
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