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BillsFans Staff Writer

Bills Vault Back Into First Place in AFC East With Win Over Patriots

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Image Credit: © David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo WR Isaiah McKenzie had seven catches this season prior to Sunday’s game with New England. McKenzie had a career day with 11 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown to help Buffalo beat the Patriots 33-21 and put the Bills back on top in the AFC East Division race.


With the win, Buffalo is now 9-6, as are the Patriots. With the 12-point victory, the Bills made up for the 14-10 loss to New England just a few weeks ago and now own the tiebreaker. Buffalo also owns a tiebreaker over Miami (7-7), which plays New Orleans on Monday night. The Bills now control their own destiny in the race for a second consecutive division title.


Beating the Patriots in New England wasn’t easy. McKenzie’s touchdown catch from QB Josh Allen in the first quarter started the scoring. The Patriots would answer right back with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by a 16-yard run by RB Damien Harris. The Patriots running back would finish the day with 103 yards on 18 carries and all three New England touchdowns.


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© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


It was in the second quarter that Buffalo began to assert itself. Tyler Bass hit a 25-yard field goal, and Stefon Diggs caught a 12-yard scoring pass from Allen to give the Bills a 17-7 halftime lead. It was one they would never relinquish.


Bass would hit another field goal, this one from 34 yards, to extend the lead to 20-7 near the midpoint of the third quarter. The Patriots would not go away, though. After Bass’s field goal, New England would control the ball for the next 7:21. Quarterback Mac Jones would march the Patriots down the field in 14 plays and score on a one-yard run by Harris.


Buffalo would not trail in the game and actually never punted. The Bills would gain 428 yards of offense, with Allen hitting on 30-of-47 passes for 314 yards and finishing with three touchdowns. Devin Singletary, who rushed for 39 yards, scored on a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give Buffalo what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.


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© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


Once again, the Patriots wouldn’t go away. Jones, who had a tough time with the Buffalo pass defense, led New England down the field again, going 75 yards in 10 plays. Harris’s final touchdown was an eight-yard run with 7:37 left in the game. With Nick Folk’s extra points, the Patriots were down just five, 26-21, with plenty of time remaining.


Allen proved why he is one of the best young quarterbacks in the game when he led the Bills on a game-clinching 75-yard drive to ice the game. Allen hit TE Dawson Knox with a two-yard scoring strike after using over five minutes of the clock. New England got the ball back with 2:24 left in the game. Jones put together a drive, but he heaved up a prayer on 4th-and-10 from the Buffalo 49-yard line, and Micah Hyde intercepted him.


The Bills became just the second team to win in consecutive seasons in Foxborough since the Indianapolis Colts did it in 2005 and 2006. The loss was also New England’s second straight after winning seven in a row.


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© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


In the Week 13 Bills-Patriots matchup, New England ran for over 200 yards. New England did manage 149 yards on Sunday, but the pass defense was outstanding. Buffalo held the Patriots to 288 total yards for the game.


Allen is now the only player in Bills history to pass for over 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons. Diggs now has nine touchdown receptions, which is the most by a Buffalo player since Sammy Watkins had nine in 2015.


Buffalo will play Atlanta (7-8) on Sunday and then close the season with the New York Jets. That game is also at home. Wins in Week 17 and 18 will give Buffalo its second straight AFC East crown.


Go Bills!!




BillsFans.com - Editorial Staff





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