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With a running game that totaled 233 yards, the Buffalo Bills secured their third consecutive 10-win season and spot in this year’s AFC playoffs with a 29-14 victory over Atlanta. Running back Devin Singletary, who would score two second-half touchdowns to give Buffalo the win, ran for 110 yards and 23 carries. Quarterback Josh Allen added 81 yards on 15 attempts.
It was Allen who would give the Bills an early lead. After the Bills blew a punt return that ended up giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead on a safety, Allen went to work. He would lead two scoring drives, both in the first quarter. The first went 69 yards in 15 plays capped by Allen’s one-yard scoring run.
The second would come after a Buffalo strip-sack of Atlanta QB Matt Ryan. Buffalo took over at the Falcons’ 18-yard line, and six plays later, Allen rumbled into the end zone untouched on a four-yard run. The Bills led 14-2, but the Falcons would take a 15-14 lead at halftime as the result of two Younghoe Koo field goals and a Mike Davis touchdown run.
Allen would finish the game just 11-of-26 for 120 yards passing. He threw three interceptions, two of which came in the second quarter and led directly to Atlanta scoring drives. The Bills got the football to start the second half, and Allen threw his third pick of the day on that opening drive. Luckily, the Buffalo defense would sack Ryan and force an incomplete pass on a 3rd-and-17 play. The remainder of the second half belonged to Buffalo and Singletary.
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Singletary would score on a six-yard run in the third quarter and a four-yard run in the fourth. Both drives were long, time-consuming ordeals that took the life out of the Falcons. The Bills would end up controlling the football for 36 minutes and seven seconds of the game.
The Bills’ defense would come up big again, limiting Atlanta to just 265 yards of total offense. They held Atlanta to 96 yards rushing and sacked Ryan a total of five times. Ed Oliver, Harrison Phillips, Greg Rousseau, Taron Johnson, and Mario Addison each recorded a sack for Buffalo.
Buffalo entered this week’s game leading the NFL in total defense, allowing 287.9 yards per game. The Bills are also second in scoring defense, giving up just 17.6 points per game. Interestingly, the Bills did not punt against Atlanta. That marked the first time since 2004 that an NFL team did not punt in consecutive games.
The Bills will host the New York Jets next Sunday. A victory will give Buffalo its second straight AFC East Division title. Currently, the Bills own the No. 4 seed in the AFC. If nothing changes, the Bills will face division rival New England in the first round of the AFC playoffs at home at Highmark Stadium.
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