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Buffalo Bills is a necessary but potentially costly win to keep pace in AFC – Buffalo Bills Blog




NEW ORLEANS — It wasn’t pretty. There wasn’t as much glitter in this win as the 31-6 score would suggest. Quarterback Josh Allen threw two interceptions, including his first in the red zone of his career, and cornerback Tre’Davious White left the game with a knee injury.

But despite all that, it was enough for a great win over the New Orleans Saints to lift the Buffalo Bills’ record to 7-4. In a crowded AFC with two games left against the New England Patriots, the Bills need every win they can get, and this one was dominant in all three phases against a cranked up Saints team.

“We have to, like I said, keep finding ways to stack these weeks,” Allen said. “Every week is a season of one game that we have to look at it that way and find ways to win football games here in the future. But again, it’s the pursuit of perfection that this team, we’re not just happy with winning Again, we want to be the best versions of ourselves, every day we step into that building, every time we step onto the field.”

Offensively, the Bills had balanced success in the air and on the ground, something that has been lacking this season. The team finished with nine quick first downs and 11 passing first downs. Buffalo controlled the game by dominating possession time and avoiding penalties — finishing with just four, one more than the fewest in a game this season. A costly penalty gave Dawson Knox a touchdown off the board and Allen threw a pick in the next play.

After the game, Bills coach Sean McDermott said he felt there was a hit on Allen in the third quarter when defensive tackle Christian Ringo hit Allen on the lower legs, who was not called off.

“I thought they should get one, honestly, on Josh,” McDermott said. “I’m really frustrated that that isn’t being called. That is clearly as the day to see that. I just want to protect my quarterback.”

After throwing both his interceptions in the second quarter, Allen led Buffalo on consecutive touchdown drives to start the second half to take a four-point lead, including Knox’s second touchdown of the night. Knox set the record (seven) for most touchdown receptions by a tight end to Bills in a second-scoring season.

The biggest question going forward is the health of White, one of the best players on a team that still has its sights set on a deep playoff run. The defense was successful in New Orleans, keeping the Saints within 190 yards of the attack, but if he misses a significant amount of time, one of the league’s best defenses would take a major blow.

“Obviously Tre’Davious is a huge playmaker for us and just his presence on the football pitch is second to none, and hopefully he’s healthy,” said safety Micah Hyde.

Buffalo hopes for a speedy recovery for White, while also having 11 days to prepare for Monday night’s showdown with the Patriots.

QB breakdown: Allen threw two mind-bending interceptions, but otherwise played a stellar game – finishing with a career-high completion rate (82.1). He completed 23 of 28 passes for 260 yards, and he had four touchdown passes and the two picks. He also ran for 43 yards on eight carries.

Allen’s recent interceptions are a problem that must be corrected. They didn’t hurt the Saints, but a worrying trend has emerged. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Allen has thrown an interception for the first time in his career in four consecutive games. The good news is that he can still play at a high level even if he makes mistakes, but limiting mistakes should be a priority.

Buy at a performance: What about Matt Breida running back? The Bills haven’t been able to find consistency on the field, but with Zack Moss inactive, Breida and Devin Singletary had success. Breida finished with nine carries for 26 yards and two receptions for 29 yards and a score, and Singletary’s game-high 44 yards on 15 carries brought the Bills’ rush yards to 113 on the night.

Not to mention, they did it against the No. 3 run defense in the NFL.

Breida may not have had a dazzling performance on paper, but Buffalo just needed to show that football can run and will integrate that into attack in the future. Consider Thursday a step in the right direction.

“The weapons we have on the offensive, it’s so much fun,” Knox said. “Any game, we could score 50-yard touchdowns and then go to him (Breida), to Motor (Singeltary) and run the ball down their throats too.”




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