BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Oh what a feeling! For the first time since 1999 the Bills have swept the New England Patriots, topping their longtime AFC East rival 38-9 Monday night in Foxborough.
With the win the Bills improve to 12-3 on the season and hold on to the no. 2 seed in the AFC East [owns tiebreaker over the 12-3 Pittsburgh Steelers].
Both teams found success on their first drives. After the Patriots hit a 45-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead, the Bills responded with one of their own, a 22-yarder from Tyler Bass to make it a 3-3 game. That score remained through the end of the 1st quarter.
The Bills began the 2nd quarter deep in Patriots territory and took advantage. Zack Moss ran right up the middle from five yards out to score the game’s first touchdown and give the Bills a 10-3 lead less than :10 into the quarter.
The Patriots had a response with QB Cam Newton escaping a sack and taking it in himself from nine yards out. It marked Newton’s 12th rushing touchdown of the season, tying a franchise record. The missed extra point made it a 10-9 game.
But the Bills didn’t take long to strike again… and again. After their 3rd successful 4th down conversion of the game, the Bills marched the rest of the field and capped the drive off with Josh Allen finding Lee Smith wide open in the end zone. On their next drive, Allen found Stefon Diggs for the 50-yard TD reception, taking a 24-9 lead into the locker room.
The Bills scored on all four drives in the 1st half and kept that streak going to start off the 2nd half. Allen and Diggs connected for the 6th time of the game, with Diggs escaping a tackle inside the 5-yard line to walk right into the end zone and make it a 31-9 game.
Newton was benched before the team's 2nd drive of the half in favor of Jarrett Stidham, but even with the change under center, the Patriots were unable to capitalize and cut into that lead with the Bills holding a 31-9 advantage after the 3rd quarter.
The Bills didn't slow down, extending their lead even more after Allen found Diggs for the third time early in the 4th, this one an 8-yard TD pass, to make it 38-9. Allen was taken out of the game early in the 4th quarter as Matt Barkley took over under center. Neither team put up points on the board for the rest of the game.
By the numbers
Allen finished the night 27-of-36 for 320 yards and four touchdowns through a little more than three quarters of play. His leading receiver was Diggs who finished with nine catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns. The duo set four franchise records between the two of them.
The Bills run game was once again fairly quiet as the team finished with just 131 yards on the ground, led by Moss with 57.
While struggling to stop the run the Bills defense dominated against the pass, allowing just 78 yards. The unit sacked Newton twice [Jefferson, Marlowe] and Stidham once [Milano] for 22 yards.
The Bills will wrap up the regular season on Sunday, January 3rd against the Miami Dolphins. Kickoff is set for 1pm.