Bills vs. Patriots score: Josh Allen tosses five touchdowns on historic night as Buffalo blows out New England

The Buffalo Bills have advanced to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs and did so in impressive fashion as they ran the New England Patriots out of Orchard Park, 47-17, on Saturday night. This game was a rout essentially from the jump. Josh Allen and the Bills offense marched 70 yards down the field on the opening possession and the quarterback was able to complete a sideline touchdown throw to tight end Dawson Knox to give the Bills the early lead. From there, it was all Buffalo.

The Bills scored on all four of their first half possessions to build up a 24-point lead by halftime, which essentially put the game in cruise control. In the second half, they kept their foot on the gas, adding 20 points to their advantage, which towards the end of the game felt more like a coronation for the bonafide powerhouse in the AFC East for the foreseeable future. 

Josh Allen finished with 308 yards passing and five touchdowns, while Dawson Knox was his primary target as he caught two of those scores to go along with 89 yards receiving. For the Patriots, Mac Jones completed 24 of his 38 throws for 232 yards to go along with two touchdowns and two picks. Kendrick Bourne was on the receiving end of both of those score and had a team-high 70 yards. 

For a more detailed look at how this game unfolded, read our takeaways below. 

Why the Bills won

It was a historic onslaught for Buffalo right from the start. They became the first team in the Super Bowl era to score a touchdown on each of their first seven drives of a playoff game. They had no problem moving up and down the field throughout the game, especially in the first half as they build up their sizable lead. Over the first two quarters, they scored four touchdowns to put up 27 points and averaged 9.1 yards per play over that stretch. They also had 300 yards of total offense in the first half and finished with 483. Meanwhile, Josh Allen was masterful under center and had more touchdown passes (5) than incompletions (4). 

It was truly a dual effort for Sean McDermott's team as well as the defense was able to tally two interceptions, which the offense would convert to 14 total points. While Allen made plenty of plays with his arm, the ground game was just as dominant for the Bills, who averaged six yards per carry and totaled 174 yards with two touchdowns, both scored by Devin Singletary. In every facet imaginable, Buffalo had the edge. 

Why the Patriots lost

It was a no-show for Bill Belichick's team in this one in all three phases. The Patriots continued their unflattering trait of starting games off slow. Defensively, they showed little to no resistance against Josh Allen and for the second week in a row Mac Jones had an interception on the Patriots opening possession. They took four penalties in the first half and also made a questionable decision to punt the football on a fourth-and-1 situation with the Bills leading 14-0 in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Buffalo took the football and embarked on a 10-play drive that ended in a touchdown that put New England in a 20-0 deficit. 

Whatever halftime adjustments the team tried to make didn't translate onto the field as the Patriots defense continued to let Buffalo glide down the field to covert all six of their meaningful third down situations. Once it was clear that the Patriots would be unable to run the football effectively and this game turned into a track meet, you could've started to warm up the busses. 

The 47 points allowed were the most ever scored against Bill Belichick in the playoffs.

Turning point

This game went off the rails pretty early and the rout started to take shape following Micah Hyde's interception of Mac Jones on the Patriots opening possession. Prior to that turnover, Jones looked good in his first taste of the playoffs, putting together a couple of chunk plays that had New England deep in Buffalo territory. Even his throw to Nelson Agholor that was picked off by Hyde was well executed and more often than not lands for a touchdown, but the Bills safety simply made a great play on the ball. According to Next Gen Stats, Hyde covered 21.4 yards in 2.9 seconds to make the pick. He was 14.4 yards away from Agholor when the pass was thrown. 

From there, the Bills followed up their 70-yard touchdown drive to begin the game with an 80-yard scoring march that put them up by two scores. That was effectively all she wrote, despite still being so early in the contest. 

Play of the game 

Josh Allen's first touchdown throw of the night was by far his most impressive and highlighted his ability to extend plays with his feet. With the Bills on the New England 8 yard line, Allen took a second-and-goal snap held the ball as the Patriots held firm in coverage. Allen then started to roll out to his right, was able to shed a would-be tackle by linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and lofted a sideline throw that fell into the arms of tight end Dawson Knox in the end zone. 

Initially, it looked as if Allen was merely throwing the football away, but he was able to throw it just above Patriots safety Kyle Dugger and Knox high-pointed the football and kept both feet in bounds for the opening score. 

What's next

For the Bills, they'll be intently watching the Steelers-Chiefs matchup on Sunday night. If Kansas City wins, Buffalo will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs. If Pittsburgh pulls off the upset, the Bills will host the Cincinnati Bengals, who just defeated the Las Vegas Raiders. 

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BUF -4.5, o43
BUF -4.5, O/U 43
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@Patriots via Twitter
January 16, 2022, 4:13 AM
@BuffaloBills via Twitter
January 16, 2022, 4:07 AM

Well, Kendrick Bourne had himself quite a game. 7-77-2 on 8 targets.

January 16, 2022, 4:07 AM

So, with Buffalo advancing to join Cincinnati and Tennessee in the Divisional Round, here's how the AFC matchups will look: 

  • If KC beats PIT: CIN at TEN, BUF at KC
  • If PIT beats KC: PIT at TEN, CIN at BUF
January 16, 2022, 4:02 AM
January 16, 2022, 4:00 AM

Buffalo is 7-for-7 on scoring drives and 6-for-6 on third downs. Impressive stuff.

January 16, 2022, 3:57 AM

Buffalo's drive results:

  1. 9 plays, 70 yards, TD
  2. 10 plays, 80 yards, TD
  3. 10 plays, 81 yards, TD
  4. 4 plays, 89 yards, TD
  5. 6 plays, 58 yards, TD
  6. 9 plays, 77 yards, TD
  7. 3 plays, 39 yards, TD
January 16, 2022, 3:51 AM
@BuffaloBills via Twitter
January 16, 2022, 3:50 AM

Now we've got an offensive lineman in the end zone. What a game for the Bills. This is how you want to start a playoff run.

January 16, 2022, 3:48 AM

Dawson Knox going off against the team with the best tight end defense in the league this season is really something else. Huge game.

January 16, 2022, 3:47 AM

Even when the Patriots offense find a good play, the Bills defense steps up again. This one is all but over, folks.

January 16, 2022, 3:43 AM

19-23, 268 yards, 4 TD through the air, 6-65 on the ground. Outrageous stuff.

January 16, 2022, 3:37 AM

This is an obscene performance by Josh Allen.

January 16, 2022, 3:35 AM

That's a ridiculous throw by Allen. Under pressure, double pump, sidearm, late over the middle and it's a rocket. 

January 16, 2022, 3:30 AM
@BuffaloBills via Twitter
January 16, 2022, 3:22 AM
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