Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills erased immoderate uncertainty of who present rules the AFC East.
Allen acceptable a squad playoff grounds with 5 touchdown passes, including 2 to Dawson Knox, and Devin Singletary ran for 2 scores successful the archetypal fractional of a 47-17 throttling of the part rival New England Patriots successful a wild-card playoff crippled Saturday night.
Allen finished 21 of 25 for 308 yards successful a crippled Buffalo scored connected each of its 7 possessions that didn't extremity with a kneeldown.
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The Bills bushed New England for a 2nd clip successful 3 weeks and rebounded from an embarrassing 14-10 nonaccomplishment astatine location connected Dec. 6 successful which the Patriots attempted conscionable 3 passes portion finishing with 222 yards rushing to antagonistic the blustery conditions.
“We had guys coming retired here, we were acceptable to play," Allen said. "Good week of practice. Lot of mentation went into this one.”
The borderline of decision was the largest for New England successful manager Bill Belichick’s tenure, which began successful 2000.
Though the winds were comparatively calm Saturday, the Bills were blistery successful frigid conditions, with a game-time somesthesia of 7 degrees.
The third-seeded Bills precocious to the divisional circular to big either the Cincinnati Bengals, who bushed the Raiders earlier successful the day, oregon question to Kansas City, depending connected the result of the Chiefs crippled against Pittsburgh connected Sunday. A travel to Kansas City would diagnostic a rematch of past year’s AFC title game, which the Chiefs won 38-24.
Buffalo gained 300 yards of full offence, had 19 archetypal downs and built a 27-3 pb astatine halftime. The 30-point borderline of triumph and 47 points scored were the 2nd astir by the Bills successful a playoff crippled down a 51-3 triumph implicit the Los Angeles Raiders successful the AFC title crippled connected Jan. 20, 1991.
“I deliberation we consciousness good," Allen said. "There’s immoderate things that we tin cleanable up and enactment on. But astatine the extremity of the day, we moved on, we’re connected to the adjacent 1 and it doesn’t substance what we did today. It’s what we bash adjacent week. We’ve got to enactment our ft guardant and beryllium acceptable for the adjacent one.”
The Bills rolled into the postseason by winning their last 4 games to clinch their 2nd consecutive part title. After losing 35 of 40 meetings to New England from 2000 to 2019, Buffalo has present defeated the Patriots successful 4 of the past 5 meetings, coinciding with Tom Brady’s departure to Tampa Bay.
The Patriots limped into the playoffs by losing 3 of their past four, and were efficaciously outclassed successful rookie Mac Jones' postseason debut.
New England's erstwhile worst playoff nonaccomplishment nether Belichick was a 33-14 decision to Baltimore besides successful the wild-card circular connected Jan. 10, 2010.
Jones struggled successful finishing 24 of 38 for 232 yards with 2 touchdowns to Kendrick Bourne, including a 4-yarder successful the last 2 minutes. Jones was besides intercepted doubly successful closing his play with a combined 7 touchdowns passing and 7 interceptions successful his last 5 outings.
The Bills enactment the Patriots connected their heels from the opening drive, with Allen patiently waiting successful the pouch earlier scrambling to his close and avoiding a sack. Before stepping retired of bounds, Allen lobbed an 8-yard walk to a wide-open Knox successful the backmost close country of the extremity zone.
Buffalo’s defence past snuffed retired the Patriots' opening thrust with Micah Hyde having the velocity and space to marque a leaping interception successful snatching the shot distant conscionable earlier Nelson Agholor was astir to drawback it successful the extremity zone. Jones was besides intercepted connected New England’s opening thrust of the 2nd half, erstwhile his walk intended for Hunter Henry was deflected by linebacker Matt Milano and picked disconnected by Levi Wallace.
“Guys made immoderate unbelievable plays — offence, defence, peculiar teams,” Allen said. "We started disconnected truly accelerated with the touchdown. Micah with the unbelievable play determination successful the extremity zone. We conscionable kept the momentum rolling each time today.
"We were blessed to get this one.”
No bid was much indicative of New England’s flat-footed show than allowing Singletary to people connected a 16-yard tally to headdress a four-play, 89-yard scoring thrust to enactment Buffalo up 27-0 with 1:53 near successful the archetypal half. Allen placed a cleanable 45-yard walk to Stefon Diggs, who had a measurement connected New England’s apical antiaircraft backmost J.C. Jackson, a Pro Bowl selection, up the close sideline. Two plays later, Singletary eluded the full Patriots defence successful reaching the extremity zone.
Bengals 26, Raiders 19
The playoff vexation for the Raiders conscionable won't end.
A play of tumult for Las Vegas could person been salved with the archetypal playoff triumph successful 19 years, but the Raiders couldn't drawback up with the Cincinnati Bengals, who ended an adjacent longer playoff drought of their own.
That astir caller postseason triumph for the Raiders came successful a league title crippled earlier they mislaid to Tampa Bay successful the 2003 Super Bowl. Prior to Saturday, the organisation had managed conscionable 1 playoff appearance, a one-and-done wild-card crippled aft the 2016 season.
Saturday's nonaccomplishment was pugnacious to swallow.
Las Vegas chopped the Bengals' pb to 26-19 precocious with a Daniel Carlson tract extremity and past got the shot backmost with nether 2 minutes near successful the game. Quarterback Derek Carr drove them to the Bengals 9 earlier helium was intercepted by Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt connected 4th down.
"It sucks that it came down to that," Carr said.
Las Vegas besides was connected the incorrect extremity of a questionable officiating call.
Late successful the archetypal half, Cincinnati backmost Joe Burrow threw a walk conscionable earlier stepping retired of bounds and the authoritative astatine the sideline appeared to stroke his whistle earlier Tyler Boyd caught the touchdown walk successful the backmost of the extremity zone. Players connected the tract for the Raiders protested a spot to nary avail.
The Raiders (10-8) had to overcame respective troubling off-the-field issues this play to adjacent get to the playoffs astatine all.
Coach Jon Gruden resigned aft racist, anti-gay and misogynistic comments successful emails were leaked. Receiver Henry Ruggs III was chopped aft being charged with a DUI resulting successful a death. Defensive backmost Damon Arnette was released aft a social-media video appeared to amusement the 2020 first-round prime threatening someone's beingness portion brandishing aggregate guns.
Under interim caput manager Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders won their past 4 regular-season games — each decided by 4 points oregon less — and bushed the Los Angeles Chargers successful overtime successful the last week to triumph a wild-card spot.
Another postseason triumph volition person to hold astatine slightest different season, with oregon without Bisaccia, who said helium believes the squad is moving successful the close direction. Getting to the playoffs, helium said, is proof.
"They enactment the civilization connected the close way — a winning mentality," Bisaccia said. "They were liable for it."
Cincinnati and the Bengals organisation had felt the aforesaid frustration. The squad got its archetypal postseason triumph since the 1990 season.
The Raiders volition support trying to get implicit the hump. Tight extremity Darren Waller, who had 7 catches for 76 yards connected Saturday, said they'll look to physique connected the bully they took from this season.
"Like a squad could spell to the Super Bowl and beryllium similar 'we're gonna beryllium back,' but past the adjacent twelvemonth it's pugnacious for them, due to the fact that it's the NFL," Waller said. "So we gotta beryllium capable to instrumentality that into adjacent year, but besides not with immoderate benignant of entitlement. We gotta beryllium capable to commencement from quadrate 1 and cognize that we had what it takes to upwind immoderate benignant of tempest and to instrumentality that into adjacent year."
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