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Five takeaways: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen shine on national stage

What a game.

The Buffalo Bills won their biggest regular-season game in at least 20 years on Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys. There will be time for context later. These are my thoughts from an awesome game on Thanksgiving.

Josh Allen blows up on the national stage

In the first half, Allen was solid, going 8-of-12 for 101 yards and a touchdown through the air and 22 yards on the ground, including a signature play. That fourth-down conversion where he dropped the ball, picked it up, and willed his way to the first down. That play is going on his career highlight reel right now. It may not even be the best play from the game, as he evaded defenders in his own end zone to convert a long third down, too. In the second half, he added a rushing touchdown and set a career record with 12 consecutive completions. He finished 19-of-24 for 231 yards and the two TDs.

This was the foot on the throat

I’ve been pounding the table for a win where the Bills were able to put away an opponent. This was it. They piled on the points, getting up by 19 points in the fourth quarter. It forced the Cowboys to continuously go for it on fourth down when they didn’t want to. It was both the offense and defense, too.

What the hell, kickers?

In a dome, Stephen Hauchska missed a 50-yard field goal and an extra point in the first half. The Dallas Cowboys’ kicker missed a 35-yarder at the end of the first half going the other way and then missed his first kick of the second half. Hauschka even banked in one off the post. IN A DOME.

Defense tightens up after opening drive

The Cowboys absolutely marched down the field on their first drive. Nine plays, 62 yards and the Bills’ defense was a sieve that allowed an easy touchdown. Fast forward and the Bills shut down Dallas the rest of the way. Trent Murphy and Ed Oliver both had strip-sacks, Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips combined for another sack, Star Lotulelei had a freaking interception, and the secondary locked it down. There were four minutes left in the game when the Cowboys scored again and Buffalo was in the prevent up three scores.

Refs are a story

Josh Allen was sliding and took a late hit. No flag. Dak Prescott was diving for a first down and was hit while diving. That was a flag. The flags were constant for the Bills, starting early with Tre’Davious White being called for illegal contact from the beginning of the game. Those weren’t the only controversial calls, but we’re glad they didn’t alter the outcome.