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Takeaways: Bills complete in Thanksgiving win over Saints

The Buffalo Bills whipped the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving, like a person might whip some mashed potatoes. It was a nice dessert to the feast of the day. The Bills move to 7-4 on the season and they are now back on top of the AFC East.

Here are my takeaways from the game against the New Orleans Saints.

Another bad offense, another defensive feast

The Saints were 0-6 on third downs in the first half and it took until 3:32 left in the third quarter for New Orleans to convert. The Saints finished with 190 total yards and 3.3 yards per play. I won’t even mention the garbage-time stats. The Bills’ defense was great from the opening kickoff to Jordan Poyer’s interception with seven minutes left to seal the game. Mario Addison atoned for his mistakes last week with a sack and tackle for a loss. Ed Oliver continued his excellent play. Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano were everywhere.

#Freida and the run game difference

Matt Breida got the start at running back and they went to him early. He had multiple carries on the first and second drives, and ended the first half with eight carries for 28 yards. For context, the Bills had eight rushes in the entire game last week. Breida didn’t see the field in the third quarter after a mistake near the end of the first half cost the Bills a score when he went the wrong way on a screen pass. In the fourth quarter, though, he found the field again and lo and behold, he scored a touchdown on a screen pass to ice the game. Zack Moss isn’t going to see the field anytime soon. Devin Singletary had some really nice third-quarter runs with vision and power, too.

Welcome to the NFL, Marquez Stevenson

He took a huge hit on his first punt return. He muffed another punt in the third quarter but immediately recovered it and gained some yards. Simply put: He didn’t have a great game as the punt returner. He looked comfortable fielding the punts, but I’m not sure this performance is going to keep Isaiah McKenzie inactive.

Kickoff execution was next-level

Tyler Bass had two great kickoffs to start the game. They were high and to the corner, and the Saints started with bad field position. It didn’t stop after the first two. New Orleans started at their own 17, 17, 21, and 14. Jake Kumerow made a good play on the fourth one, returning to the active roster after an inactive stint.

Josh Allen’s sneaky-good day

Folks are gonna look at the stat line and see two interceptions for Josh Allen tonight. One of them happened after his arm was hit and Drew Brees gave him a pass on the other one for bad luck. He was 23-of-28 with four touchdowns and the two INTs. He was decisive. He was accurate. He added eight runs for 43 yards to sneak over the 300-yard mark. In short, he was the MVP candidate we’ve come to expect. He played really well and I hope he gets the credit. (The offensive line was good enough.)