The Buffalo Bills defeated the New York Jets on Sunday, winning 27-10 to clinch their second consecutive AFC East Division title. The game was much closer than anticipated through three quarters, but two Devin Singletary scores in the fourth quarter helped turn a tight contest into a runaway win.
The Bills totaled nine sacks on the day in what was a dominant defensive effort. Offensively, the Bills were able to do what they needed to do when they needed to do it. Special teams? Well, that was a bit of an adventure at times.
How did our players to watch perform this week? Glad you asked.
QB Josh Allen
Sure, it wasn’t a glitzy effort from a statistical standpoint: Allen completed 24-of-45 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns against a defense that allowed 4,409 yards and 28 touchdowns through the air. However, Allen made some absolutely ridiculous throws once again, including a ten-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs to open the scoring that, if it happened while you were playing Madden, your buddy would have spiked his controller because it looked too unrealistic. (Side Note: Do people actually play video games in the same room as each other anymore, or is everything online? Am I the only one who rage-spiked controllers?) Allen also threw plenty of passes that were caught along the sidelines with his receivers barely missing tapping a second foot to ensure a completion. There also appeared to be a few times where some of his wideouts, namely Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley, seemed to be a little out of sync with Allen. Both players missed time recently, and Allen seemed to hope that they “zigged” while the wideouts thought they needed to “zag” on more than one option route. The good news is that another week of practice gives them time to find the right place on the same page with one another, but the negative is that if they can’t, a far better defense in the New England Patriots awaits this week in the playoffs. Allen also added 63 yards rushing on five carries, including a 32-yard scamper in the third quarter.
RB Zack Moss
Who needs rest? Devin Singletary was phenomenal again, gaining 112 yards on 21 touches. He had 88 yards rushing and a touchdown, and he added 24 yards receiving and another touchdown among his two receptions. Moss, for his part, played sparingly, appearing on just 18 offensive snaps to Singletary’s 62. Moss had five carries for eight yards, adding two receptions for six yards on the game. He continues to be a nonfactor with the ball in his hands, as his best use on offense seems to be in pass protection.
WR Marquez Stevenson
A week after he fumbled on a punt return, muffed another before securing the catch, and ran into his blockers on two kickoff returns, Stevenson was a healthy scratch this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a healthy scratch again next week in the playoffs, as head coach Sean McDermott will probably roll with veterans Matt Breida and Micah Hyde to handle kick returns and punt returns, respectively, although Isaiah McKenzie is also an option for either job.
CB Taron Johnson
I can usually find something to nitpick in a contest, but in a game where Buffalo allowed 87 passing yards and, after sacks, a net of just five passing yards overall, I really can’t complain. Johnson was the main cover player on New York’s only touchdown, as he was responsible for Keelan Cole Sr. on a 4th & 5 slant pattern that Cole Sr. took 40 yards to pay-dirt. However, Johnson was picked off by his own man, safety Jordan Poyer, when he tried to jump the pass for an interception. Cole Sr. had beaten Johnson off the line, using an odd stutter-step release as the inside player in a stack to the offense’s right side, so Johnson was beaten for the first down pretty handily. If not for Poyer’s pick, Johnson probably makes the tackle right before the 30-yard line. Johnson finished with four tackles on the day.
P Matt Haack
You know, I was kind of joking by putting the punter in here, so it’s my fault for hexing Haack before an absolutely horrendous performance. Haack’s first punt came off his foot poorly, but a good Buffalo bounce led to a 42-yard punt downed at the New York 19-yard line. Haack’s second punt began a comedy of errors, as he hit an ugly 28-yard shank. Fortunately for him, a bruhaha touched off by a Reid Ferguson wrestling match gave him another chance. Unfortunately for him, he shanked it even worse, hitting a 21-yard punt. Haack had to punt a third time that counted in the second quarter, and this one only went 22 yards. When he punted in the third quarter, he hit a boomer, making good contact on a 49-yard punt. Unfortunately, that one went right into the end zone, so it only netted 29 yards. Haack hit another big punt, a 53-yard boot, before disaster struck yet again, as he flat-out dropped a snap inside his own 20. He hit a seven-yard punt on that one. He saved the best for last, at least, as he hit a beauty to pin the Jets at the two-yard line at the end of the third quarter. Basically, Buffalo’s best chance in the postseason to avoid bad punts is just to forgo punting altogether. Haack can’t shank it if Buffalo keeps scoring. Think about it...it’s science!