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Takeaways: Bills make NFL history in playoff win over Patriots

No team has EVER done this before

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills didn’t just lay claim to the division on Saturday night, they put the entire AFC on notice. They blew out the New England Patriots on both sides of the ball and enter the divisional round on a five-game winning streak with an offense that is hard to match.

This was Super Josh (and Brian)

It felt like Bills QB Josh Allen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll couldn’t do anything wrong. A casual throwaway became a touchdown pass, an easy run became a 30-yard jaunt, the receivers were open, the o-line was planting folks, the running game was on point. Daboll was dialed in and Allen made all the right decisions early. It put tremendous pressure on the Patriots in the first half when you take a 27-0 lead with 300 yards. Allen finished with 308 passing yards, going 21-of-25 with five touchdowns and added six carries for 66 yards on the ground.

Seven straight TDs to start the game

The Bills started the game with seven consecutive drives with a touchdown. Bill Belichick’s Patriots teams had never allowed four, let alone seven TDs to start a game. Buffalo doubled up the previous record, then added another for good measure. The Bills are the first team in the Super Bowl era to score touchdowns on the first five drives of a playoff game, per ESPN Stats & Info. In fact, the only thing that has stopped the Bills from scoring in the last 13 drives against the Patriots was the clock. They are 10-of-13.

An NFL first

No team has ever gone an entire NFL game without doing one of the following; kicking a field goal, turning it over, or punting. The Bills did that tonight when they knelt on third down to send the game to all zeroes. Buffalo hasn’t punted to the Patriots in a really, really long time.

I am the one who Knox

Two first-quarter touchdowns from Josh Allen to Dawson Knox set the tone for the game, capping drives of 70 and 80 yards to start the game. Knox got down in bounds on his first TD and walled off the defender for the second one. In the third quarter, he planted a Patriots defender after a catch. He missed another touchdown by that much, but Buffalo eventually punched it in for the score. He had five catches on five targets for 89 yards and two touchdowns as the X factor in the passing attack.

Red zone efficiency

Before the game, a report from Mike Florio said that if the Bills’ offense wasn’t good, they might move on from Brian Daboll. I said before the game that was hogwash and it’s moot now. The Bills were six-of-six scoring TDs in the red zone. They have been on fire over the last five or six weeks close to the goal line. I mean, freaking Tommy Doyle caught a touchdown pass tonight.

Defense was again stellar

It’s hard to tease out the pre-blowout stats with the garbage-time ones, but Buffalo’s defense was almost as good as the offense. You won’t see a better interception than the Micah Hyde one to start the game for the Bills on New England’s first drive. Levi Wallace added a pick off a Matt Milano tipped pass and Jerry Hughes, Star Lotulelei, and Boogie Basham had sacks. Tremaine Edmunds was everywhere, tallying eight tackles and a QB hit. Efficient night from the boys.