The Buffalo Bills beat the New York Jets to clinch the AFC East for the second straight year. The Bills knew what they had to do and they came out motivated to make sure they accomplished their goal. The game was definitely closer than it needed to be, but Buffalo ultimately pulled away in clinching the 27-10 victory.
It started right away, as the Bills took the opening kickoff and promptly marched down the field. The Bills went 75 yards on seven plays, with the big one a 40-yard run by Devin Singletary. On 3rd & GOAL from the ten, Josh Allen rolled right, broke a tackle, and threw a dart to Stefon Diggs, who caught the pass but was initially ruled out of bounds. After discussion, the play was changed to a touchdown catch, and that change survived replay review. Tyler Bass hit the extra point to put the Bills up 7-0.
After the Jets went three-and-out on their first drive, Buffalo mounted another scoring drive. This one was 13 plays long and moved 70 yards, eating up just under six and a half minutes of clock. Bass made a 41-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Jets earned a first down on the next drive, but it stalled out quickly and they were forced to punt. That punt was blocked, however, as Cam Lewis made sure to honor Bills Legend of the Game Steve Tasker in the best way possible. The Bills recovered at the 35, but couldn’t score, as a Josh Allen fourth-down pass to Gabriel Davis fell incomplete.
The teams traded punts, as even Matt Haack was called upon for the first time in a few weeks, for the next four possessions. The Bills were able to pressure and harass Zach Wilson, sacking him to end one of the drives. After Haack’s second shanked punt, the teams threw down and had a little kerfuffle. Offsetting penalties allowed Haack to punt the ball again because the penalties occurred during the play. Somehow, the third punt was worse, as he managed only a 21-yard boot to give the Jets great field position.
Zach Wilson was able to hit Keelan Cole Sr. on a slant pattern to give the Jets their only score of the first half. Wilson fired a dart on 4th & 5 that was nearly intercepted by Jordan Poyer. Cole Sr. won a 40-yard foot race against Taron Johnson, and the Jets narrowed the lead to 10-7.
After another Haack shank, the Bills forced the Jets to punt, giving them the ball with 1:39 to go on their own 16-yard line. Allen and the Bills moved all the way to the Jets’ three before Tyler Bass hit a 21-yard field goal to make it 13-7 at the half.
Jordan Poyer started the second half by sacking Wilson, which set the Jets behind the chains and led to another punt. The Bills’ offense remained stuck in neutral, and Haack punted one 49 yards right into the end zone. The Jets punted, the Bills punted, thus went the majority of the third quarter—as both defenses took over the action.
Matt Haack struck again late in the third quarter, dropping a snap and uncorking a seven-yard punt under pressure. That set the Jets up with prime field possession, as they took over at Buffalo’s 22-yard line. Zach Wilson sacked himself for a ten-yard loss on third down, which made Eddie Piniero’s field goal more difficult, but the veteran nailed the 49-yard kick to make it 13-10.
That was the score at the end of the third quarter, but at least Haack was able to pin the Jets inside their own five-yard line heading into the fourth quarter. As the wind turned, so did the Bills’ offensive fortunes. Buffalo forced the Jets to punt from inside their own ten-yard line, and the Bills went to work after a nine-yard return by Micah Hyde.
The Bills rolled Allen out, and he gained 32 yards on a scramble to put the Bills immediately in field goal range. Allen converted a third down by scrambling to find Isaiah McKenzie for a first down. Three plays later, Devin Singletary scored on a one-yard plunge to give the Bills a 19-10 lead. Bass hit the extra point to extend the lead to 20-10.
Buffalo downed Zach Wilson for their eighth sack on the day, and then the Jets punted inside their own end. Buffalo started at the Jets’ 48, but it took two plays to move inside the ten. The first was a 27-yard pass to Gabriel Davis, followed by a 12-yard run from Devin Singletary. After an incomplete pass dropped by Davis, Allen rolled right and was hit out of bounds at the three-yard line. Allen drilled the official before the flag was thrown, giving the Bills a fresh set of downs. On third down, the Bills called a swing pass for Devin Singletary and he scored the five-yard touchdown, giving Buffalo a 27-10 lead after the Bass extra point.
From that point forward, the Bills were waiting to celebrate.
- The Bills had nine sacks on the day. Mario Addison and Jordan Poyer had two each. Ed Oliver had 1.5 sacks. Jerry Hughes had half a sack. Matt Milano, Boogie Basham, and A.J. Epenesa each had one.
- Buffalo forced ten punts, blocking one.
- Speaking of punts, Matt Haack had a nightmare of a day. He shanked three and dropped a snap, recovering in time to uncork a seven-yard punt that led to a field goal for the Jets.
- Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He broke the record for most receptions in a player’s first two years with a new team. That record was previously held by Wes Welker.
- Devin Singletary stayed hot, totaling 88 yards rushing and 24 yards receiving on 21 total touches. He scored two second-half touchdowns.
- Buffalo clinched the division with a win at home for the first time since 1995. It’s the first time since winning four straight divisional titles from 1988-1991 that the Bills have won the AFC East in consecutive seasons .
- It was definitely better to win the game, but the result didn’t matter in terms of clinching the division. The Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots 33-24
- THE BUFFALO BILLS ARE AFC EAST CHAMPIONS!!