Instant analysis: Bills embarrass Patriots in wild-card blowout

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The Buffalo Bills obliterated the New England Patriots in wild-card action, winning 47-17 in front of a raucous Highmark Stadium.

Leading into the game, national pundits made the weather a major story. With wind chills reaching -7 degrees, there were concerns that this game would be one that would be won with the ground game. Well, the Bills flipped that script and put up an astounding 47 points and 482 total yards through the frigid conditions.

Buffalo throttled New England in every phase.

Offensively, Buffalo scored touchdowns on all seven of their offensive drives. Every sequence was filled with highlight-reel plays.

The Bills opened the scoring on their first drive with a touchdown pass from Josh Allen to tight end Dawson Knox. Allen, as he has done so many times this season, extended the play, eventually throwing a pass that only Knox could catch.

Knox high-pointed the ball and make a spectacular grab:

Buffalo’s dominance continued with each subsequent drive. New England’s defense had zero answers to address the Bills offense. Buffalo passed the ball with ease, as Allen finished the game 21-of-25 for 308 passing yards and five touchdown passes.

Knox caught two touchdown passes, while receiver Emmanuel Sanders, wideout Gabriel Davis and lineman Tommy Doyle also reeled in scores. Doyle’s score was the cherry on top, as the big man helped put the Bills up by 37 points:

Just as impressively, Buffalo moved the ball on the ground efficiently. Devin Singletary rushed 16 times for 81 yards and two scores.

When called upon, Allen put pressure on the Patriots defense with 66 rushing yards on six carries. Allen’s early runs put defenders in a bad position, as they were forced to consider the quarterback’s ability to run, which helped open up possibilities in the playbook.

In addition, the Bills offensive line was strong, dominating the point of contact in the trenches. The unit did not allow a sack during the evening. Furthermore, Buffalo rushed for 176 yards, averaging 6.8 yards a carry before garbage time.

The Bills defense showed they are not to be messed with, as they keep Pats QB Mac Jones off balance all evening. Buffalo knew that if they forced the game into Jones’ hands, they would be in control of this game.

Jones was inconsistent with his accuracy all evening. When it appeared that he had a chance to make a play, Buffalo usurped the momentum, stealing the energy from the New England offense. Safefty Micah Hyde made the defensive play of the game with an over-the-shoulder interception at the Bills goal line:

Corner Levi Wallace also recorded an interception on a Jones pass that was deflected multiple times.

Buffalo’s defensive line was flying all over the backfield. They recorded three sacks, as Star Lotulelei, Jerry Hughes, and Boogie Basham all brought Jones down in the backfield. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds led the way with eight total tackles for the unit. The Bills defense limited any yards after the catch, so the Patriots could not break any big plays on the night.

Simply put, Buffalo was the better team on the field Saturday.

All of the hype about the weather was drowned out by the Bills commanding performance. It all starts with Allen for Buffalo. Without a doubt, Allen gives the Bills a chance to win any game moving forward.

The Bills supporting cast is so deep that it’s difficult to find issues with this team. If Buffalo puts forth this type of performance in each game for the remainder of the postseason, it will be quite a successful run.

Buffalo will know their opponent after Sunday’s slate of games. If the Chiefs wins against the Steelers, then Buffalo will travel to Arrowhead field next weekend. If Pittsburgh is able to pull off the upset, then the Bills will host the Cincinnati Bengals.

No matter what, Buffalo will surely enjoy this victory, cementing this performance as one of the best in postseason team history.

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