Monday Morning Roundup: Buffalo Bills pick up major win at New England
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WHEC) — The rematch between Buffalo and New England allowed the AFC East rivals to battle it out in better conditions. The Bills came out on top, 33-21.
Regardless of rooting interest, most fans of the game likely preferred the milder weather compared to the windy mess that altered each team’s gameplan in week 13. This time around, the Bills and Patriots both got to show off their talents on a day a little bit more suited for football.
For Buffalo, it gave Josh Allen a chance to throw passes without the fear of having them knocked down by the wind. And number 17 took advantage, leading four touchdown drives, three of them being nine play drives or longer.
Allen did it without Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis. Both were placed on the COVID list during the week leading up to the game. Beasley’s placement was more notable, with a report coming out on his fines during the season reaching $100,000.
Isaiah McKenzie made everyone forget about who the Bills didn’t have and more on who was able to step up. Weeks after McKenzie was benched on kickoff and punt return duties, he was Allen’s top receiver, catching 11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
"Those two weeks I was inactive, I just thought about things and re-evaluated myself and this opportunity came around. It was my turn and I felt like I just had to step up for my team," said McKenzie about his mid-season turnaround.
It came at the biggest time. Buffalo’s win moves them into first place in the AFC East by virtue of a tiebreaker over New England. Both teams are 9-6, but if the Bills win out against the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets, they’ll earn home field advantage for at least the first round of the NFL Playoffs.
"It’s hard to follow up a season like last year with a similar season the next year. That’s part of the challenge and I’m just very proud of the way the guys have persevered," said head coach Sean McDermott.
Now, Buffalo can control its own destiny. It will have to get back to the drawing board this week against an NFC opponent, welcoming Atlanta to Orchard Park.
Even though conference affiliation has a much lesser point of interest than divisional or conference opponents, Buffalo doesn’t need to focus on tiebreakers as much as some of its peers. Two more wins to close out the season, and the Bills are AFC East champs for the second straight year.