NFL News & Analysis

NFL Wild Card Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 47, New England Patriots 17

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) scrambles during the first quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills hammered the New England Patriots 47-17 in the cold tundra of Western New York. The Bills avenged their Monday night loss in Week 13 to the Patriots with a Week 16 win in Foxboro and now a playoff win at home.


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Josh Allen put forth an outstanding performance, completing 21-of-25 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns. Playing in his first playoff game, Mac Jones threw two touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 24-of-38 passes for 232 yards. 

Buffalo Bills

Quarterback

The deeper the pass, the better Allen performed, as he completed all 10 of his 10-plus-yard passes for 239 yards.

Josh Allen by Target Depth
Target Depth Completions Attempts Yards TD:INT
Behind LOS 3 4 23 0:0
0-9 Yards 8 10 45 1:0
10-19 Yards 6 6 98 3:0
20+ 4 4 141 1:0
Running back

Devin Singletary received the majority of the running back carries with 16 while Zack Moss finished with one. Singletary rushed for an efficient 83 yards from just 16 carries with 44 coming after contact. He forced one missed tackle and 56% of his runs went for a first down or touchdown. 

Wide receivers/Tight ends

A whopping Bills six receivers averaged over two yards per route run. Dawson Knox and Stefon Diggs played the most receiving snaps and averaged 3.03 and 2.61 yards per route run, respectively. 

Offensive line

Buffalo's offensive line allowed six total pressures, and tackle Dion Dawkins allowed three of them. He was the only Buffalo offensive lineman who allowed multiple pressures. The unit allowed zero sacks as well. 

Defensive line

Five Buffalo defensive linemen registered multiple pressures. Jerry Hughes led the unit with three and also posted a sack. Boogie Basham and Star Lotulelei also recorded sacks. Gregory Rousseau led the defensive line with two stops against the run — both of which went for a loss or no gain.

Linebackers

Buffalo's linebackers were targeted 16 times and allowed 12 receptions. Matt Milano was targeted the most often, and he gave up six receptions from nine targets for 62 yards. Tremaine Edmunds allowed all five of his targets to be caught for 44 yards. 

Secondary

Micah Hyde and Levi Wallace hauled in interceptions, but Taron Johnson was targeted the most often among Buffalo's secondary. Johnson allowed three receptions for just 25 yards from five targets. 

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New England Patriots

Quarterback

The Bills were able to build an early lead because Jones struggled in the first quarter before leveling off as the Patriots were getting blown out. 

Mac Jones Passing by Quarter
Quarter Completion Rate YPA Passer Rating
1 33.3% 6.5 17.4
2 80% 6.7 94.6
3 63.6% 6.8 75.9
4 63.6% 4.6 104.7
Running back

Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson split carries almost evenly, but neither could find many holes. Harris finished with 30 yards from nine carries, 21 of which came after contact, and gained one first down. Stevenson gained 27 yards from eight carries, 11 of which came after contact, and accrued two first downs. 

Wide receivers/Tight ends

Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers were New England's only receivers who registered multiple catches. Bourne caught seven passes from eight targets for 77 yards while Meyers caught six from nine targets for 40 yards. 

Offensive line

Trent Brown allowed four pressures and one sack, as he was New England's only offensive linemen who allowed multiple pressures. Shaq Mason allowed his one pressure to turn into a sack. 

Defensive line

Rookie Christian Barmore finished with three of the unit's six pressures. Altogether, the Patriots defensive line hit Allen just one time. 

Linebackers

Ja’Whaun Bentley allowed his one target to become a 24-yard catch. Kyle Van Noy was allowed two receptions from two targets for just nine total yards and a first down. 

Secondary

Four New England defensive backs allowed more than three receptions. J.C Jackson allowed five receptions from six targets for 98 yards — all of which led the team. Joejuan Williams allowed four receptions from four targets for 72 yards while Devin McCourty allowed the same 100% completion rate from three targets for 42 yards. 

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