Just after the two-minute warning of the first half, the Bills were in need of a first down on fourth-and-1 on the Jets' 39-yard line.
In hopes of getting on the board before halftime the Bills decided to go for it, and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey broke out a play from his playbook that QB Josh Allen said the offense had been practicing every Saturday since the early stages of the season.
With no intention to snap the ball, the goal was to draw the New York Jets defense offsides and tight end Dawson Knox ensured that happened by lining up under center to give the impression of a 'tight end sneak'. The last-minute adjustment of Knox moving under center is the last place the Jets expected him to be. Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley leaped over the line of scrimmage, drawing an encroachment penalty that gave the Bills the first down they were looking for.
"That might have been one of my favorite plays ever in the league, just to get under center," Knox said. "It's just a great scheme by Coach Dorsey. Showing me going in motion and getting out into the center real quick. The defense is thinking for sure QB sneak, tight end sneak, whatever you want to call it. So, get up under there, give him a second, give a loud cadence and I got C.J. Mosley flying over like Troy Polamalu."
"Just felt like you know, situationally, that was the best call for us right there," head coach Sean McDermott added. "I thought it was a great design by the offensive staff and the players executed there. So good situational football."
Knox's sneak move sparked an offensive march down the field and ended in No. 88 finding the end zone just five plays later for the first score of the game to give the Bills a 7-0 lead over the Jets. The tight end described his TD play as good execution across the board.
"It essentially just levels off to the right, got a guy going deep, a guy in the flat, and me kind of right in the middle, Knox said. "So, they were in some type of zone to where that middle opened up perfectly … When I caught it and turned up field, thankfully there was no one there. And then when I saw a couple of guys at the end zone goal line, I'm like, I gotta get in, so just took off hoping for the best."
The successful execution that Knox detailed came down to the final acrobatic move that got him into the end zone. Knox had to put his entire body into a front flip to secure the touchdown. On a play that looked like his QB was rubbing off on him a bit in the moment, the TE said anytime you can be like Josh, good things can happen — and it did.
"That was a first for me," Knox said. "Kind of made me think about that, I think it was against the 49ers a couple of years ago when Stef (Diggs) had a great block. I had to jump over a guy but went the full flip, so thankfully this time I didn't land right on my head. But I was just glad it turned out to be a touchdown."
"Gets the guy to jump offsides and ends with the touchdown and he obviously ran a heck of a route and made a heck of a Superman heroic performance type dive there to get in," Allen added. "Guys just want to just want to win football games here."
Knox's TD was the momentum boost that the team needed going into the second half. And even though the Jets answered with a touchdown on their opening drive of the third quarter, Allen responded with a 5-yard rushing TD and kicker Tyler Bass followed up with two field goals to give the Bills their 10th win of the season with a final score of 20-12.
"Anytime you can make a statement like that going into halftime, it's big," Knox said. "I wish we were getting the ball after half, too because we always talked about double dipping, scoring before half and getting the ball back and going down and scoring. But just being able to put some points on the board for the offense was fun."
McDermott acknowledged the importance of complementing one another within the offense and Allen implemented that by spreading the ball around to nine different offensive players. But Knox led the offense with four receptions for 41 receiving yards and the Bills' lone receiving TD. Knox is now tied with Scott Chandler (17) for the third-most receiving touchdowns in a career by a Bills TE.
"He's (Knox) been doing such a good job in our run game and in our pass protection," Allen said. "But again, you see the type of weapon he is with the ball in his hands. So again, just finding new ways to get him the ball and allow our guys to make some plays for us.
Check out the best photos from the Bills against the Jets in Week 14.