On a day when the Bills offense took a while to find rhythm, it was the Buffalo defense that helped spark the team, and then eventually closed the door late in the game as the Bills beat the Jets 20-12 on a wet and snowy afternoon in Orchard Park.
The defense had contributions from all over the field, combining for four sacks, eight QB hits, seven pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. It was also the second week in a row Buffalo's D held their opponent to just one touchdown as the Bills improved to 10-3 on the season and they remain atop the AFC East with four weeks to play.
This is the 7th time in franchise history with a 10-3 or better record through 13 games.
With the Bills leading 20-12, the Jets had the ball at their own 21-yard line with 0:46 left in the fourth quarter with a chance to drive and tie the game. On first down, Matt Milano helped break up a pass on a check down to RB Michael Carter. On second down, Dane Jackson prevented a catch by Braxton Berrios followed by a third down incompletion.
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On fourth down, DE A.J. Epenesa knocked down the ball at the line of scrimmage to seal the win and the Bills improved to 5-3 in one-score games this season.
The game started out mirroring a rock fight as neither team found the end zone for the first 29 minutes of action. QB Josh Allen missed on a number of throws early on but the Buffalo defense kept the Jets from taking advantage. Both teams punted on their first five possessions.
But the Bills broke through on their final drive of the first half as Allen found TE Dawson Knox for a 24-yard TD to go up 7-0 at the break. It marked Knox's first TD since Week 8 and his third TD of the season.
QB Mike White got his third consecutive start for the Jets and was under duress the entire afternoon. White took several hard hits and came out of the game on two different occasions to be evaluated for rib injury. Joe Flacco briefly replaced White during those stints, but White eventually came back out of the locker room to play the entire fourth quarter.
In the second half, both offenses got rolling out of the gate as the Jets tied the game on a Zonovan Knight 13-yard run. The Bills answered right back on a 6-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a Josh Allen TD run, his sixth score on the ground this season.
The Bills increased their lead in back-to-back possessions thereafter as S Damar Hamlin forced a fumble that was recovered by LB Matt Milano that led to a Tyler Bass field goal. Bass made another field goal to make it 20-7 after the Bills defense got another stop.
A safety and a field goal by the Jets made it closer as the Buffalo offense netted six total yards on their final three possessions. It wasn't a perfect win by any stretch, but the Bills still did enough to go to 10-3 on the year and inch closer to the AFC East title.
Another pivotal matchup awaits next week as the Miami Dolphins visit Highmark Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8:15 p.m.
Here are more stats and key things to know in the win.
- Josh Allen is the first QB in NFL history with 6+ rushing touchdowns in 5 straight seasons.
- Allen now has the most games among all QBs with a Pass and Rush TD since 2018 (24).
- Allen tied Steve McNair and Tobin Rote (37 each) for 4th most all-time rushing TDs by an NFL QB.
- DE Greg Rousseau notched his third career multi-sack performance.
- WR Stefon Diggs (323 receptions) has surpassed Fred Jackson (322) for fifth place all-time for the most receptions in team history.
- TE Dawson Knox tied Scott Chandler (17) for 3rd most receiving TDs in a career by a Bills tight end.
- With the win, the Bills improved to 67-57 in regular season series vs. Jets (most wins vs. any team) and recorded their 5th win in 6 games in the series.
- Bills now have 353 points this season and have 350+ through 13 games for the 7th time in team history.
- Bills now have 5,162 total yds. of offense and have at least 5,000 total yds. through 13 games for the 3rd time in team history, joining 1991 (5,253) and 1975 (5,158).
- With 232 total yards of offense, the Bills snapped their 17-game streak with 300+, the 2nd longest streak in team history.
- With 4 sacks today, the Bills have 35 over first 13 games of season for first time since 2019 (38)
Bills celebrated their 10th win of the season at Highmark Stadium in a 20-12 win over the Jets.