NEW ORLEANS – It wasn’t pretty. There was not as much glitter in this victory as the 31-6 might indicate. Strategist Josh Allen threw two interceptions, including his first in the red zone of his career, and a cornerback Tre’Davious White left the match with a knee injury.
But despite all this, it was enough for a resounding victory over the Saints of New Orleans bring the Bison Tickets‘record at 7-4. In a crowded AFC with two more games to go against the New England Patriots, the Bills need every win they can get, and this one topped all three phases against a battered Saints side.
Offensively, the Bills have had balanced success in the air and on the ground, something that has been lacking this season. The team finished with nine rushed first downs and 11 passed downs. Buffalo controlled the game by dominating possession time and avoiding penalties – finishing with just four, one more than his minimum in a game this season.
After throwing his two second-quarter interceptions, Allen led Buffalo on back-to-back touchdowns to start the second half to establish a four-point lead, including Dawson knoxsecond touchdown of the evening. Knox set the record (seven) for most Bills tight end receptions in a season with the second score.
The bigger question going forward is the health of White, one of the best players on a team still aiming for a playoff run. The defense succeeded in New Orleans, limiting the Saints to 190 yards of attack, but if a considerable amount of time is missed, one of the league’s best defenses would take a big hit.
Buffalo is hoping for a speedy recovery from White, while having 11 days to prepare for a Monday night showdown with the Patriots.
QB distribution: Allen threw two interceptions that knocked his head off, but otherwise had a great game – finishing with a career-highest completion percentage (82.1). He completed 23 of 28 passes for 260 yards, and he had four touchdown passes and both picks. He also ran 43 yards on eight carries.
Allen’s recent interceptions are an issue that needs to be addressed. They did not do any harm against the Saints, but a disturbing trend has emerged. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Allen threw an interception in four straight games for the first time in his career. The good news is that he can still play at a high level, even with mistakes, but limiting mistakes should be a priority.
Buy on a performance: How about running back Matt Breida? The bills have failed to find consistency on the ground, but with Zack Moss inactive, Breida and Devin Singletary had success. Breida finished with nine carries for 26 yards and two receptions for 29 yards and one scoring, and Singletary’s record of 44 yards on 15 carries took the Bills’ rushing yards to 113 on the night.
Not to mention the fact that they did it against the NFL’s No.3 defense.
Breida may not have had a stunning performance on paper, but Buffalo just needed to show he could lead the game and would fit him into the offense going forward. Consider Thursday a step in the right direction.