Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs crosses the goal line for a touchdown after catching a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Bills earn 1st sweep of Patriots since ‘99 with 38-9 win

Bills 38 Patriots 9

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Josh Allen passed for four touchdowns and the Buffalo Bills became the first AFC East foe to sweep the season series with the New England Patriots in two decades with a 38-9 victory on Monday night.

A week after unseating the Patriots as AFC East division champions, the win also keeps alive the Bills’ hopes of securing a top-three seed for the AFC playoffs.

The Bills (12-3) last swept the Patriots in 1999. The last division opponents to sweep the Patriots were the Jets and Dolphins in 2000. The Patriots’ 19 straight seasons without losing both games to a divisional opponent was an NFL record. New England (6-9) will finish with its first losing record since Bill Belichick’s first season in 2000.

Allen was 27 of 36 for 320 yards. He now has 34 touchdown passes, surpassing Jim Kelly to set a franchise single-season record. With his eighth 300-yard game, he also surpassed Drew Bledsoe’s single-season team record of seven.

Stefon Diggs had nine catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns, setting a Bills single-season record for receiving yards.

The Patriots struggled to move the ball for most of the night with running back Damien Harris out for the second straight game with an ankle injury. Cam Newton had a touchdown run but was just 5 of 10 for 34 yards passing before being pulled in the third quarter for backup Jarrett Stidham.

Newton’s 34 yards passing are the fewest by a Patriots starting quarterback since 1993.

The Bills had no trouble moving the ball against a depleted Patriots defence that was missing linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, who were inactive with shoulder injuries.

Their absences were most glaring in the passing game. New England struggled to put pressure on Allen, allowing him time to find open receivers. The Patriots allowed a season-worst 474 yards total for the game.

The Patriots closed to 10-9 on Newton’s 9-yard TD run in the second quarter, but Nick Folk missed the extra point and the Bills pulled away from there.

Buffalo used its passing game to march down the field on the ensuing drive. Allen completed 5 of 7 throws for 59 yards and a 4-yard TD to Lee Smith.

After a quick three-and-out by New England, the Bills went right back to work.

Allen misfired on his first pass of the drive, and then connected with Diggs for 17 yards to get the ball to midfield. Diggs got free again on the next play, slipping behind J.C. Jackson on a slant and sprinting the final 32 yards for the touchdown to make it 24-9.

The Allen-Diggs connection worked again on the opening drive of the second half. Allen found Diggs three times during an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard TD play by the star receiver.

INJURIES

Bills: S Jordan Poyer was helped off field late in second quarter to be evaluated for a head injury.

Patriots: DE Tashawn Bower left in the first quarter with a neck injury. … LB Josh Uche exited in second quarter with a foot injury. … LB Terez Hall left in the third quarter with an ankle injury. … S Devin McCourty exited in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. … C David Andrews left in the third quarter with a calf injury. … RG Shaq Mason exited in the third quarter with a foot injury. … LB Anfernee Jennings left in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury.

MOVING ON UP

With his TD run in the second quarter, his 12th of 2020, Newton tied Steve Grogan for the franchise single-season record for rushing TDs by a quarterback. It also marked Newton’s 70th career rushing TD, extending his NFL record for rushing TDs by a quarterback.

UP NEXT

Bills: Host the Dolphins on Sunday.

Patriots: Host the Jets on Sunday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)
Not all long-term care workers have received their vaccines including a Red Deer facility

There continues to be confusion in long-term care and supportive living facilities… Continue reading

Cattle graze winter pasture in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies near Longview, Alta. on Jan. 8, 2004. Concern over the provincial government’s decision to drop a coal policy that has protected the eastern slopes of the Rockies for decades is growing among area communities. At least six cities, towns and municipal districts in southwest Alberta have now expressed concern about the decision and the fact it was made with no consultation. The latest is Longview, where mayor Kathie Wight is drafting a letter to the government opposing the move. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
More southern Alberta communities voice concern over province’s plans to expand coal

Concern over the Alberta government’s decision to drop a coal policy that… Continue reading

Some residents say there is no longer an effective Nordegg fire department to respond to emergencies in the West Country. (Contributed photo).
Some Nordegg residents worry about lack of emergency response in the West Country

The possibility of wildfires or accidents is ‘scary’ says former fire leader

(Advocate file photo).
Six idling vehicles stolen in last 48 hours: Red Deer RCMP

Red Deer RCMP said Wednesday six idling vehicles in the city were… Continue reading

Canadian writer Elan Mastai developing his novel ‘All Our Wrong Todays’ for Peacock

Canadian writer Elan Mastai developing his novel ‘All Our Wrong Todays’ for Peacock

FILE - Cloris Leachman attends the premiere of "The Comedian" during the 2016 AFI Fest on Nov. 11, 2016, in Los Angeles. Leachman stars in the faith-based film "I Can Only Imagine" which has made over $22 million in just six days of release on a $7 million budget. Leachman, a character actor whose depth of talent brought her an Oscar for the "The Last Picture Show" and Emmys for her comedic work in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and other TV series, has died. She was 94. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Oscar-winning, ‘irreplaceable’ Cloris Leachman dies at 94

Oscar-winning, ‘irreplaceable’ Cloris Leachman dies at 94

Toronto father-daughter duo design swimsuit tailored to transgender children

Toronto father-daughter duo design swimsuit tailored to transgender children

Dr. Richi Gill, in grey shirt, a Calgary doctor, takes part in physiotherapy in Calgary, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Gill has gone from performing surgery to being a test subject after being involved in a research study that is expected to to lead to international clinical trials that could help those suffering from spinal cord injuries. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘Pacemaker for the spine:’ Study improves quality of life for man with spinal injury

‘Pacemaker for the spine:’ Study improves quality of life for man with spinal injury

The European commissioner in charge of health, Stella Kyriakides, speaks during an online press conference on AstraZeneca at European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Olivier Hoslet/Pool Photo via AP
EU health official blasts slow vaccine delivery, and is consulting with Canada

EU health official blasts slow vaccine delivery, and is consulting with Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada scrambling for smaller syringes ahead of expected Pfizer vaccine label change

Canada scrambling for smaller syringes ahead of expected Pfizer vaccine label change

This electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, in yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in a lab. The Canadian Armed Forces is dealing with a dramatic increase in the number of troops who have been infected with COVID-19 over the past month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
Canadian military dealing with surge in new COVID-19 infections since December

Canadian military dealing with surge in new COVID-19 infections since December

People line up at a COVID-19 testing clinic, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Ontario, Quebec keep downward trend in daily COVID-19 cases; variants cause concern

Ontario, Quebec keep downward trend in daily COVID-19 cases; variants cause concern

Most Read