Allen and Bills offense reawaken in 32-6 rout of division rival Jets
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen put aside shouldering the blame of getting his offensive coordinator fired this week by placing an emphasis on injecting a little more energy and joy into his on-field performance.
Allen threw three touchdown passes and a once-stagnating offense showed signs of regaining its swagger by scoring on six of its first eight possessions in a 32-6 rout of the AFC East-rival New York Jets on Sunday.
“Let’s have fun playing this game. It’s football and at the end of the day we get to do, in my opinion, the most amazing job on the planet … So we’ve got to enjoy it when you can,” Allen said.
“We were executing at a high level today,” he added. “Every season, man, has its ups and downs. You’re going to have adversity. It’s how you bounce back from the adversity.”
The Bills (6-5) snapped a two-game skid and topped 25 points for the first time in seven weeks. After building a 9-0 lead on three field goals by Tyler Bass, Allen broke the game open with three touchdowns over four possessions spanning halftime. In doing so, he extended his streak to 19 games with a TD to break the franchise record set by Hall of Famer Jim Kelly spanning the 1986-87 seasons.
The Jets (4-6) dropped their third straight and coach Robert Saleh potentially opened the door for a quarterback switch. Starter Zach Wilson was benched with 2:17 remaining in the third quarter and replaced by Tim Boyle, who didn’t fare much better in overseeing an offense that managed to score just its ninth touchdown of the season.
After spending the past few weeks backing Wilson, Saleh said he was going to watch the tape before making a decision Monday.
“We’ll look at all of it. I’m not really answering those questions yet,” Saleh said.
The Bills, meantime, followed Allen’s energetic lead.
“I love Josh. What I did tonight is all him. Just his energy,” said receiver Khalil Shakir, who scored on an 81-yard catch and run. “Tonight it was just nonstop. It was fun. It felt fun to operate the way we were playing tonight. And 17 was the head honcho of all that.”
Allen was efficient in finishing 20 of 32 for 275 yards with an interception, which came on a desperation Hail Mary to end the first half. Otherwise, he put the game on ice with a 26-yard touchdown pass to former Jets running back Ty Johnson on fourth-and-1 to cap Buffalo’s opening drive of the third quarter followed with his TD to Shakir two plays into the Bills’ next possession.
The 81-yard touchdown was the longest scoring play from scrimmage this season, and the offensive outburst came with quarterbacks coach Joe Brady taking over as coordinator after Ken Dorsey was fired on Tuesday following a 24-22 loss to Denver.
The offense was so charged up, it carried over following the game with Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins getting into a skirmish with Jets defensive lineman Michael Clemons in the tunnel leading to each team’s locker room.
“I’m not a fan of the Jets, like, very disrespectful players,” is all Dawkins would say.
Clemons did not address reporters following the game, while teammate Sauce Gardner said he was attempting to break up the fight.
“A lot of emotions going into it. That’s it. A lot of emotions. Frustrated,” the cornerback said. “I ain’t have no issues with none of them. I was trying to resolve everything.”
The skirmish carried over from the fourth quarter when Dawkins continued blocking Clemons after the whistle before knocking his opponent down and landing on him. A shoving match ensued with Dawkins being flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Newly acquired cornerback Rasul Douglas had two interceptions — Buffalo’s first in seven games — and also recovered a fumble.
The offensively challenged Jets finally scored a touchdown, but nothing much else went well for a team that ranks at or near the bottom of the league in numerous offensive categories.
Wilson’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Breece Hall with 45 seconds left in the first half was the Jets’ first TD in three weeks.
Wilson finished seven of 15 for 81 yards with an interception. Boyle was 7 of 14 for 33 yards and an interception.
Buffalo’s offense by comparison showed signs of rhythm, balance and imagination, which were all issues that became apparent under Dorsey.
Most important, the offense’s ability to build and maintain an early lead took the pressure off an injury depleted defense already missing three key starters, and lost three defensive backs to head injuries during the game.
The most serious injury was sustained by safety Taylor Rapp, who moved his hands as he was loaded into an ambulance on the field. Rapp sustained a neck injury, while Taron Johnson and Dane Jackson were ruled out with head injuries.
Coach Sean McDermott would only say that Rapp did not go to the hospital and was instead sent home.
NOTES: Jets LT Mekhi Becton injured an ankle and will have tests Monday. … McDermott improved to 68-40 in matching Lou Saban (68-45-4) for second in franchise victories. Hall of Famer Marv Levy is first at 112-70. … The 32 points were Buffalo’s most since a 48-20 win over Miami on Oct. 8, and the most points the Jets have surrendered since a 33-18 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 5, 2021.
Jets: Host division-rival Miami on Friday.
Bills: Travel to play at Philadelphia next Sunday.
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