For the first time in team history, the Bills have swept their regular-season divisional slate, finishing a 6-0 streak against the AFC East with a 56-26 shellacking of the Miami Dolphins. The 56 points are the most that Buffalo has scored since the 1966 season.
The Bills took a 22-point lead into the halftime break and almost outdid themselves in the second half. Quarterback Josh Allen was incredible, the Bills’ defense was once again outstanding, and Buffalo is marching into the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
FIRST HALF EXPLOSION
During the first 30 minutes of the game, the Bills built a 28-6 lead behind a massive first half from Allen and the Bills’ offense. Allen finished the first two quarters 18-of-25 passing for 224 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to WR Isaiah McKenzie. He also threw one interception.
McKenzie was also a significant factor in Buffalo’s early surge, recording the two receiving scores as part of a four catch, 47-yard first half, which also included an 84-yard punt return touchdown. WRs Stefon Diggs and John Brown each had a big first half as well, as Diggs caught seven passes for 76 yards while Brown snagged four receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Buffalo was without WR Cole Beasley, but its passing game didn’t miss a beat, as the Bills went on to 28 more points in the second half behind backup QB Matt Barkley to run away with their sixth straight win. Barkley finished the game 6-of-13 passing for 164 yards and a touchdown against one interception.
After a slow start to the first quarter, it was amazing to watch what the Bills were able to do against what had been one of the better defenses in the NFL this season.
Thus far, Allen has set so many new Bills records that it’s difficult to keep track. On Sunday, Allen surpassed Drew Bledsoe (4,359; ’02) for the most passing yards for a Bills QB in a single season.
There may have never been a player in NFL history to improve as quickly as Allen has during his young career. After his value was heavily debated for the past two seasons, it wouldn’t be easy to find anyone who disputes Allen is one of the best QBs in the league.
Last week it seemed as if WR Isaiah McKenzie was trending toward a big game, and he came through with just that against the Dolphins. In the first half, McKenzie recorded four catches for 47 yards and two receiving scores while also adding a punt return TD for good measure. He finished the game with six catches for 65 yards and the three total TDs, while also showing great ability in the return game.
With WR Cole Beasley missing Sunday’s game due to a knee injury, and his future status unknown, the Bills may thrust McKenzie into a more prominent role in the weeks to come. It’s also nice to know that the Bills have depth behind returner Andre Roberts.
Bills punter Corey Bojorquez has not been used all that often this season, but when he’s taken the field boy, has he been effective. On Sunday against the Dolphins, ‘Bojo’ kicked perhaps what was his best kick of the season, a 54-yard bomb that went out of bounds inside Miami’s one-yard line. He followed that up with a 67-yard boot later in the game.
Although the Buffalo offense does an excellent job keeping its punter off the field, when given the opportunity, Bojorquez is a weapon.
HOME SWEET HOME
With the win, the Bills secured the two-seed in the AFC, which guarantees them the opportunity to host two home playoff games if they advance with a first-round victory. With fans set to permitted inside Bills Stadium for the first time for Buffalo’s game next week, securing an extended home-field advantage just became even more valuable for the Bills.