Bills feast in win over Saints on Thanksgiving night

Buffalo puts up a complete bounce-back effort to earn a 31-6 win in prime-time
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It was a Thanksgiving night to remember for the Buffalo Bills in "The Big Easy" on Thursday.

The Bills bounce back from a miserable loss to the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday with a complete effort on both sides of the football. In the end, it resulted in a dominant 31-6 win over the New Orleans Saints at the Caesars Superdome.

Despite throwing two interceptions on the night, Bills quarterback Josh Allen was stellar under center with 260 passing yards and four touchdowns, two of which to tight end Dawson Knox. He also completed 82.14% of his pass attempts (23-of-28) on Thursday, which is the highest completion percentage by a Bills quarterback since Trent Edwards (83.33%) in 2008 against the, then, San Diego Chargers.

On the defensive side of the football, the Buffalo unit shut down a depleted Saints offense, limiting New Orleans to just 190 yards to total offense. This included just 44 yards-against on the ground after Colts running back Jonathan Taylor ran all over the Bills for 185 yards and four touchdowns.

Photo credit Skyworks Equipment Rental

After the Bills defense opened the game by forcing a three-and-out of the Saints, Allen and the offense went right to work to put up the first points of the game.

Buffalo took up 5:54 of the clock on a 10-play drive, which saw Allen using a combination of his arm and his feet to get the Bills into scoring position. The drive ended with Allen tossing a short pass to Knox, who found and opening and barreled his way into the end zone for the 7-0 lead.

With the score still 7-0 early in the second quarter, the Saints were looking to get something going offensively inside Buffalo territory. Facing a 4th-and-2 at the Bills' 41-yard line, New Orleans elected to go for it with a handoff to running back Tony Jones Jr., who filled in for the injured Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram on the night. However, it was Bills defensive end Mario Addison who read the play like a book and came up with the stop for a five-yard loss.

The Bills were able to take advantage of their big defensive stop to add three more points on the board with a Tyler Bass 34-yard field goal with less than nine minutes remaining in the first half. Buffalo was able to get into scoring position with a nice third down conversion with Josh Allen rolling to his right and finding a wide-open Gabriel Davis for 26 yards.

With about six minutes remaining in the half, the Bills suffered a significant blow to their secondary as cornerback Tre'Davious White went down to the field after suffering a non-contact injury to his left knee. White ended up leaving the game and was ruled out of the game just before the third quarter.

During Buffalo's next drive with 3:13 remaining on the clock, Allen made his first mistake of the night as he attempted a pass to Stefon Diggs on a second down play. The throw from Allen was a bit off target and picked off by Saints cornerback Bradley Roby.

However, the Saints failed to turn the Buffalo turnover into points, as the defense comes up with another stop just after the two-minute warning. This time, New Orleans attempted a fake punt with punter Blake Gillikan attempting a pass on 4th-and-8 at the Bills' 49-yard line. However, his pass attempt to tight end Lil'Jordan Humphrey was high along the sideline and the the Bills took over.

The Bills had a chance to add a few more points on the scoreboard heading into halftime and put a stake in the heart of the Saints. However, with 16 seconds to go before halftime, Allen had his arm hit by Saints pass rusher Cameron Jordan as he attempted a throw to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. As the ball fluttered in the air, Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander made an impressive effort to come up with the interception and keep the Bills off the board heading into the locker room.

At halftime, the Bills defense looked back to its usual self, limiting the Saints offense to just 64 yards of total offense.

Despite not capitalizing on their final drive of the first half, the Bills opened the second half with another touchdown to go up 17-0 on the Saints. After orchestrating an 11-play drive down the field 75 yards, Allen goes to the air again, as he connects with Diggs for a five-yard score.

After another forced three-and-out of the Saints offense, Allen and Knox connect for a second touchdown on the night to extend the Buffalo lead. This time, the Bills only needed five plays to find the end zone, as Allen finds his No. 1 tight end on a 4th-and-2 play for a 24-yard touchdown.

With Knox's second touchdown of the night, it gives him his seventh touchdown of the season. That now sets a new franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a season for a Bills tight end.

The Saints finally put up their first points of the game at the start of the fourth quarter as quarterback Trevor Siemian connected with tight end Nick Vannett for an 11-yard touchdown. However, New Orleans failed to connect on a two-point conversion attempt, which kept the score at 24-6.

Buffalo was able to put the exclamation point on top of their Thanksgiving day win with another Allen passing touchdown, this time to running back Matt Breida. On a 3rd-and-10 at the Saints' 23-yard line, Allen was able to dump off a short pass to his running back, who then got plenty of good blocking ahead of him en route to the end zone.

Buffalo's defense was able to come up with their first takeaway of the night with about seven minutes left in the game, as safety Jordan Poyer stepped up to pick a throw from Siemian and return the football to the Saints' 44-yard line.

From there, the Bills and Saints both elected to run out the clock and wrap up the first victory for Buffalo over New Orleans since Dec. 27, 1998. The win also improves the Bills to 7-4 on the 2021 season and move back into a tie for first place in the AFC East with the New England Patriots.

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GAME SUMMARY:

First Quarter:

- 7-0 BUFFALO: Bills touchdown (7:15) - Josh Allen tosses a seven-yard touchdown pass to Dawson Knox. (Tyler Bass' extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yards, 5:54

Second Quarter:

- 10-0 BUFFALO: Bills field goal (8:50) - Tyler Bass' 34-yard field goal attempt is good.
Drive info: 7 plays, 38 yards, 4:00

Third Quarter:

- 17-0 BUFFALO: Bills touchdown (8:54) - Josh Allen connects with Stefon Diggs for a five-yard touchdown pass. (Tyler Bass' extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 75 yards, 6:12

- 24-0 BUFFALO: Bills touchdown (4:28) - Josh Allen completes a 24-yard touchdown pass with Dawson Knox. (Tyler Bass' extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 53 yards, 2:51

Fourth Quarter:

- 24-6 BUFFALO: Saints touchdown (14:54) - Trevor Siemian connects with Nick Vannett for an 11-yard touchdown. (New Orleans' two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful)
Drive info: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:25

- 31-6 BUFFALO: Bills touchdown (8:25) - Josh Allen fires a short pass to Matt Breida, who takes the ball 23 yards for a touchdown. (Tyler Bass' extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 51 yards, 2:25

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Photo credit Skyworks Equipment Rental

SKYWORKS EQUIPMENT RENTAL STATS OF THE GAME:

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What's next:

The Bills will have an extended period of time before their next game, as they will next take the field on "Monday Night Football" on Dec. 6 against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. EST with John Murphy, Eric Wood and Sal Capaccio on the call.

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