Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes and the sluggish Buffalo Bills offense responded to a change in coordinators by scoring points on six of its first eight possessions in a 32-6 rout of the AFC East-rival New York Jets on Sunday.
The Bills (6-5) snapped a two-game skid and topped 25 points for the first time in seven weeks to end the team’s worst drought since a six-game run during Allen’s rookie season in 2018. 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.
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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 fair much better in overseeing an offense that managed to score just its ninth touchdown of the season.
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 Ty Johnson on fourth-and-1 to cap Buffalo’s opening drive of the third quarter. He followed that up four minutes later with an 81-yard touchdown to Khalil Shakir in putting the Bills up 29-6.
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.
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.
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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.
And the Jets needed a trick play to extend their touchdown drive with punter Thomas Morstead completing an 18-yard pass to cornerback Brandin Echols on fourth-and-2 from New York’s 24.
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.
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Buffalo had four takeaways, with recently acquired cornerback Rasul Douglas intercepting Wilson and recovering a fumble by receiver Garrett Wilson. The game began with Buffalo’s Reggie Gilliam forcing Xavier Gipson to lose a fumble on the opening kickoff.
Jets: Host division-rival Miami on Friday.
Bills: Travel to play at Philadelphia next Sunday.