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Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs lead playoff-bound Bills to 38-9 rout of Patriots

By Alex Butler

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns on Monday Night Football to lead the Bills to their biggest rout of the New England Patriots in nearly 20 years.

Buffalo also completed a season sweep of New England for the first time since 1999, and became the first AFC East team to do so since the Miami Dolphins in 2000.

The Bills out-gained the Patriots 474 to 201 in total yards and dominated time of possession by nearly 20 minutes. Stefon Diggs was Allen’s top target and had nine catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the lopsided 38-9 victory.

“Not to sound cliche and like a broken record, but it’s [win] No. 12,” Allen told reporters. “We got one game left and all that is cool, the records, this and that, but playing to get to 13-3 and give ourselves a chance in the playoffs.

“It doesn’t mean much if we can’t get it done and we’ve got our mind set on bigger things and first things first is Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins in Buffalo.”

Patriots quarterback Cam Newton led his team on a six-play, 38-yard drive on the opening possession. Nick Folk ended the drive with a 45-yard field goal.

Bills kicker Tyler Bass answered with a 22-yard field goal on the next drive to tie the score midway through he first quarter.

The Bills then forced a Patriots punt before Allen put together a 12-play, 70-yard touchdown drive that ended with a five-yard rushing score by Bills running back Zack Moss 10 seconds into the second quarter.

Newton answered with a rushing touchdown on the Patriots next drive, but Folk missed the point after attempt, which allowed the Bills to keep their lead.

Allen threw touchdown passes to Lee Smith and Diggs on the Bills next two drives to give Buffalo a 24-9 lead at halftime.

He threw another touchdown to Diggs on the first possession of the third quarter to increase the Buffalo lead to 22 points about four minutes into the half.

Diggs caught his third touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter for the final points of the night.

Newton completed 5 of 10 passes for 34 yards, and had no touchdowns or interceptions, before he was benched for Jared Stidham in the third quarter. Stidham completed 4 of 11 passes for 44 yards and also didn’t have a touchdown or an interception.

“We just weren’t able to do much in any phase of the game,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “They outplayed us across the board, outplayed us and out-coached us.

“They did a good job. They’re a very good football team. We can see why they’re the AFC East champions this year. They deserve to be.”

The Bills’ rout Monday night was their biggest margin of victory over New England since 2003 and their largest blowout of the Patriots on their home field since 1992. New England will also suffer its first losing season this year since the 2000 season, Belichick’s first as head coach.

The Patriots (6-9) host the New York Jets in their final game of the season and the Bills (12-3) host the Miami Dolphins. Both games are scheduled for 1 p.m. EST on Sunday.

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