NEW ORLEANS – Buffalo Bills fans, who have been traveling in massive numbers this season, surely had a great time on the night before Thanksgiving down on Bourbon Street.
They hope they can repeat the revelry Thursday night inside the Caesars Superdome when the Bills meet the Saints in what is a hugely important game for both teams, unlike the last two road games where a huge contingent traveled to Jacksonville and Nashville only to be horribly disappointed by the result.
The Bills have fallen to 6-4 after a 4-1 start that included what we all thought was a defining victory over the defending AFC champion Chiefs. Since then they have lost three of five games including the head scratching defeat in Jacksonville, and then last week’s embarrassing 41-15 home debacle to Indianapolis.
Here’s what’s happening down in the Bayou:
Bills defeat Saints 31-6
Buffalo overwhelmed New Orleans on both sides of the ball. Josh Allen finished 23 of 28 passing for 260 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bills outgained the Saints 361 to 190.
Jordan Poyer picks off Trevor Siemian - 6:59 4th quarter
Buffalo safety Jordan Poyer intercepted Jordan Poyer at the Bills' 38-yard line. Josh Allen's night is done. Mitchell Trubisky entered the game at quarterback for Buffalo.
Allen throws connects with Breida for fourth TD pass - 8:17 4th quarter
The Bills are pouring it on. Josh Allen started the possession with a 28-yard completion to Stefon Diggs and capped it with a 23-yard catch-and-run to Matt Breida for the touchdown. It's Allen's fourth touchdown of the game.
Allen has 25 passing TDs this year, tying Jim Kelly in 1991 for the most passing TDs by a Bills quarterback in the first 11 games of the season.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
New Orleans avoids shutout with TD
It took a 24-0 deficit but the Saints offense finally put together a scoring drive. Trevor Siemian threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannett to cap a 13-play, 65-yard touchdown drive. Siemian's two-point conversion attempt was incomplete. Siemian had long completions to Marquez Callaway (17 yards) and Lil'Jordan Humphrey (24 yards) to set up the score.
New Orleans collected nearly half of its 133 yards of offense on the possession.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
Dawson Knox’s second TD puts Bills in 24-0 lead
The Bills needed only five plays to move 53 yards to Knox’s second touchdown reception of the game, this one coming on a beautifully schemed fourth-down play.
The Bills were faced with a fourth-and-2 at the Saints 24. Allen took the snap, play faked to Devin Singletary, and as that was happening, Knox faked like he was blocking to the inside, released into the pattern and no one followed him. Allen flipped the ball out for the easy completion, and then Knox rumbled into the end zone to complete the play.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
Bills grab firm control with TD drive to start third quarter
After the disappointment of throwing away points at the end of the first half, the Bills took the second-half kickoff and put together an 11-play, 75-yard drive that consumed the first 6:12 of the third quarter.
The touchdown came on a beautiful route by Stefon Diggs who beat the Saints cornerback with a quick move to the inside and Josh Allen fired a laser out to the left front corner of the end zone from the five.
The possession was sparked by two big runs of 11 and 15 yards by Devin Singletary, a shocker in itself. But he ran as well as he has all season on those two plays, and they were big. Allen also had a clutch third-down throw to Cole Beasley.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
A terrible finish to the half for the Bills
This game should be a rout, but because the Bills offensive line is so incompetent, the Saints are only down 10-0.
Buffalo’s final two offensive possessions ended with Josh Allen interceptions, the second inside the 15-yard-line in the final seconds. The first pick was a terrible throw, but it was brought about by pressure. And then the second came when the line broke down again, Allen’s arm got hit, and the ball floated right to New Orleans’ Kwon Alexander.
The Bills also lost cornerback Tre’Davious White to a knee injury, and it did not look good. If he’s out an extended time, that’s a major problem for the defense.
Bills come up empty before half with another Allen INT
Josh Allen not has seven interceptions over the last four games. One play after a touchdown pass to Dawson Knox was nullified due to a penalty, Allen was picked off by a diving Kwon Alexander. Allen's arm was hit as he threw by Cam Jordan and he forced a pass to Emmanuel Sanders at the 10-yard line. It is Allen's first career red-zone interception to 58 red-zone touchdowns.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
Another Saints turnover-on-downs gives Bills great field position - 1:47 2nd quarter
New Orleans failed on another fourth-down attempt but this time it was a fake punt. Facing fourth-and-8, punter Blake Gillikin threw incomplete for Lil'Jordan Humphrey. The Bills took over at their 49 with 1:47 left in the half.
Josh Allen throws interception - 3:13 2nd quarter
Josh Allen's troubles with turnovers have continued. On second-and-6 from the Bills' 39, Allen was intercepted by cornerback Bradley Roby, who stepped in front of a pass intended for Stefon Diggs.
Allen entered the game with five turnovers over his last three games.
Promising drive ends with a field goal, Bills lead 10-0
The Bills defense came up with a fourth-down stop near midfield, but that great field position did not result in a touchdown. After moving smartly into New Orleans territory, the possession fizzled after it reached the 19 with three straight plays that could not produce a first down, the last a second sack of Josh Allen.
Tyler Bass kicked a 34-yard field goal so the Bills have a 10-0 lead.
The big play of the possession came on a third-and-2 from the Saints 46 when Allen rolled to his right and found Gabriel Davis all alone for a 26-yard gain, a very well-conceived and executed play.
Bills deny Saints on fourth down - 12:51 2nd quarter
Mario Addison is having a big game. He stuffed second-year running back Tony Jones for a 5-yard loss when New Orleans went for it on fourth-and-2. Buffalo will take over at its 46-yard line.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
Josh Allen sacked by college teammate to end 1st quarter
Buffalo gained a first down on its second possession but then went backward on its last two plays. Matt Breida was dropped for a 3-yard loss to set up third-and-13 from the BIlls' 35. On third down, Josh Allen was sacked for a 9-yard loss by defensive end Carl Granderson, Allen's teammate at the University of Wyoming. Granderson was pushed in the back by tackle Dion Dawkins and fell to the ground before he took a sweep at Allen's lower body for the sack.
Buffalo sacks Siemian on third down - 3:21 1st quarter
New Orleans got to midfield on its second possession but was forced to punt. Trevor Siemian completed to Tre'Quan Smith for 14 yards and then found Ty Montgomery for a 13-yard catch-and-run but he was sacked by defensive end Mario Addison for a 9-yard loss. Marquez Stevenson returned the punt 10 yards to the Bills' 27-yard line.
What a start for the Bills: Allen TD pass to Knox makes it 7-0
Taiwan Jones went down and made an excellent tackle on the opening kickoff to put the Saints in bad field position at the 17. The defense forced a three and out punt. And then the offense took the field and marched 65 yards in 10 plays to Josh Allen’s seven-yard TD pass to Dawson Knox.
You could not have scripted a better opening to this game.
Matt Breida did not start, but he came onto the field for the second play and was a fixture the rest of the possession as he carried four times for 19 yards, while Allen completed all three of his passes for 30 yards.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
Bills defense forces three-and-out - 13:03 1st quarter
New Orleans received the ball first and gained 7 yards with its makeshift offense that is without its starting quarterback and top two running backs. Blake Gillikin punted 52 yards and rookie Marquez Stevenson returned the punt 11 yards and took a big hit on his first touch in the NFL regular season.
Diggs has had some success against the Saints
The last time Stefon Diggs played in New Orleans happened to be the second to last game he played as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
It was in the playoffs following the 2019 season and the Vikings stunned the Saints 26-20 in overtime, although Diggs had a quiet finale with just two catches for 19 yards. He was then traded to the Bills three months later.
Things were a bit different in the previous playoff game Diggs played against the Saints. That one, on Jan. 14, 2018, became known as the Minneapolis Miracle as Diggs caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum as time expired to give the Vikings a 29-24 victory in Minnesota.
“I don’t look back on it too much; I try not to live in the past too much because that was a whole different circumstance, different situation,” he said, trying to be modest about what was the greatest individual moment of his career to date.
“I mean I think about it maybe a couple of times a year now, around the time when the playoffs come, and they run it back, they’ll bring up some of the highlights from the past. That’s something that I’m always gonna be looking back like, ‘Damn, I’m gonna tell my kids that one day.’ And they probably won’t believe me, but I’m like, ‘Look, we’ve got some video of it.’”
In his career, playoffs and regular season, Diggs played the Saints four times while with the Vikings and he caught 25 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns. The Bills would love a performance along those lines Thursday night from their star receiver who was muted in the loss to Indianapolis.
Colts game changed perception of the Bills
They were the darlings of the AFC there for a while, the pick of many in the national media to be the conference’s Super Bowl frontrunner. And then they lost to the Jaguars, and then they got blown off their own field at Highmark Stadium by the Colts.
Now, the Bills are no longer leading the AFC East, they’re barely hanging on to the final spot in the seven-team AFC playoff race, and many in the football press have hopped off the bandwagon.
“As far as changing the narrative of everybody else, it’s a week-to-week league,” said wide receiver Stefon Diggs. “They love you, then they hate you, so it's not something that you can get caught up in. But as far as personally, yourself and your team, you want to win. Getting back in the swing of things and getting back in the win column is always gonna be good. And that's the only way that you can get the ball rolling is by stacking wins, not getting close.
“In my opinion, it’s not so much changing the narrative for everybody else because I mean, everybody else doesn't come to practice with you, everybody else doesn't watch tape with you. They just see the end result. So for us, get back to being us and just grinding out wins the way we know how and playing our type of football.”
Inactives are out, Isaiah McKenzie goes to the bench
When Marquez Stevenson was activated for the game, the likelihood is that it would be at the expense of Isaiah McKenzie, and it was. McKenzie is inactive for the game and Stevenson will presumably take over the kickoff and punt return duties.
Interestingly, wide receiver Jake Kumerow is active, though he is because of special teams. There was a thought that perhaps Kumerow would be inactive and McKenzie would remain on the game day roster and used more on offense, but that’s not the case.
As as was reported earlier, Zack Moss is indeed inactive and his role in the offense will be shared by Matt Breida and Devin Singletary. The other inactives for the Bills are special teamers/defensive backs Cam Lewis and Damar Hamlin, offensive tackle Bobby Hart, and defensive tackles Vernon Butler and Boogie Basham
What’s interesting about those last two is that they are being replaced by practice squad call-ups Brandin Bryant and Eli Ankou. That’s a direct response to the way the defensive line was pushed around so easily by the Colts last week when the Bills allowed 264 rushing yards.
Sean McDermott wasn’t kidding when he said earlier this week that everything was on the table.
Obviously, the two players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Spencer Brown and Star Lotulelei, are out. For Lotulelei, who sat out all of last season, this is the third game he is missing.
Saints won’t have several key players
The Bills enter the game remarkably healthy as there will be no inactive players due to injury. Jon Feliciano is on injured reserve, and Spencer Brown and Star Lotulelei remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list so they are not on the 53-man roster right now.
As for the Saints, it’s a different story. They will play without star running back Alvina Kamara, who was ruled out due to a lingering knee injury. They also won’t have All-Pro right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, stud defensive end Marcus Davenport, and rotational defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon.
Also, running back Mark Ingram has been dealing with a knee injury and it was reported earlier today that he is unlikely to play. We’ll wait for the official inactive list to come out to see if that’s true.
Those are big blows for a New Orleans team that is just as desperate to win this game as Buffalo. And of course, there’s also the situation at quarterback where Trevor Siemian continues to start in place of Jameis Winston who’s out for the year with a knee injury. The Saints are 0-3 since Siemian took over, losing to the Falcons, Titans and Eagles.
Might we see rookie Marquez Stevenson?
The Bills activated the rookie sixth-round wide receiver and kick returner prior to the game, though we won’t know until the inactive list is announced at 6:50 p.m. whether Stevenson will play in the game.
If he does, you can assume that he will be taking over the kick and punt returning duties from Isaiah McKenzie who lost a key fumble last week against the Colts.
Stevenson has dynamic speed and we saw that in the preseason when he returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown against the Bears at Soldier Field. Unfortunately, he suffered a foot injury in the process and that has kept him on the injured reserve list until this week.
Earlier in the week when he was asked about Stevenson possibly being activated, coach Sean McDermott said, “Everything’s on the table at this point.”
The Bills also announced that defensive tackles Brandin Bryant and Eli Ankou were both called up from the practice squad. Again, we’ll see when the inactive list comes out whether they will be in the lineup.
Also, there is a report from NFL Network that running back Zack Moss will be inactive, and if so, that’s a healthy scratch because he’s not injured. And it would be an indication that the coaching staff wants to get Matt Breida more involved in the game plan.This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.
How to watch, listen to Buffalo Bills vs New Orleans Saints game
When: 8:20 p.m. Thursday
Where: Caesars Superdome
TV: NBC (Mike Tirico, Drew Brees, Michele Tafoya)
Satellite radio: Sirius 85, XM 228
Radio: 96.5 FM/950 AM
Series: Saints lead 7-4
Tipico betting line: Bills -7.5
Total offense: 391.7 yards (5th); 321.3 (24th)
Rush offense: 118.8 yards (12th); 117.9 (13th)
Pass offense: 272.9 (7th); 203.4 (26th)
Points scored: 29.5 (2nd); 25.1 (14th)
Total defense: 283.7 yards (1st); 342.0 (10th)
Rush defense: 101.9 yards (9th); 89.8 (3rd)
Pass defense: 181.8 yards (2nd); 252.2 (22nd)
Points allowed: 17.6 (2nd); 21.8 (10th)
Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints individual leaders
Bills: Devin Singletary 83 carries, 415 yards; Josh Allen 61-340; Zack Moss 75-265; Matt Breida 12-83; Emmanuel Sanders 2-31; Mitchell Trubisky 10-27; Isaiah McKenzie 5-27.
Saints: Alvin Kamara 146-530; Mark Ingram 45-205; Jameis Winston 32-166; Taysom Hill 20-104; Tony Jones 22-79.
Bills: Josh Allen 251 of 382, 2,811 yards, 21 TDs, 8 interceptions.
Saints: Trevor Siemian 82 of 144, 920 yards, 8 TDs, 2 interceptions; Jameis Winston 95 of 161, 1,170 yards, 14 TDs, 3 interceptions.
Bills: Stefon Diggs 60 catches, 773 yards; Cole Beasley 57-484; Emmanuel Sanders 33-531; Dawson Knox 28-383; Devin Singletary 25-114; Zack Moss 18-166; Gabriel Davis 15-265; Tommy Sweeney 9-44.
Saints: Alvin Kamara 32-310; Deonte Harris 26-418; Marquez Callaway 25-372; Adam Trautman 25-241; Mark Ingram 17-132; Tre’Quan Smith 16-205; Juwan Johnson 9-108.
2021 Buffalo Bills schedule
9/12 vs. Steelers, L 16-23
9/19 at Dolphins, W 35-0
9/26 vs. Washington, W 43-21
10/3 vs. Texans, W 40-0
10/10 at Chiefs, W 38-20
10/18 at Titans, L 31-34
10/24 Bye week
10/31 vs. Dolphins, W 26-11
11/7 at Jaguars, L 6-9
11/14 at Jets, W 45-17
11/21 vs. Colts, L 15-41
11/25 at Saints, 8:20 p.m.
12/6 vs. Patriots, 8:15 p.m.
12/12 at Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m.
12/19 vs. Panthers, TBD
12/26 at Patriots, 1 p.m.
1/2 vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.
1/9 vs. Jets, 1 p.m.
Sal Maiorana can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Buffalo Bills 31, New Orleans Saints 6: Final score, recap, highlights
Source : https://news.yahoo.com/live-updates-bills-vs-saints-225210236.html?src=rss4060