A win would take the Patriots out of the playoffs and send the Dolphins to Orchard Park in the wild card round.
ORCHARD PARK, NY (WROC) — With Dummer Hamlin on everyone’s mind and his jersey number on the hearts of all his teammates, the Bills lead the Patriots to an emotional 35-23 win. Earned the second seed in the AFC.
The win put New England out of the playoffs. Miami earns his seventh and final playoff spot and will travel to Orchard Park in next week’s wildcard round for him.
Nyheim Hines returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, sending Highmark Stadium into a frenzy before either offense could enter the field. It was the team’s first kickoff return touchdown since 2019.
They didn’t have to wait long to get another. Hines returned the kickoff 101 yards for another touchdown trailing 17-14 midway through the third quarter. It was the first time since 2010 that a player returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game.
Josh Allen threw for three touchdowns in the game. The first went to Dawson Knox, giving Buffalo their first offensive touchdown and a 14–7 lead in the second quarter. Second went to John Brown, the Bills’ first catch of a wideout since the 2020 season. After the play, he handed the ball to Hamlin’s assistant, his trainer Denny Kerington, who administered his CPR to Hamlin on Monday night.
His final went to Stephon Diggs, a 49-yard bomber that gave the Bills a 35-23 lead as the game ended.
Tredavius White recorded his first interception since returning from a torn ACL. This was a big moment for the Patriots early in the third quarter when he was nearing his zone with the Reds tied at 14.
Matt Milan hooked his pick and saved the Bills from a potential collapse. The Patriots punted the ball midway through the fourth quarter, 35–23, but the ball bounced around the turf and hit New York Jones’ leg, which England recovered. The Patriots reached the Reds in his zone, but in the 3rd and 19th, Mack’s Jones’ pass was overturned and Milan picked off. Tremaine Edmonds also got in on the fun, intercepting Jones to seal the game.
The Bills finish the regular season with a 13-3 record. This is the same record that ended the 2020 season. They will face the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs at an undecided date.
The Dolphins beat the Jets 11-6 with third stringer Skylar Thompson leading Miami to victory. Tua Tagovailoa was on concussion protocol and Teddy Bridgewater missed the match with a hand injury.
The Bills and Dolphins split the regular season series, with Miami winning 21-19 in Week 3 and the Bills getting revenge by winning 32-29 in Week 15. Both teams won at home.
The win ensured the Bills would never play a true road game in the rest of the playoffs.A win over the Dolphins would mean the Bills would host the first two rounds of the playoffs. If the Bills win his AFC Championship, they’ll either face a lower seed or face the No. 1-seeded Kansas City Chiefs on a neutral site.