The Bills (9-3) played on one of the biggest stages in football Thursday night when they faced off against the Dallas Cowboys (6-6). This game was significant for both sides,and mostly for the same reason.
The Bills and Cowboys have both drawn criticism for not beating any teams with a winning record. The Bills have beaten down on teams like the Dolphins, Bengals, and Broncos, while the Cowboys have done much of the same. This game was a statement game for both teams, as they could prove they belong in the conversation with the NFL’s most elite teams.
There was a lot of news regarding the Cowboys in this game, as owner Jerry Jones made comments to the media indicating his expectations for the Cowboys. He implored for a deep run in the playoffs or else Head Coach Jason Garrett would be fired. This meant this game had implications for Garrett’s job.
The Cowboys started off with the ball and started strong, driving all the way down the field for an opening score TD. This was the bright spot of their day, however, as the Bills dominated for the rest of the evening. The Bills would go on to score 26 straight points before letting up a garbage-time TD to the Cowboys.
Josh Allen emerged as a true franchise quarterback in this game and showed he could play on the biggest of stages. He went 19/24 for 274 total yards and 2 TD’s. He posted his highest completion percentage in perhaps the biggest game of his career. He displayed his accuracy on some nice plays to Cole Beasley, as well as his legs on some solid runs. Allen, however, was certainly not the only Bill who made an impact in this game.
The whole offense was rolling, as WR Cole Beasley was extra motivated to beat his former squad. Beasley put on his best performance of the season, catching 6 balls for 110 yards and 1 TD. He had a key 3rd down conversion while the Bills were stuck in their own territory. John Brown was not as effective as a receiver in this game, but he did throw a TD pass to Devin Singletary on a trick play. This “Thanksgiving Special” was the highlight of the game for the Bills and showed all of the different weapons they possess on their offense.
The defense of the Bills also performed extremely well, but this is expected at this point. Tre’Davious White, Ed Oliver, and Trent Murphy had big games. Ed Oliver, in particular, had 2 sacks and decided to have his breakout game on Thanksgiving. Oliver has recently started playing like a top-10 pick and it is a sight Bills fans love to see. The defense locked down the whole game, only allowing TD’s on the first and last drives of the game for the Cowboys.
With the offense playing to its capability and the defense performing like it has all season, the Bills look very dangerous. With the Patriots faltering a little and the AFC looking weak, the Bills have a chance to make a real run in the playoffs. This is a not a one-and-done kind of team and the players in the locker room know that. This team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender and the Bills have high hopes for the future. If Allen continues to grow and the defense continues to do its thing, there’s no reason why we can’t be watching the Buffalo Bills come February.