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Josh Allen, Bills throttle division rival Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The lingering sting of being embarrassed on home turf by the New England Patriots didn’t sit well with defensive end Jerry Hughes and the Buffalo Bills.

On Saturday night, the Bills did something about it by erasing any doubt of who now rules the AFC East.

Josh Allen set a team playoff record with five touchdown passes, including two to Dawson Knox, and Devin Singletary ran for two scores in the first half of a 47-17 throttling of the division-rival Patriots in a wild-card playoff game.

Meanwhile, Hughes was part of a defense that ended Mac Jones’ rookie season by intercepting him twice, sacking him three times and limiting him to throwing two mean-nothing touchdown passes in the second half with the game well out of reach.

In defeating the Patriots for the second time in three weeks, Hughes noted he was motivated by how reporters specifically questioned safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde as being embarrassed following a 14-10 loss on Dec. 6. It was a game in which the Patriots attempted just three passes while trampling Buffalo’s defense with 222 yards rushing to counter wind gusts of 30-plus mph.

“There was a lot of disrespect coming toward our defense. And so we felt like the only way to shut people up is to go out there and play football and let you guys sit and watch and talk,” Hughes said. “And that’s what we’re doing right now, playing football.”
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The margin of defeat was the largest in the playoffs for New England in coach Bill Belichick’s tenure, which began in 2000.

And while the winds were relatively calm Saturday, the Bills were hot in frigid conditions, with a game-time temperature of 7 degrees.

Allen finished 21 of 25 for 308 yards in a game Buffalo became the NFL’s first team in the Super Bowl era to score on each of its seven possessions that didn’t end with a kneeldown.

“That sounds like some Pop Warner stuff,” defensive tackle Harrison Phillips said.

No need to remind Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon.

“Shoot, every drive we couldn’t get a stop was frustrating,” Judon said. “It wasn’t only one play. It wasn’t one, single player. It was everything. It was the whole game.”

The Allen-led offense was so efficient it gained 480 yards offense on just 51 snaps before backup Mitchell Trubisky finished the game with three kneeldowns.

“I think we feel good,” Allen said. “There’s some things that we can clean up and work on. But at the end of the day, we moved on, we’re on to the next one and it doesn’t matter what we did today. It’s what we do next week.”

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