Josh Allen called on the Buffalo Bills to maintain the same urgency in their bid to reach the Super Bowl after records tumbled as they demolished the New England Patriots.

The Bills thumped AFC East rivals the Patriots 47-17 on Saturday to reach the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

Buffalo led 27-3 at halftime after an explosive start and Allen set a team playoff record with five touchdown passes in a fine performance.

Sean McDermott's team inflicted the biggest margin of defeat in the playoffs for the Patriots since Bill Belichick took charge in 2000.

The rampant Allen had more touchdowns (five) than incomplete passes (four) as the Bills scored a TD on all seven drives and went the whole game without a punt, field goal or turnover – a first in the NFL playoffs.

Per Stats Perform data, Allen became the first QB in NFL history to complete at least 80 per cent of his passes, throw for 5+ TDs and also rush for 50+ yards (66) in a single game.

Up next will be either a trip to the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of the AFC Championship from last season or a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

That will be decided by the outcome of the Chiefs' matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but regardless of the next opponent Allen knows the Bills need more of the same.

"We feel good," Allen said, per ESPN. 

"When you are going into every game with a win-or-go-home mentality, and that's really what we've had in the last few weeks, just the attention to detail in practice – guys are more attentive.

"The urgency is there, and you're seeing us play better because of it. We're going to need that same mentality this week.

"There are some things that we can clean up and work on, but we moved on, we're on to the next one and it doesn't matter what we did – it's what we do next week."

The dominant nature of the Bills' performance gave them a rare opportunity to savour the atmosphere on a cold night at Highmark Stadium.

"It's not often in coaching you can enjoy the last six minutes of a game and kind of look up in the stands and see the fans enjoying it and at home," said head coach McDermott.

"I'm happy for them more than anything. For us as a team this year, it's one game. 

"[The Patriots] – that is a good football team and they've been at the top for so long. So, we have a lot of respect for them. We've just got to keep moving on."

Asked about the fantastic display from Allen, he added: "It's fun to watch young players develop. There's a lot that goes into that. 

"Number one is the player, in this case Josh, taking greater ownership of his development and his preparation this week. That is what led him to the results you saw on the field. It's pretty black and white that way."

Josh Allen produced a franchise postseason record display with five touchdown passes as the Buffalo Bills thrashed the New England Patriots 47-17 in Saturday's AFC wild card game.

The Bills cruised into the divisional round after racing to a 27-0 lead early in the second quarter led by quarterback Allen who found Dawson Knox for two early touchdowns.

Allen ended the game completing 21 of 25 attempts for 307 yards as well as 65 rushing yards.

The 25-year-old QB recorded a Bills playoffs record with his five touchdown passes, while it was the 10th game in postseason history with 300 or more pass yards and five or more passing TDs.

The remarkable offensive performance meant the Bills have recorded 25 points or more in 13 games this season, which is the most in the NFL.

Running back Devin Singletary scored two touchdowns with 16 carries for 83 yards, while Knox registered 88 yards for his five receptions including his two first-quarter TDs.

Wide receivers Gabriel Davis and Emmanuel Sanders along with offensive lineman Tommy Doyle also scored TDs for the Bills.

Patriots QB Mac Jones, making his playoffs debut, threw 24 of 38 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns but also two interceptions. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne scored two TDs from his seven receptions for 77 yards.

Josh Allen does not expect the foot injury he suffered to be "a big deal" despite leaving in a walking boot after the Buffalo Bills' overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Allen saw a furious comeback effort go unrewarded as Tom Brady's 58-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman gave the Buccaneers a walk-off 33-27 win.

The Bills had fought back from 24-3 down to tie the game at 27-27 and force overtime, Allen throwing for 308 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while also rushing for 109 yards and a further score.

Despite his best efforts, the Bills dropped to 7-6 in a further dent to their hopes of beating the 9-4 New England Patriots to the AFC East title, with their prospects of even making the playoffs now in increasing jeopardy.

And there appeared to be reason for substantial concern when Allen entered his post-game media conference in a boot due to an apparent foot issue.

However, he moved to allay fears of an injury that would likely doom the Bills' season.

"Honestly, I'm not quite sure [what the injury is]," said Allen.

"I guess we'll do some more tests tomorrow [Monday]. I finished the game on it, so I don't think it's going to be a big deal."

Asked about the decision to keep him in the game despite the injury, Allen replied: "There was no way I was going out."

Though the Bills are in a precarious position, it was easy for Allen to see the positives after they erased a 21-point deficit.

"We had a good talk at half-time, guys responded well," he explained. "I'm damn proud of our team and how we fought in that second half, that's who we are.

"We wish the end result was different but I'm super proud of our guys.

"There's many teams that would have folded in that position. We want to win, we want to be great, that's the team we've gotta be going forward."

Tom Brady was the hero in another historic performance as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar inspired a 33-27 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.

Brady – who surpassed Drew Brees for the most pass completions in league history – became the first quarterback to throw 700 career touchdowns on Sunday and that milestone 58-yard TD settled the contest with the visiting Bills in OT.

Overtime was needed after reigning Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers (10-3) squandered a 24-3 half-time lead against the Bills (7-6).

Brady had thrown for a touchdown and ran for another after Leonard Fournette's 47-yard dash set the tone for the Buccaneers in the first half before the rallying Bills silenced the home crowd.

Josh Allen (36-of-54 passing for 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception) was the instigator for the Bills with a pair of touchdown passes in the final period, after the quarterback's third-quarter run helped reduce the deficit.

Tyler Bass' 25-yard field goal 22 seconds from the end forced OT but Brady had the final say in another memorable moment in an incredible career – the seven-time Super Bowl champion and Breshad Perriman combining for a 58-yard score in the additional period.

Brady (31-of-46 passing for 363 yards and two TDs without an interception) maintained his dominant record against the Bills – the 44-year-old's 33 wins over Buffalo in 36 career starts are the most in NFL history against one team by a starting quarterback.

 

Niners also win in overtime

Overtime was needed to settle another game on Sunday, with the San Francisco 49ers prevailing 26-23 at the Cincinnati Bengals.

In a thrilling ending, Brandon Aiyuk hauled in the winning score on a 12-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo before staying in bounds and leapfrogging into the endzone.

The Bengals used a 14-0 final quarter to send the game into OT but the playoff-chasing 49ers managed to see off Cincinnati.

Josh Allen said the Buffalo Bills must not abandon their "pursuit of perfection" after a mixed performance in Thursday's rout of the New Orleans Saints.

Allen threw four touchdowns as the AFC East leaders won 31-6, ending a streak of five consecutive defeats to the Saints dating back to December 1998.

Allen was 23-of-28 passing for 260 yards as the injury-ravaged Saints suffered a fourth-straight loss to move to 5-6 for the season. It was also his sixth game in two seasons in which he had four or more passing TDs, a figure surpassed only by Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (both nine) since 2020.

It was not a spotless display, though. Allen threw two interceptions, including one in the red zone for the first time in his career, and the loss of Tre'Davious White to a knee injury could yet bring big complications for their season.

The 25-year-old Allen, seventh overall pick in the 2018 Draft, is determined to lead the Bills to as close to a faultless performance as they can get.

"We got to, like I said, continue to find ways to stack these weeks," Allen said. "Every week is a one-game season. We've got to look at it that way and find ways to win football games here going forward.

"But again, it's the pursuit of perfection, that this team, we're not just happy with winning. Again, we want to be the best versions of ourselves every day we step into that building, every time we step on the field."

Allen was hit on the lower legs by Saints defensive tackle Christian Ringo in the third quarter, which left coach Sean McDermott unhappy.

"I thought they should be called for one, quite honestly, on Josh," McDermott said. "I'm really frustrated that that doesn't get called. That's clear as day to see that. I just want to protect my quarterback."

In Week 13, the 7-4 Bills host the New England Patriots, who put a five-game winning streak on the line against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills and wins over the New Orleans Saints had been hard to come by, but Josh Allen threw four touchdowns to fuel a drought-ending 31-6 Thanksgiving rout.

AFC East leaders Buffalo (7-4) had lost five consecutive NFL games against New Orleans (5-6), a winless drought dating back to December 1998.

However, Bills quarterback Allen helped snap that skid thanks to his big performance on the road to the Saints in New Orleans on Thursday.

Allen was 23-of-28 passing for 260 yards, four TDs and two interceptions with a 115.2 passer rating to send the injury-ravaged Saints to a fourth straight loss – New Orleans have not had a longer losing streak since 2015.

Bills star Allen had his sixth career game with four-plus passing touchdowns and all have come in the last two seasons. Since 2020, only superstar duo Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (both nine) have more games with four or more passing TDs than the Buffalo QB.

Dawson Knox caught two TD passes, giving him a franchise-best seven touchdowns in a single season by a tight end as the Bills scored 24 unanswered points before the Saints finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter.

On a rough night for the Saints, Trevor Siemian completed 17 of his 29 passes for 163 yards, a touchdown and interception, while he was sacked twice.

Just over a month ago, no team appeared better placed to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LVI than the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo laid their AFC Championship Game demons to rest with a blowout win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, their offseason focus on stacking talent on the defensive line seeming to pay dividends in a 38-20 success that saw Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense held in check while Josh Allen produced a performance that seemed to solidify him as an MVP frontrunner.

Yet the winds of change blow swiftly across the NFL, especially in a season where parity reigns supreme, and six weeks on from Buffalo's victory in Kansas City, the Bills look a long way from Super Bowl contenders.

Indeed, while the Chiefs – though still far from consistent on offense – look to have got their house in order and are firmly in contention for the top seed in the AFC, the Bills no longer own top spot in their division after being run over in their own building by Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts marched to a 41-15 rout at Orchard Park, running back Taylor scoring five touchdowns and looking a more likely MVP contender than Buffalo's dual-threat quarterback.

While Taylor's astounding success will of course be concerning to the Bills, their season-long performance on defense has generally been impressive.

Derrick Henry also enjoyed a dominant outing running the ball against Buffalo in the Bills' Week 6 loss to the Tennessee Titans. However, for the most part, Buffalo's is a defense that has typically prevented opponents from performing efficiently through the air or on the ground, the Bills allowing the fewest yards per play in the NFL.

The bigger problems for Buffalo concern an offense that has stalled in recent weeks and the performance of a quarterback whose step back from his stunning 2020 is more worrying than first thought.

Buffalo's damaging offensive downturn

The Bills remain a top-10 offense by yards per play, in which they rank sixth with 5.95, yet a deeper look at their form over the past four games should only further doubt over whether this team can make the playoffs.

Indeed, since their shootout loss to the Titans, in which Buffalo would have prevailed if not for a botched quarterback sneak on a potential game-winning drive, the Bills have passed for 300 yards just once in four games, and that performance came against a New York Jets defense last in the league by yards per play allowed.

The Bills have committed nine turnovers across that span, four coming against the Colts after they gave the ball away twice in the win over the Jets and three times in an embarrassing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars where they managed only six points.

That fourth-down failure in Tennessee right now looks to be an inflection point, both for the Bills and Allen, who has struggled for the accuracy that astounded so many last season.

Allen a long way from MVP calibre 

Were it not for Aaron Rodgers' incredible 2020, Allen might have been named the MVP last year.

He was a distant second to Rodgers in the voting, receiving four votes to 44 for the Green Bay Packers star. Mahomes (2) was the only other player to receive a vote.

Allen earned those votes with a campaign he finished with 4,544 yards passing, 37 touchdown throws and 10 interceptions. He also ran for eight scores and caught another.

While he is tied fifth in the NFL with 21 passing touchdowns, Allen has already thrown eight interceptions, with his completion percentage declining from 69.2 in 2020 to 65.7 this season.

That is a reflection of his drop-off in accuracy. Last year, Allen delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 80.5 per cent of attempts, seventh in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes.

In 2021, his well-thrown percentage of 77.8 is below the average of 78.8 for quarterbacks who meet that same threshold.

No quarterback with three-figure pass attempts has thrown more interceptable passes than Allen, whose tally of 19 gives him a pickable pass percentage of 5.21 that trails only Mike White (6.87), Zach Wilson (6.86) and Davis Mills (6.06).

Only five quarterbacks have had more attempts under duress than Allen (110) and his pickable pass rate balloons to 8.47 per cent when pressured. Justin Fields (9.43) is the sole signal-caller with at least 50 passes under pressure to fare worse.

With a well-thrown percentage of 70.6 and four pickable passes against the Colts, he is trending in the wrong direction.

Yet he is not solely to blame, with his struggles partially a symptom of playing behind an offensive line that has struggled with injuries. However, protection issues aside, the numbers suggest there are gameplan adjustments available to the Bills that can make Allen's life easier.

Putting the boot in

The Colts finished with 264 yards on the ground compared to 91 for Buffalo, the Bills running the ball only 13 times.

That disparity is a reflection of the game script, with the Colts jumping out to a 24-7 lead in the first half they never looked like relinquishing.

But, in more conventional game situations, the Bills may be well served by leaning more on a run game that has been surprisingly efficient. 

The Bills are sixth in the NFL in yards per rush (4.70) but are running the ball just 32.8 per cent of the time. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have not lived up to expectations but, with the former averaging 3.34 yards per carry on rushes where this a run disruption by a defender, there is an argument for putting more faith in a ground game in which Allen can easily be incorporated.

That threat of the run and Allen's ability with his legs could also feature more heavily as part of the passing attack. The Bills average 9.85 yards per play on play-action throws (the league average is 9.28) but use it on only 13.56 per cent of pass attempts. That is slightly the league average of 12.9 but, given the success they have had when utilising a play-fake, there is room for it to become a more prominent part of the offense.

Similarly, the Bills use a boot-action on 3.68 per cent of pass attempts, below the NFL average of 5.9, yet, on the small sample size of 11 such passes, Allen is delivering a well-thrown ball 81.8 per cent of the time when they use it.

On a short week in the wake of a chastening defeat, the Bills now face a potentially season-defining game on Thanksgiving with a New Orleans Saints team that will themselves be desperate to bounce back from a humbling at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, the turnaround giving them little time to implement significant changes to the offensive approach.

However, facing an aggressive Saints defense that was gashed on the ground by a dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts in Week 11, the Bills' best hope of getting back on track may be to show more belief in their highly drafted running backs and lean on the athletic upside that convinced them to make Allen the face of the franchise.

Derrick Henry came up big in the fourth quarter and the Tennessee Titans thwarted Josh Allen at the death in a thrilling 34-31 NFL victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Henry scored his third touchdown for the Titans (4-2) with just over three minutes remaining against the AFC East-leading Bills (4-2) on Monday.

The Titans then held up Bills signal-caller Allen on a fourth-down quarterback sneak in the final seconds to snap Buffalo's four-game winning streak.

Henry joined Jim Brown (1958) as the only players in NFL history to rush for three-plus touchdowns in a game three times in the first six games of a season, according to Stats Perform.

Through Week 6, Henry has three games with 125 or more rushing yards and three-plus rushing touchdowns – it is tied for the most such games in a single season in the Super Bowl era.

After a tense opening quarter – Tyler Bass' field goal for the Bills was the only score – Buffalo and Tennessee traded touchdowns in the second period.

Henry sparked the Titans with a memorable 76-yard TD run before Allen threw a 14-yard pass to Stefon Diggs just over three minutes later and the see-sawing battle continued – Allen's pass to Cole Beasley cancelled out Ryan Tannehill's (18-of-29 passing for 216 yards and an interception) four-yard run to give the Bills a 20-17 half-time lead.

Bass' third field goal and Allen's third TD pass (finishing 35 of 47 for 353 yards, three TDs and an interception) to Tommy Sweeney outweighed Henry's touchdown run as the Bills stretched their lead to 31-24 heading into the final period.

But Tennessee's defence came up big after Henry scored the only TD of the fourth quarter, having watched Randy Bullock convert his 38-yard field goal.

Josh Allen and Emmanuel Sanders called for some calm after the Buffalo Bills saw off a careless Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Following a long delay caused by lightning, the Bills avenged their AFC title match defeat last season with a 38-20 victory in Kansas City

Though the Chiefs controlled much of the ball, running 25 more plays than the Bills, their four turnovers were the difference as they dropped to 2-3 this season. 

Buffalo (4-1) intercepted Patrick Mahomes passes on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter, with Micah Hyde taking the first of those 26 yards for a touchdown after plucking a tipped ball out of the air. 

It was just the second pick-six of Mahomes' career after Week 11 of the 2018 season.

While Mahomes completed just 33 of 43 passes for 272 yards, Bills quarterback Allen was 15 of 26 passing for 315 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another score.

It proved a famous match for Allen. The 25-year-old became the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 300 yards and three or more touchdown passes, rush for 50 or more yards and a touchdown, and average 20 or more yards per completion in a single game.

It was also a win to savour for the Bills after they were swept aside 38-24 in the AFC Championship game last season by the Chiefs on their way to their Super Bowl triumph, but Allen was not prepared to get carried away.

"I think this is going to be made a bigger deal than it is. We're in Week 5," he said. "Four wins doesn't get you to the playoffs.

"We ended up with a win. That's our goal each and every week, to come out and be resilient through lightning delays. I'm proud of how our team handled the situation."

Sanders, who ran in a 35-yard score from Allen's pass to give the Bills a 14-10 lead in the second quarter, said: "We're going to enjoy it on the plane back.

"You can tell I'm enjoying it out there; I lost my voice screaming. But at the same time, it's not like we won the Super Bowl. It's Week 5. We have to get back to work."

Similarly, Mahomes saw no reason for the Chiefs to panic.

"We know we have what it takes to be great," he said. "We have a lot of great players that have been really good in other places.

"We know we have what it takes. It's a matter of coming together now and finding a way to do that."

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to struggle on the heels of a Super Bowl season, falling 38-20 to the Buffalo Bills after a series of self-inflicted mistakes on Sunday. 

Though the Chiefs controlled the ball for much of the AFC title game rematch, running 25 more plays than the Bills, their four turnovers were the difference as they dropped to 2-3 this season. 

Buffalo (4-1) intercepted Patrick Mahomes passes on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter, with Micah Hyde taking the first of those 26 yards for a touchdown after plucking a tipped ball out of the air. 

It was just the second pick-six of Mahomes' career after Week 11 of the 2018 season.

That score consolidated the Bills' advantage after the visitors had reeled off 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to take the lead for good. 

Both touchdowns in that sequence came from the arm of Josh Allen, who hit Emmanuel Sanders for a 35-yard score and Dawson Knox for a 53-yard TD. 

For a few moments early in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Chiefs had forced a key turnover of their own, as Rashad Fenton intercepted Allen inside Bills territory.

But Buffalo retained the ball thanks to a controversial roughing the passer penalty on Frank Clark and made it count, marching downfield before another Allen-to-Saunders touchdown pass with 5:51 to play that effectively sealed the win. 

Allen was 15 of 26 passing for 315 yards (12.1 per attempt) and ran for 59 more, including a touchdown. Mahomes completed just 33 of 43 passes for 272 yards (5.0 per attempt) while running for 61. 

 

Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season threw up more questions than answers, but there remains no doubting Patrick Mahomes' outstanding talent.

In one of the highlights of the opening round of games, Mahomes threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a comeback win over the Cleveland Browns.

All eyes will be on Mahomes again in Week 2, and the Chiefs have an intriguing matchup against fellow quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

This battle between two of the past three MVPs has been one-sided in the past, though, as Stats Perform discovers in the most interesting facts from Sunday's biggest games.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens

The Chiefs will have few concerns about going on the road, boasting a 5-1 record against the Ravens in Baltimore all-time. They have also won each of the teams' past four meetings.

This dominance is reflected in Mahomes' record against Jackson, winning all three head-to-heads and averaging 378.7 passing yards per game to his opponent's 170.3.

Of course, Jackson is a greater threat across the ground than through the air, leading the Ravens in rushing yards against the Las Vegas Raiders last week for the 21st game of his career (including the postseason). In that time, no other QB has led his team in rushing in more than 12 games.

But even if Jackson can guide the Ravens into a lead, that brings no guarantee of victory. They gave up a 14-point lead for the first time in 99 games against the Raiders, while the Chiefs recovered from 12 points down at home to the Browns and actually have a 10-8 record after trailing by double digits since the start of 2018.

Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers

Another clash between two top QBs on Sunday sees Dak Prescott take the Cowboys to the Chargers having last week continued his impressive run even in defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Due to injury, Prescott has only actually played six games since the start of last year, but he has passed for at least 400 yards in four of them – no other player has more than two such games in that span.

However, Dallas have lost a league-high three games while posting 450-plus total net yards since the beginning of 2020.

The Chargers have their own prolific passer, too, in Justin Herbert, who threw for 337 yards in a win against the Washington Football Team in Week 1, meaning he now has 4,673 passing yards through 16 career games – a tally only topped by Mahomes' 5,100 in his first 16 games.

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

Josh Allen is another elite passer who would hope to be in MVP contention at the end of the year, but he was less impressive in the Bills' opening defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing only 30 of 51 passes.

While that was a career high for pass attempts, NFL teams are 4-20 when having a QB throw 50 or more since the start of last season.

Allen at least has fond memories of facing Miami. In the first of the sides' two meetings last year, he threw for career bests in yards (415) and TD passes (four), while the second clash saw the Bills score 56 points – a tally they have only ever topped once, also against the Dolphins in 1966.

Buffalo have five straight wins against Miami, although the Dolphins are in form with 10 wins in 13 games after 10 victories in their prior 33.

Elsewhere...

New Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford will fancy his chances against the Indianapolis Colts. His passer rating of 156.1 in Week 1 led the league, but Russell Wilson, against the Colts, was second with 152.3. Stafford threw three TD passes, including two of more than 50 yards – a feat only previously achieved once by a player in their first game with the team in the Super Bowl era (John Stofa for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968).

Jameis Winston took a slightly less spectacular route to his five TD passes last time out, with 148 passing yards the fewest from a QB to throw five for five scores.

Meanwhile, first overall pick Trevor Lawrence threw for 332 yards, the most by a player on his debut since Cam Newton's 422 yards in 2011, but he also had three interceptions – something he never did in his 40 games at Clemson.

Each of the first-round rookie QBs will be aiming to build on feats of some manner, with 21-year-old Trey Lance the youngest player in the Super Bowl era to throw a touchdown on his first NFL pass.

Mac Jones, who this week faces Zach Wilson, threw for 281 yards – the most by a New England Patriots rookie on debut.

Josh Allen has agreed a six-year contract extension with the Buffalo Bills reportedly worth $258million with $150m guaranteed.

The deal will keep Allen tied to the Bills through the 2028 season and will see him average an annual salary of $43m.

Buffalo traded up to select Allen with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft, making the bet that his outstanding athletic gifts would translate to NFL success despite concerns over his accuracy.

That looked a questionable move over the first two years of his career, despite a playoff appearance in the 2019 season.

However, Allen took a spectacular leap forward in 2020, leading the Bills on a run to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Having failed to complete 60 per cent of his passes in 2018 or 2019, Allen posted a completion percentage of 69.2 in 2020, throwing for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Allen's completion percentage, passing yardage and passing touchdowns all marked single-season records for the Bills. He also set franchise records for 300-yard games (8) and total touchdowns (46).

Per Stats Perform data, Allen was the seventh-best quarterback in the NFL when it came to delivering an accurate, well-thrown ball. He recorded a well-thrown percentage of 80.5 and was ninth in air yards per attempt among quarterbacks with at least 200 passes, averaging 8.92.

Yet the Bills were ultimately second-best to the Chiefs by a wide margin, losing 38-24 in the AFC title game. Buffalo start their campaign to go one better in 2021 with a Week 1 encounter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 12.

Josh Allen will be under contract with the Buffalo Bills through 2022 after the team exercised their fifth-year option.

The quarterback was drafted by the Bills in 2018 and has since established himself as one of the NFL's outstanding dual-threats.

Allen has thrown for 9,707 yards, 67 touchdowns and 31 interceptions across 44 games and 43 starts, although the bulk of his yards (4,544) and scores (37) came last season.

The former seventh overall pick, who also has 25 career rushing TDs, led Buffalo to the AFC Championship Game in 2020 where they were beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Allen's completion percentage of 72.8 ranked fourth in the league last year, while he led the NFL at 80.2 when throwing without pressure.

The option in his rookie deal would see Allen earn around $23million in 2022 before becoming an unrestricted free agent – a situation the franchise will be desperate to avoid.

The Bills have also agreed to pay middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, another 2018 first-round selection.

Edmunds is set for $12.7m in 2022, although Buffalo will be expected to negotiate a contract extension before that option kicks in.

The Bills traded up six places to take Edmunds in 2018 after he had 10.0 sacks across his final two college seasons with Virginia Tech.

Although Edmunds has been a Pro Bowl selection in each of the past two years, he has contributed to a defense that has struggled to disrupt opposing passers.

Edmunds only successfully pressured QBs on 7.7 per cent of pass rush attempts last season – the fourth-worst pressure rate among linebackers with 10 or more attempts – and Buffalo's failure to get to grips with Patrick Mahomes led to their playoff exit.

The team spent their first and second-round 2021 draft picks on edge rushers Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr.

The NFL Draft looms large on the horizon as rosters continue to take shape ahead of the 2021 season.

Some big offseason moves have already threatened to alter the landscape of the league, even boosting the championship hopes of teams who missed out on the playoffs in 2020.

Most notably, the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins will each feel they won a trade that saw the number three overall pick sent to the NFC West team in exchange for assets including multiple future first-rounders.

The Niners will get a look at one of the top quarterbacks in an exciting class as they aim to challenge again following an injury ravaged campaign, while the Dolphins can now surround starter Tua Tagovailoa with talent in year two and beyond.

But what of the teams who were already Super Bowl contenders?

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers reached the NFC Championship Game and the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills advanced in the AFC, pre-game predictions could scarcely separate the four.

It was the Bucs who ultimately prevailed, progressing past Green Bay before beating the Chiefs at Super Bowl LV, but their rivals will expect to be in the mix again.

Although chaos higher up in the draft could see plans quickly go out the window, we assess where the Bucs, Packers, Chiefs and Bills might be looking next week - with the help of Stats Perform data.
 

Green Bay Packers

All four of these teams will have interesting options in the first round as the early rush for quarterbacks leaves great depth at several other positions across the board. But the Packers, picking 29th, would be wise to think about how they might help Aaron Rodgers.

The veteran QB was understandably surprised last year when, rather than recruiting help, Green Bay drafted another passer in the first round. Jordan Love did not take a single snap all season long.

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams led the league in receiving touchdowns (18) and ranked fourth for targets (149), joint-second for catches (115) and joint-fifth for receiving yards (1,374), despite playing only 14 games. However, Rodgers clearly lacked a second WR option, with tight end Robert Tonyan's 11 TDs coming on just 59 targets.

There should be no shortage of prospects available to Green Bay, with Elijah Moore - ranked first in the FBS with 149.1 yards per game for Ole Miss - a good fit in the slot.

Yet the team have not selected a receiver in the first round since before Rodgers was drafted, while Adams, in 2014, was the last WR taken higher than the fourth round.

Defensive reinforcements may be more likely over the first two days of the draft. A linebacker like Zaven Collins - four interceptions last season for Tulsa - or a cornerback such as Caleb Farley - falling following back surgery - could be called in the first round, with a later punt on a potential WR project following.
 

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo's needs are two-fold as they aim to give QB Josh Allen the platform to contend with Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady again.

The Bills ranked fourth in the NFL in 2020 for yards per attempt but 20th for rushing average (4.19). Allen contributed 421 of their 1,723 total rushing yards and half of their 16 rushing TDs.

Neither Devin Singletary (156 carries for 687 yards and two TDs) nor Zack Moss (112 carries for 481 yards and four TDs) look capable of being a game-changer on the ground, while the best running backs in the class may well still be on the board at number 30.

Alabama's Najee Harris, who led the FBS with 26 rushing scores, is an obvious standout.

Yet Buffalo's issues against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game came as they failed to disrupt Mahomes, who was sacked only once and threw three TDs and no interceptions.

The Bills were in the middle of the pack for sacks (38, tied 15th) and hurries (163, 17th) and could use someone on the edge, particularly with Jerry Hughes - the man who sacked Mahomes - turning 33 in August.
 

Kansas City Chiefs

If the playoffs made the shortcomings for Buffalo clear, Kansas City's flaws were even more blatant. The best QB in football was helpless in the Super Bowl.

Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, the Chiefs' starting tackles, missed the big game through injury and Mahomes was sacked three times, throwing two picks and no TDs. The pair have each since been released, too, increasing the team's need at the position.

Arrivals Joe Thuney, who allowed 0.5 sacks last season, and Kyle Long, back out of retirement, are not best suited to playing outside. Kansas City would ideally find both a right and left tackle in this draft.

They should have no shortage of options, with a number of prospects mooted as potential picks. Teven Jenkins, out of Oklahoma State, can play either side and would be a popular signing.
 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are in a truly unenviable position in that they have no positions of major need.

Some defensive end depth would be nice, but this unit pressured Mahomes into submission. The team ranked second for both hurries (182) and knockdowns (115). Linebacker Shaquil Barrett alone had 13 Super Bowl pressures.

Or how about a receiver to deliver the late-season impact provided by Antonio Brown? He had only four starts yet scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl triumph. Of course, he could also still return.

The rest of the title-winning roster from last year is back, meaning Tampa Bay remain in 'win now' mode and can simply look to pick up the best player left on the board at pick 32.

That might mean a RB like Harris, while the Bucs would have little to lose in taking a flier on Farley, despite his fitness concerns, if he falls to them.

Josh Allen "didn't perform well enough" for the Buffalo Bills as they missed out on a place in the Super Bowl with a 38-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Bills quarterback Allen completed 28 of 48 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns in the AFC Championship Game, while he rushed for 88 yards on seven carries.

However, an interception at the start of the fourth quarter preceded a Kansas City touchdown on the next drive to put the Chiefs out of sight.

Allen felt he forced things at times and was frustrated the Bills twice settled for field goals despite being within the Chiefs' 10-yard line.

"We didn't execute how we should've. I didn't perform well enough for this team. You're going against the reigning Super Bowl champs, who were 15-1, the number one seed at Arrowhead, if you're not going to have your A game, you're not going to win the game. That's what it was," he said.

"A couple of decisions early on, trying to press in the second half, I got things going a little bit better, but our red zone efficiency settled for field goals and you've got to score touchdowns against these guys. That's basically it.

"In the first half, I thought we moved the ball well, or well enough. We got down into the red zone and couldn't get the ball into the endzone.

"We got down there, threw an interception, a couple of bad decisions on my part. Just the communication aspect of it too. They did a good job of being able to check out their blitzes, not really allow us any time to get back to what we were originally going to run.

"Again, it comes down to decision making and putting the ball where it needed to be and I didn't do that well enough tonight."

Asked if he was pushing to go for touchdowns on the fourth downs inside the Chief's 10-yard line, he added: "I mean, that's the coach's decision. We had three downs to get in there prior and we didn't do our job.

"Like I said, lack of communication, lack of execution down there and it falls on our shoulders."

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott admitted with the benefit of hindsight that he might have tried his luck in one of those instances.

"I thought about it in both occasions really. Maybe if I had to do it all over again, I would have maybe went for one of them," he said.

"The one before the half for sure. I wanted to get points. We were having trouble coming up with points and I wanted to have something to show for it going into the half, especially knowing they were getting the ball after half.

"I will look back at that and I will re-evaluate, especially the one after the half there. As a team, we will learn from this experience."

There were several confrontations towards the end of the game, with Allen sparking one by throwing the ball at the head of Alex Okafor.

Allen regretted letting his emotions get to him but feels confident Buffalo will not have to experience another 27-year wait to reach this stage again.

"It's going to fuel us, I have no doubt in my mind that we will be back. This is a team that fought hard to the end, a team that loves each other," he said.

"We're still young and we're only going to get better. That's one thing I got from this. We're close."

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