May 24, 2024

The Buffalo Bills had no choice but to move on quickly from last Sunday’s defeat to the New England Patriots, a frustrating loss for the team that squandered a late lead to one of the struggling NFL teams entering that game. Questions about the offense, specifically coordinator Ken Dorsey, swirled.

Good thing for Buffalo it was a short week.

The Bills responded with a 24-18 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on “Thursday Night Football.” Quarterback Josh Allen, battling a shoulder injury, had one of his better performances of the season. He was 31-for-40 passing for 324 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His 13-yard rushing touchdown made it 10-0 in the second quarter.

From there, the Buccaneers tied the game on back-to-back possessions. Kicker Chase McLaughlin made a 57-yard field goal to put Tampa Bay on the board, then swung his helmet at a Bills player (no penalty was called). Allen’s interception came on the first play of the next drive, a ball that went straight up in the air following a hit by the blitzing safety Antoine Winfield Jr. William Gholston came down with it and the Buccaneers were in business.

Early in the game, Allen found comfort in receiver Khalil Shakir, the No. 3 in the rotation behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. Shakir had six catches for 92 yards, both career highs. And tight end Dalton Kincaid scored his first career touchdown late in the first half to tilt the game back in the Bills’ favor; earlier in the day, the Bills placed fellow tight end Dawson Knox on injured reserve.

The Buccaneers made it interesting at the end, driving 92 yards (17 plays) on a drive that took seven minutes, 21 seconds off the clock. Mike Evans, held to one catch for seven yards at that point, hauled in a tipped pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield (22-for-38, 217 yards, two touchdowns) for a 24-yard touchdown with 2:42 left in the game. The Bills punted the ball back to Tampa Bay with 21 seconds left, and Mayfield had a Hail Mary heave at the end zone that fell to the ground without a player touching it – and receiver Chris Godwin in close proximity.

The Bills had 25 first downs, compared to the 17 for Tampa Bay. Buffalo’s defense kept the Buccaneers to 78 yards on the ground and hit Mayfield 10 times.

Allen, who rushed seven times for 41 yards, spent moments inside the injury tent on the sideline in the second quarter and was favoring his right shoulder, which he appeared to bang up on the play before he scored his rushing touchdown in the second quarter.

It was a more consistent attack from Buffalo, although red zone struggles early had the home fans frustrated. They were 7-for-13 on third down.

Bills vs. Buccaneers highlights

Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes and ran for another — shrugging off aggravating an injury to his throwing shoulder — as the Bills hung on to defeat the Buccaneers.

Winners and losers from Bills’ win over Buccaneers


Bills defense: The Bills entered Week 8 with the second-most sacks in the NFL with 25. Buffalo’s pass rush gave the Bucs fits all night. Baker Mayfield was routinely under duress.

Mayfield was sacked three times and hit another 10.

Josh Allen: The Bills are often dependent on Allen and Stefon Diggs, but in Thursday’s win they weren’t.

Allen didn’t have to do too much. Allen spread the ball around, was efficient and used his legs when necessary.

Allen threw for 324 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, resulting in a 106.7 passer rating.

Diggs, Gabe Davis, Dalton Kincaid and Khalil Shakir all had at least five receptions.

Allen also rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown in the victory.

Bills WR Khalil Shakir getting extended role: Shakir had a career-high single-game high six catches for 92 receiving yards. He never had a game of over four catches and 75 receiving yards.

Shakir’s 92 receiving yards led all players.

Dalton Kincaid steps ups with Buffalo down multiple tight ends: With tight ends Dawson Knox, Quintin Morris and Zach Davidson all out, rookie Dalton Kincaid stepped up.


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