Josh Allen Dazzles with 4 TDs as Bills Defeat 49ers to Improve to 9-3

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2020

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills aren't ready to relinquish first place in the AFC East.

Buffalo improved to 9-3 and remained ahead of the 8-4 Miami Dolphins with a 34-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Monday's game that was played at State Farm Stadium in Arizona because of COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara County.

Josh Allen was brilliant and led the way for the victors, who have won two in a row.

As for San Francisco, it is an ugly 1-4 in its last five games and fell to 5-7 and further behind the 6-6 Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals in the race for the final NFC playoff spot.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JOSH ALLEN IS DEALING: - 31/38 - 364 yards - 4 TDs QB1 came to play. @brgridiron https://t.co/EZ5MfoijZJ


Notable Player Stats

  • Josh Allen, QB, BUF: 32-of-40 for 375 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
  • Cole Beasley, WR, BUF: 9 catches for 130 yards, 1 TD
  • Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF: 10 catches for 92 yards
  • Nick Mullens, QB, SF: 26-of-39 for 316 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
  • Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SF: 5 catches for 95 yards, 1 TD


Josh Allen Torches San Francisco's Secondary

While this has been an impressive season for the Bills, consistency had been an issue of late for Allen.

He threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns in a November win over the Seattle Seahawks but also threw for less than 160 yards in three of his last six contests. What's more, he threw seven interceptions in his previous seven games and has hurt his team while taking unnecessary chances.

So much for that.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Bills rocked Cole Beasley to sleep after scoring a TD 😂 (via @NFL) https://t.co/xrK7zqwWqK

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Cole Beasley is carving up the Niners: 7 catches 113 yards 1 TD Bills lead SF 17-7 at the half. (via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/ZLwySYAT92


Dawson Knox leaps for the TD! #BillsMafia @BuffaloBills lead 14-7. 📺: #BUFvsSF on ESPN 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/Cn2mSOuS9h https://t.co/sUfqRORB14

Ryan Clark @Realrclark25

Sheesh.. When 17 is right he can spin it with the best in the business. He’s made 3 throws on this drive that couldn’t be made any better. Shoot, he’s even rolling and out & officiating at the same time. Josh Allen is on 1.


.@JoshAllenQB on the run? 🎯 #BillsMafia 📺: #BUFvsSF on ESPN 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/Cn2mSOuS9h https://t.co/cGjGQzFDDl

Marcel Louis-Jacques @Marcel_LJ

I mean, why should the Bills do anything else on offense? They're so clearly at their best when Josh Allen is slinging the pill

Allen wasted little time setting the tone as the impressive version of himself Monday and was in full control from the early going even with a turnover on downs at San Francisco's 1-yard line and a fumbled handoff exchange with Zack Moss. He fit passes through tight windows, escaped pressure in the pocket and directed an impressive field-goal drive in the final minute of the first half to go up by double digits.

Throw in touchdown passes to Dawson Knox and Cole Beasley, who consistently found openings in San Francisco's secondary while Stefon Diggs drew attention and went over 100 yards before halftime, and Allen showed no signs of the inconsistency that has recently plagued him.

Intermission did nothing to slow the 24-year-old down, as he continued to pick San Francisco's zone apart and methodically move downfield.

The Checkdown @thecheckdown

Definition of a DIME 🎯 @JoshAllenQB @BuffaloBills 📺 #BUFvsSF on ESPN https://t.co/4gJdLIYCsW

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

3rd TD tonight for Allen ♨️ Bills pulling away (via @NFL) https://t.co/e6nkIy1sil

A beautiful play-action floater over the top of the defense to Isaiah McKenzie highlighted Allen's second half that also included a key fourth-down conversion to Diggs and a touchdown throw to a wide-open Gabriel Davis.

If Allen continues to play like he did Monday, it will be just a matter of time until Buffalo clinches the AFC East.


Slow Start, Late Turnovers Doom Overmatched 49ers

If it wasn't clear from Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle watching the game from the stands, injuries have been a defining trait of the 49ers' season.

They at least got Richard Sherman, Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert back for their last win against the Los Angeles Rams and appeared to pick up right where they left off when they opened the scoring with a touchdown strike from Nick Mullens to Brandon Aiyuk that came after their defense forced a turnover.

San Francisco 49ers @49ers

Do your thing ALL-PRO FRED! @fred_warner #ProBowlVote https://t.co/FTkRquLADk https://t.co/nYBKrdwC08

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Brandon Aiyuk for 6 🔥 49ers take the early lead (via @NFL) https://t.co/YU97kND566

That momentum was short-lived, though, as San Francisco failed to score another point in the first half and didn't establish the rushing attack it so often relies on in the early going.

It only got worse in the third quarter when Aiyuk dropped a pass that bounced right into Micah Hyde's arms for an interception. The ensuing return set up a field goal that essentially buried an overmatched San Francisco squad.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

RAN INTO A BRICK WALL. (via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/r48pMi1aNv

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

This Niners INT was wild 😳 (via @NFL) https://t.co/4qGESI8Rfx

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Tre'Davious White goal line pick 😤 (via @NFL) https://t.co/MUU0C3Ygxy

Aiyuk at least made up for it with a deep catch to set up a Kyle Juszczyk touchdown, but any chance at a dramatic comeback ended when Mullens false-started on a quarterback sneak at the goal line and then threw an interception to Tre'Davious White on the next play.

The roster on the field Monday was nowhere near the one that reached the Super Bowl, and there was no room for error. The turnovers were simply too much to overcome, especially against a contender from the AFC.


What's Next?

Both teams are home in Week 14 when the Bills play the Pittsburgh Steelers and the 49ers face the Washington Football Team.