ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score on consecutive possessions and the Buffalo Bills persevered through wet, chilly and windy conditions to beat a banged-up Mike White and the AFC East-rival New York Jets 20-12 on Sunday.
Allen’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Knox in the closing minute of the second quarter led to Buffalo scoring on four consecutive drives, capped by a pair of field goals by Tyler Bass, including a 49-yarder.
The AFC-leading Bills (10-3) won their fourth straight since a two-game skid, which included a 20-17 loss at the Jets. Buffalo has won at least 10 of its first 13 games for the seventh time in franchise history.
The Jets (7-6) have lost four of six in a slump that has made their playoff chances shaky. New York, which hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2010, entered the week as the AFC’s seventh seed, a win ahead of New England and the Los Angeles Chargers.
New York was undone by having White briefly sidelined twice by injuries to his ribs as well as a pair of costly turnovers in the second half. As a precaution, coach Robert Saleh said White was sent to the hospital after the game to be evaluated.
One play after White was hurt a second time, backup Joe Flacco lost a fumble while being sacked by Greg Rousseau in the third quarter. The turnover led to Bass hitting a 38-yard field goal attempt to put Buffalo ahead 17-7.
Running back Michael Carter then lost a fumble while trying to convert a second-and-2 at Buffalo’s 28 with 2:23 left in the game. Safety Damar Hamlin punched the ball loose after the Jets appeared to gain momentum by cutting the lead to 20-9 when Jermaine Johnson blocked Sam Martin’s punt for a safety five minutes earlier.
The Jets essentially ran out of time to complete a comeback bid. After Greg Zuerlein hit a 26-yard field goal with 1:18 remaining, New York got the ball back at its own 21 with 46 seconds left but White threw four consecutive incompletions, with his last attempt batted down by A.J. Epenesa.
White otherwise showed his grit in missing a combined four snaps from scrimmage.
He finished 27 of 44 for 268 yards and no turnovers, a year after he threw four interceptions in a 45-17 loss to the Bills.
Zonovan Knight scored on a 13-yard run. With 78 yards receiving, Garrett Wilson upped his total to 878, breaking the Jets’ single-season rookie record set by Keyshawn Johnson in 1996.
Allen finished 16 of 27 for a season-low 147 yards. More important, he didn’t turn the ball over as he did twice in Buffalo’s loss to the Jets last month.
The elements, in which a persistent drizzle turned to flurries, contributed to the teams opening the game with 10 consecutive punts, the most to start an NFL game since 2016. The Bills punted five straight times before Allen capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive with the touchdown pass to Knox.
The Bills even had to get inventive to extend the drive. With Buffalo facing fourth-and-1 at its own 39 and Allen lined up in a shotgun formation, Knox darted under center and drew the Jets offside. Linebacker C.J. Mosley was fooled by what happened and dived over center to tackle Knox, who had yet to take the snap.
The Bills scored five plays later when Allen hit Knox in the left flats at the 10, and he did the rest by vaulting Sauce Gardner and going end over end before landing on the goal line.
The outing was Buffalo’s first true home game since a 33-30 overtime loss to Minnesota on Nov. 13. Buffalo’s scheduled home game the following week against Cleveland was shifted to Detroit after a massive lake-effect storm dumped seven feet of snow in parts of the Buffalo region.
Up next, the Bills host the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night.