Five takeaways from the statement win at 'Jerry World'

A look at the biggest takeaways from the Bills' 26-15 win in Dallas on Thanksgiving

Louie DiBiase
November 29, 2019 - 12:52 am
© Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports

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The Buffalo Bills finally got the statement win many were looking for to legitimize the team as a real contender in the AFC.

It came in the form of a nationally televised victory on Thanksgiving Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys, 26-15 at AT&T Stadium.

There was a lot to takeaway from the win that improves the Bills record to 9-3, but these five takeaways are the biggest:

 

  • Josh Allen introduces himself to the national fanbase 

Over the last two seasons, the Bills' young signal caller had yet to find his signature win that introduced himself to the league as a potential rising star at quarterback. Allen found it during what is one of the most watched games of an NFL season during the second Thanksgiving Day matchup in Dallas.

In front of the entire country, Allen completed 79.2% of his passes, finished with a passer rating of 120.7, and made some huge plays in crucial moments. That included this Houdini-like sneak on fourth down that is still unbelievable to watch. 

How he found that ball in a pile of bodies is mind-blowing. 

It is a very encouraging sign that the biggest stage Allen has ever played on was the game that featured the Wyoming product in his most poised form. 

That is going to be needed if the Bills want to make a deep run. 

 

  • Cole Beasley thrives in his revenge game 

He will downplay the fact that his former team was the opposition, but this game meant a lot to Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley.

Beasley made the most of his revenge tour in Dallas, catching six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. 

Beasley put up his best numbers of the season against Cowboys slot cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who heading into the week had allowed the third-lowest passer rating in the slot when targeted. 

His short-area explosiveness, quick twitch route running, and reliable hands has been instrumental in the development of Allen's short and intermediate game.

The consistent separation he creates inside is such a big asset to the offense. You've got to imagine the Cowboys wish they never let Beasley go. 

 

  • Ed Oliver looks like a problem for offensive lines 

Simply put, rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver abused the Cowboys' interior offensive line.

While the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft struggled during the first half of the season, even being benched from a starting role at one point, he has looked like a future star pass-rusher on the inside over the last three weeks. 

Thursday was another stellar day from Oliver, finishing the day with two sacks, including a strip sack of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott when the game was all tied up at 7-7. 

This is why the Bills took Oliver as high as they did in the draft. Although he is undersized for a defensive tackle, his ceiling as a pass-rusher was too enticing to pass up. Now that is showing up on the field.

Oliver has four sacks in the last three games. His five total on the year is the fourth most of rookies, and seventh most of all defensive tackles. 

Not bad at all. 

 

  • Devin Singletary = Efficiency 

Ed Oliver isn't the only rookie that is taking over at the right time for the Bills. Rookie running back Devin Singletary has been the epitome of efficiency since replacing Frank Gore as the featured back. 

Singletary ran for 63 yards on 14 carries, making it five straight games that the rookie has averaged at least 4.5 yards per-carry.

He was also on the receiving end of the Bills' play of the game when wide receiver John Brown became the first receiver in franchise history to throw a touchdown pass. 

Singletary caught two more passes, but one reception that moved the chains was a perfect example of the mismatch he can be. Against a linebacker in space, he won the matchup with ease. 

Between Singletary, Brown, and Beasley, there is a lot of explosiveness on this Buffalo offense. 

 

  • Can't help but think big picture after the win in Dallas

At 9-3, the Bills are close to locking up a spot in the playoffs. A large portion of the conversation throughout the season has been about what Buffalo needs to do to secure a spot in the big dance. 

However, the complete performance on the road, on such a big stage, against a desperate and talented team might make you think about more than just getting in. 

It makes you wonder if we should start thinking about the AFC East crown. About a bye week.

Crazy right? Not really. 

The Bills are now 1.5 games back of the New England Patriots in the AFC East, with a final matchup between the rivals still on deck for Week 16 in Foxboro. 

The schedule gets challenging for Buffalo, but it does for the Patriots too. New England takes on the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs over the next two weeks. Those are the third and fourth seeds in the AFC. 

Don't put a lot of money on it, but maybe it is time to stop looking behind the Bills in the standings and start looking forward. 

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