Josh Allen throws 4 touchdowns, Buffalo Bills beat San Francisco 49ers to win first MNF game in 21 seasons

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GLENDALE, Ariz. – Passes shot through the air one at a time, almost always finding their target right on the hands and in stride.
By the time Josh Allen was done, the quarterback had completed one of the best games of his young NFL career, and the Buffalo Bills looked like one of the league’s elite teams again.

Allen threw for 375 yards and tied a career-high with four touchdown passes as the Bills remained in exclusive possession of the AFC East first-place finish with an impressive 34-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers Monday evening.

“He’s our quarterback. He’s a baseball player, ”said Jordan Poyer. “I don’t know what answer you want me to say. It’s no surprise to us what he does every week. I’m glad he’s part of our team.

Buffalo (9-3) moved closer to victory in its division for the first time since 1995 thanks to an almost flawless performance from Allen. The 24-year-old completed 32 of 40 passes without interception.

He threw touchdown passes to Cole Beasley, Dawson Knox, Isaiah McKenzie and Gabriel Davis as the Bills took a 17-7 lead at halftime and controlled most of the second half.

“We were clicking,” Allen said. “It looked like our guys were opening up and the ball was coming out of my hand really well.”

The Bills are one game ahead of the Miami Dolphins with four games left for both teams.

San Francisco (5-7) lost in their first game at their adopted home in Arizona. The 49ers will be based in Glendale for at least three weeks after Santa Clara County released strict new coronavirus protocols that forced the team to find a new temporary home.

It was Allen’s fourth game of the season with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, which set a franchise record. Jim Kelly did it three times in 1991 and Drew Bledsoe three times in 2002.

“As long as that correlates with the success of the team, it means we’re doing the right thing, making the right decisions and winning football games,” Allen said. “That’s all that matters to me. ”

The Bills have had a much more enjoyable trip to the desert than they did three weeks ago, when they lost a 32-30 heartbreaker to the Arizona Cardinals. It was the game where DeAndre Hopkins pulled off a superb capture on three Buffalo defenders with 2 seconds left for the winning score.

San Francisco have had several recent injuries to their cornerback position and have struggled to cover Beasley, who had a career-high 130 yards receiving nine catches.

“We knew exactly what they were running. We just missed it, ”said 49ers linebacker Dr. Greenlaw. “It was a bit of a strange feeling.”

State Farm Stadium – home to the Arizona Cardinals, division rivals, was dressed to make the 49ers feel a bit more at home. There were San Francisco banners hung on the walls along the sidelines and the video board showed Niners highlights and flashed messages like “Faithful to the Bay.”

The teams traded pits on the goal line in the first quarter.

The Bills opened the game with a 74-yard drive that was stopped at Niners 1 after Allen’s fourth pass fell incomplete. San Francisco responded with a 97-yard drive that ended at Buffalo 2 when Jeff Wilson Jr. was pissed off for no gain on the fourth down.

It was only the second game since 2000 that featured two turnovers on downs to start a game.

But San Francisco recovered the ball a game later on an Allen fumble and the 49ers took advantage. Nick Mullens hit Brandon Aiyuk in the middle of the end zone for a 2 yard touchdown.

It was all Buffalo for the rest of the first half and much of the game. Allen hit Beasley for a 5-yard touchdown and then found tight end Knox for a 4-yard scoreline as the Bills advanced 17-7 at halftime.

Mullens completed 26 of his 39 passes for 316 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. The 49ers weren’t bad on offense, but couldn’t keep pace with Allen and the Bills.

“We had to play our best and I think we were very close to doing it,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We just had a few things that didn’t stop us from staying on the pitch. When you do that against an attack and a quarterback like that and you don’t get it back for a while, the game gets out of hand.

PRIME-TIME SUCCESS

The Bills won a rare prime-time victory. They are now 8-22 in prime-time games since 2000 and 2-8 on Monday night, with their only victory over the Jets in November 2014, when the game was put back a day and played. in Detroit after a snowstorm thundered much of Buffalo.

It was their first victory in an official Monday Night Football game since their victory over Miami 23-18 in 1999.

ALLEN’S HOMECOMING, TRI DE

Allen had a big game against the 49ers, which is the team he was rooted for while growing up in Firebaugh, Calif. The city is about a 3 hour drive from San Francisco and Allen went to games as a kid with his family. It was his first time playing against San Francisco.

INJURIES

Bills: Beasley left in the first quarter and was assessed for a head injury but quickly returned. … RB Devin Singletary (knee) started in the first quarter but came back. … Safety Jaquan Johnson was injured on a punt return in the fourth quarter and limped off the field with help.

49ers: DT DJ Jones (ankle) left in the first half and did not return.

NEXT

The Bills host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

The 49ers remain in Arizona and will host Washington on Sunday.

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