DETROIT (AP) Josh Allen threw a go-ahead, 5-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs late in the first half and Buffalo got the better of Cleveland Browns 31-23 on Sunday after the NFL moved InvoicesGame back to Detroit due to snow covered several feet of western New York.
The Bills (7-3) avoided blowing out a third straight first half lead by scoring on all five of their possessions in the second half and doing a better job of protecting the ball.
Cleveland (3-7) rallied with an eight-point lead, putting up an onside kick in the final seconds that Bills receiver Gabe Davis failed to grab and Taiwan Jones fell back.
Many fans from both fanbases turned up, chanting “Let’s Go Buffalo!” And they bark like dogs.
Buffalo lost its boisterous home advantage, but the team did its best to bring in some of the familiar sights and sounds of Highmark Stadium, like the blaring train horn and Bills Mafia calls to rise at key moments.
Buffalo, who will return to Detroit to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, is starting to slump after a week off from a winter storm.
Allen found rhythm on an 11-play, 78-yard drive that lasted 1 minute, 40 seconds and ended with Allen’s first pass to Diggs.
The Bills scored a second half touchdown for the first time in four games on a 5-yard Devin Singletary run. They also stopped a Jacoby Brissett sneak on fourth-and-one from the Buffalo 27 and blocked a field goal in the third quarter while leading 22-10.
The Browns wasted several chances to keep their playoff hopes from fading just as quarterback Deshaun Watson neared the end of his 11-game NFL suspension.
Brissett had dropped passes from tight ends Harrison Bryant and Pharaoh Brown on back-to-back throws that cost Cleveland a touchdown and forced a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Brissett finished 28 of 41 for 324 yards—two shy of his career high—and three touchdowns on the season. He threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper on the opening drive, a 7-yard score pass to Cooper with 4:11 left to pull the Browns within 12 points and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones in the last minute.
The Bills got a much-needed break when Brissett fumbled a touchdown midway through the second quarter at midfield. At that point, Buffalo was without a first down, capping 181 yards to 12 and trailing 10-3.
Allen was 18 of 27 for 197 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. He’s thrown six of his 10 NFL interceptions over the previous three games and fumbled in the end zone during last week’s crash against Minnesota.
Bills running backs Singletary and James Cook each ran for 86 yards, taking the pressure off Allen to make a play in the air.
BROWN: Starting C Ethan Bosic (knee) came off early in the game and was replaced by Healti Froholt.
Bills: DE AJ Epenesa (ankle) was injured during the game.
Brown: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Bills: Return to Ford Field to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.
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