Bills Secure 5-3 Record After Defeating Bucs 24-18

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The Bills needed a win. The Buccaneers needed a win.

Only one team got what it wanted on Thursday Night Football.

Buffalo beat Tampa Bay 24-18, rebounding from Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. The Bills moved to 5-3, while the Bucs fell to 3-4.

The Buccaneers made it interesting, but not as interesting as they would have had they not taken 7:21 off the clock on a 17-play, 92 yard drive in the fourth quarter. Two Bills penalties on fourth down kept the drive alive, and then on a third fourth-down play, Baker Mayfield found Mike Evans for a 24-yard touchdown.

The ball glanced off cornerback Christian Benford’s helmet before Evans secured it.

On the two-point conversion, Mayfield had all day before Jordan Phillips tipped the pass that Cade Otton caught in the end zone for a successful conversion. That cut the Bucs’ deficit to 24-18 with 2:44 left.

The Bucs, who had all three timeouts and the 2-minute warning, didn’t get the ball back until 21 seconds remained. They got as close as their own 45 before a Hail Mary attempt. The ball fell incomplete in the end zone.

Mayfield finished 25-of-42 for 237 yards and two touchdown. Rachaad White had seven catches for 70 yards and nine rushes for 39 yards. Chris Godwin made five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

The Bills rolled to 427 yards. But after opening the second half with a touchdown, giving them a 24-10 lead, the Bills didn’t score again. They were 2-for-4 in the red zone on the night.

Bills punter Sam Martin was the hero of the second half. He had no punts in the first half but four in the second half for a 45-yard average, with three downed inside the 20. The Bucs started their final four drives at the 3, 4, 8 and 20 after Martin punts.

Josh Allen went 31-of-40 for 324 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Khalil Shakir had six catches for 92 yards, and Gabe Davis caught nine passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. James Cook had 14 carries for 67 yards.

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