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New England Patriots 23-35 Buffalo Bills, Bills clinch no. 2 seed in AFC, summary: score, stats, highlights | NFL Week 18

The Bills played with heart in their emotional victory over the Patriots. They will host the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Patriots at Bills: LIVE

Bills win no. 2 seed in AFC with victory over Patriots

The Bills played with heart in this emotional victory over the Patriots. With this win, they clinch the no. 2 seed in the AFC and will therefore host the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs. The Patriots loss eliminated them from the playoffs and the Dolphins' win over the Jets secured them the no. 7 seed and spot in the playoffs.

Emotional victory for Hamlin

The Bills were able to play in much better spirits than they anticipated just days ago after news that their teammate, Damar Hamlin, was in recovery, off of the ventilator, and able to speak to his teammates. 

After the 24-year-old collapsed on the field last week during the Bills-Bengals game, the whole NFL world came to a halt. It was a terrifying moment and the following days were just as scary. It was revealed that Hamlin had suffered cardiac arrest, but it is still not known exactly what caused it. 

The NFL, with much influence by Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zac Taylor, decided to postpone the game. Eventually, they decided to cancel the game completely, not knowing whether or not Hamlin would be okay. That uncertainty left every NFL player feeling a little odd about playing the next week, but the games had to go on. That particular game though, would not. 

Canceling that game was something the NFL had never done before and it made for very confusing playoff implications as the two teams were in a race with the Chiefs for the no. 1 seed in the AFC. Was it the right call to cancel it completely? Not everyone thinks so. It left the Bengals with no chance to clinch the no. 1 seed in the AFC, though the Chiefs win on Saturday means they wouldn't have clinched it anyway.

Regardless, the Bills game was much lighter once news came out that Hamlin was in recovery and breathing and speaking on his own. 

Bills' storybook start and remarkable end

The Bills game started out with a 96-yard touchdown return by Nyheim Hines in the first 14 seconds. It felt like fate for a team that desperately needed their spirits lifted. 

While the Patriots had playoffs on the line, they did fight, but the Bills fought harder. Jakobi Meyers made a touchdown catch for 2 yards and DeVante Parker made two touchdown catches. Nick Folk had one field goal for the Pats. 

For the Bills, they started out with that incredible 96-yard Hines touchdown return. Remarkably, that wasn't his only one. In the 3rd quarter, Hines did it again. Just after the Pats made a field goal, Hines took the ball all the way back into the end zone again, 101 yards. ​​​​​​​Besides those two miraculous touchdowns, Dawson Knox got a touchdown and Stefon Diggs and John Brown both made 40+-yard touchdowns.

The Bills played for their teammate today and it showed. 


Allen takes the knee and lets the clock run out, the Bills defeat the Patriots 35-23

02:00 Q4

Two-minute warning

And that'll bring us to the 2-minute warning. The Bills are up 35-23 and they have the ball after an interception. 1st down at the Patriots 20.

Cook pushes through 7 yards, gets the 1st down

02:35 Q4

Pats take 2nd timeout

Cook gets 4 yards, 2nd and 9

Jones barely gets the ball away under pressure and it is INTERCEPTED by Edmunds!

Jones to Harris complete for 4 yards, taken down by Poyer, 3rd and 1 as the clock keeps ticking

03:19 Q4

Jones to Henry for 5 yards and he goes out of bounds at the Pats 24, 2nd and 5

Jones takes it back 16 yards on the return

Allen under pressure, gets away, passes deep and it's ALMOST caught by Davis, but he just can't finish the job, incomplete, 4th and 12. Bills punt it back.

03:47 Q4

Bills take 1st timeout

Allen pass incomplete to Diggs, 3rd and 12

03:56 Q4

Pats take 1st timeout

Singletary is knocked down quick for a loss od 2, 2nd and 12

Cook gets another 6 to get the 1st down

Allen to Diggs for a gain of 6, 2nd and 4

Jones pass INTERCEPTED by Milano! He runs it down 41 yards to the Bills 39!

Harris gets a yard, 3rd and 19

Jones pass to Bourne bounces off his fingertips, he should've caught that. 2nd and 20. 

Jones pass to Meyers for a gain of 6 but Pats get a PassInterference call that backs them up to the 23 and 1st and 20.

Harris takes it up the middle 13yards, 1st down!

Harris loses 4, swallowed up by Johnson and Rousseau but they get a gain of 13 by Thornton's catch, 3rd and 1

Pats get lucky! On the return, Jones MUFFS the catch and it's RECOVERED by the Pats' Bentley at the Bills 35.

Penalty is on the Bills for Illegal Block Above the Waist, but it's declined.

After two incomplete passes to Meyers, Jones passes deep to Parker and it hits him in the face, incomplete, brings Pats to 4th and 10 and they punt it back

Check out this incredible TD by Allen and Diggs!

Allen under pressure passes deep to Diggs from the 41 yard all the way into the end zone and Diggs makes the touchdown, 49 yards! Bass' PAT is good and Bills up their lead with 8L51 left in the 4th.


McKenzie picks up 13 yards to bring Bills to 3rd and 10

Knox makes the snag for 7 yards, but there's a penalty on Bills' Cook for Chop Block that brings them back 15 yards, 2nd and 23

Allen pass to Davis complete for 11 yards to the Pats 49

Jones made a great pass deep to Parker in the end zone 26yards for the touchdown! They decided to go for 2 with 11:37 left in the 4th quarter. Jones passed to Stevenson, but it was incomplete. Pats are down by 5.

And it is NO GOOD

Pats are going for the 2-point conversion...


Pats get to 4th and 1 and they go for it - Jones pass to Meyers is CAUGHT for 10 yards and the 1st down at the Bills 26

Stevenson takes it up 10 yards to the Bills 41 but then FUMBLES but it's recovered by Pats' Andrews at the 41. 

Pats' Andrews gets Holding call, 10 yards

Jones passes long but it's overthrown wide and incomplete

Jones pass to Harris complete for 5 yards, but Bills' Elam gets a Holding call, Pats get automatic 1st down


END 3rd quarter

The Pats hand it off to Harris again and he gets just 2 yards this time to bring the Pats to 2nd and 8 at the 50 to end the 3rd quarter.

Two big gains for the Pats - Jones passes to Parker for 15yards and then Harris turns up the speed, takes off for 19 yards to the Pats 48 

Allen passes to Brown and it's overthrown but he pumps up the speed and makes the catch for 42 yards into the end zone! The Bills are up by two scores with 1:35 to go in the 3rd quarter.


Allen to Shakir caught and Shakir takes it down 28 yards to the Pats 42!

Bills were brought to 3rd and 1, but Allen easily took the 1st down on a dive.  He lost a yard after that, taken down by Judon. 

Hines' second TD return 101 yards!

This time, Hines makes the fair catch.

Pats at 3td and 7 at the Bills 47, Jones pass to Stevenson is incomplete as Johnson clobbers Thorton. They'll punt it back to the Bills.

Jones takes it 36 yards to get good yardage after the return and they make it to 1st down at the 50

I don't believe it!! Nyheim Hines did it again!!! After starting the game off with a 96-yard touchdown return, he made a 101-yard touchdown return just after the Patriots took their first lead of the game. The Bills are back on top with just under 7 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.



Mac Jones threw an interception close to the end zone to give the Bills the ball back, but the Bills' luck ran out quickly. On 2nd down, Singletary fumbled the ball and Pats' McCourty recovered it to give New England the ball back yet again at the 11-yard line. They weren't able to get the touchdown there, but they did get a 24-yard field goal by Folk to take the lead for the first time today. 

Folk 24-yard field goal is GOOD!

At 4th and 5, the Pats are going to go for the field goal 

Harris gets a gain of 2 but the second throw is blocked by Milano​​​​​​​, Pats at 3rd and 8 at the 9

Singletary took it again but the ball came loose, FUMBLE, and the Pats get it back again! McCourty takes it and the Pats get the ball right back again!

Singletary takes it up 5 yards to the Bills 7, 2nd and 5

Jones pass INTERCEPTED by White!

Stevenson dodges defenders, takes it ​​​​​​​16 yards and they are suddenly in the danger zone

Jones passes to Henry and it is CAUGHT! 1st down

Jones pass nearly intercepted by Edmunds who bats away and now the Pats are at 4th and 1

Harris gets it down 6 yards, then 3, bringing the Pats to 3rd and 1

Jones gets it to Henry who dives and catches it for a gain of 13. Bills are saying he was down before the catch but it was ruled a catch. 

Harris gets 1, Henry gets 5, and the Pats are at 3rd and 4

Jones gets it to Bourne for a quick gain of 11 yards

15:00 Q3

2nd half ready to go

The Patriots won the toss and elected to defer so they start us off on offense in the 2nd half.

Allen's interception to end the first half

Meyers with the Pats first TD of the game

Bills-Pats tied at halftime: Summary

The game started off with emotions running high as Bills player Damar Hamlin was watching from his hospital bed after suffering cardiac arrest on the field in last week's game. He was thrilled to see the Bills start off with an immediate touchdown. Nyheim Hines took the ball on the kickoff 96 yards straight into the end zone in 14 seconds to give the Bills a 7-0 start right off the bat.

The Patriots didn't take too long to come back. After DE Deatrich Wise made a sack on Bills QB Josh Allen, the Pats got the ball back and took it back for a touchdown. It was wide receiver Jakobi Meyers who made the catch in the end zone, getting both his feet down just enough to get the score. The Pats and Bills were tied 7-7 going into the 2nd quarter, but not for long.

To start off the 2nd quarter, the Bills were right there in the red zone ready to make the score and that they did. Tight end Dawson Knox made the catch 4 yards in the end zone to give the Bills the lead again, 14-7 after the extra point. Defenses were on point after that as the Pats and Bills traded off on offense. Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker was the next one to make the score though on a 2-yard catch. The game was tied yet again, 14-14 with 3:45 to play in the half.

The Bills looked like they were about to get the lead again before halftime. They were at the 15-yard line, but after two incomplete passes, Allen threw an interception into the arms of CB Devin McCourty to end the half. The Pats attempted a long pass to get a score for themselves before the half, but to no avail. 

The score remained 14-14 to end the first half.



Pats down it and that'll bring us to the half

00:10 Q2

Jones throws deep to Myers but the Bills defenders are all over him, incomplete

00:16 Q2

Patriots take 2nd timeout

Allen pass INTERCEPTED by McCourty after Judon put on the pressure

00:26 Q2

Allen passes twice into the end zone, both incomplete, first to Davis, then to Diggs. 3rd and 10 at the 15

00:38 Q2

Bills take 1st timeout

And it's Allen again! He scrambles for the 1st down on a 7-yard run

00:52 Q2

Allen takes it down again, 7 yards this time, out of bounds to stop the clock. 2nd down and 3.

Allen gets a yard and the 1st down

01:17 Q2

Patriots take 1st timeout.

Diggs makes the catch for a gain of 6, followed by a 3-yard gain by Cook. Bills at 3rd and 1. 

02:00 Q2

Two-minute warning

Two minutes to go in the 1st half - the Pats just scored their second TD to tie up the game for the second time today. It's 14-14 and the Bills have the ball at 1st and 10 at the Patriots 39.

Singletary gets a gain of 18 and the 1st down as we approach the 2-minute warning

Jones passed to Parker clean into the endzone 2 yards. Folk's PAT is good and it's a tie game yet again with 3:45 to go in the half.


Stevenson took the ball up 5 yards, but Pats' McDe​​​​​​​rmott was down on the field. He got up, wanted to stay on, but came off the field.

2nd and goal

Bourne and Harris get a few short gains to bring Pats to 3rd and 3. Jones passes to Bourne and it's complete for 10 yards to the Bills 7 and they are getting close to the end zone again,

Jones passes to wide-open Bourne to get 20yards and the 1st down at the Bills 24

Jones gets another completion to Stevenson for 8 yards, 2nd and 2

Stevenson gets an 18-yard run and now he's officially rushed for over 1,000 yards this season! 1st down Pats

Allen gets out of the pocket but Ekuale gets to him before he can get the 1st down, 4th and 10 and Bills punt it away

Allen incomplete to Diggs, 2nd down, then gives it to Cook who takes it a few yards, 3rd and 6. Allen is 3-for-3 on 3rd downs...

Allen pass to McKenzie is caught at the last second just before getting tackled by Barmore. 6 yards and the 1st down

Patriots Judon was injured and down on the field.

Cook on two plays gets a total of 7 yards to bring Bills to 3rd and 3

Pats 3 and out

Edmunds was all over Jones, who ran backwards for a while before finally throwing the ball away, 4th and 7 forces the Pats to punt it away.

Parker gets a pickup of 9, but Pats are still at 3rd and 7

Harris tried to take it up the middle but he was taken back for a loss of 6. The Bills were definitely offsides, but it wasn't called so Pats are at 2nd and 16.

Allen fakes it to Singletary and he's got all day. He finds Knox in the endzone for 4 yards. Bass PAT is good and the Bills are up to start off the 2nd quarter.


15:00 Q2

Allen hands it off to Singletary, but he's swallowed up by Godchaux for a loss of 2 yards


It's a tie game at the end of the 1st quarter. The Bills got off to a storybook start with a Hines 96-yard run for a touchdown on kickoff. The Patriots followed it up towards the end of the 1st with a touchdown of their own by Myers.

To start off the 2nd quarter, the Bills have the ball at 1st and goal at the 2-yard line.

Allen pass CAUGHT by Davis with defenders all over him at the 3-yard line!

Allen passes into the end zone to Shakir but McCourty is all over him, knocks it away, 3rd and 7

Damar Hamlin is following today's game from hospital as he recovers from the cardiac arrest he suffered during the Bengals game last week. He REALLY enjoyed that early TD from Hines! 

Allen passes to Diggs and he turns just inside, catching the ball on his hip for a beautiful catch, 16 yards to the Pats 24 for the 1st down

Allen passes long but it's tipped by Tavai, 2nd and 10

Singletary gets the 1st down, rushes for 2 yards to the Pats 40

Bills gets it to Davis this time for 9 yards, 3rd and 1 

Bills pass to Davis is caught but out of bounds with just one foot in, incomplete

Allen pass to Diggs is complete for a pickup of 16 yards and the 1st down

Singletary gets 6 yards. On 2nd down, Allen scrambles but he only gets a few yards. Bills are at 3rd and 2.

Patriots' Peppers was injured during the play

Hines takes back the return 20 yards to the Bills 25.

Myers makes the catch in the end zone 2 yards for the Patriots touchdown. The officials called it but the play was under review. In the end, the call stood. Folk's PAT was good to tie up the game with 5:45 to go in the 1st quarter.


Myers makes the catch in the end zone, but it's a little unclear if both feet were in, but officials call it a touchdown. The right foot looks like it just barely tapped and the left was clearly down. Play is under review.

Jones takes it up 4 yards, 2nd and goal at the Bills 2

Pats making it into the red zone, and Parker gets the catch for the 1st down and to bring them to the Bills 6

Holding penalty on Bills' White

Jones passes twice in a row to Stevenson and he's just short of the 1st down. At 3rd and 1, Jones tosses it to Myers and he gets 20 yards for the 1st down and then some to the Bills 45.

Bills punt it back to the Patriots at 4th down

Allen SACKED by Wise for a loss of 13​​​​​​​

Allen to Singletary brings Bills to 3rd and 7

Allen passes to Diggs a third time, but this time Dugger bats it away, 2nd and 10

Allen passes to Diggs twice in a row and on the second, it looked like a fumble for a second, but he was out before it was lost, so Bills get the 1st down

Just an incredible start for the Bills! After what they've gone through in the last week, this was the uplifting start they and the whole city needed.

Hines takes the fair catch

At 4th and 17, the Pats punt it back to the Bills

Jones is SACKED by Rousseau for a loss of 9

Jones first pass is bobbled away, nearly taken away by the Bills, but it was called dead. Second down was a short pass. 3rd and 8...

The Bills literally took off for a score SECONDS after the game kicked off. They are fighting for Hamlin and it shows. Nyheim Hines ran it 96 yards back from the return for a touchdown in 14 seconds.

Bills' Hines just took off on the return and ran it all the way down the field and into the end zone!! 96 yards!!!!!

Game time!

And we're off!


Bills and Patriots fans across the stadium are all holding up the number 3 in support for Damar Hamlin in a beautiful show of love for the player.

Bills players feeling encouraged by positive Hamlin news

I don't think a single Bills player was excited about playing in today's game while their teammate Damar Hamlin sat in critical condition in the ICU. They watched in helpless horror as he collapsed on the field and had to be given CPR last week after a routine tackle.

Hamlin to teammates: "I love you, boys"

But now, news of his incredible recovery has them feeling much more encouraged. They first received encouraging news from Hamlin's parents, his dad telling them that Hamlin would want them to play. Then, Hamlin was taken off his ventilator and able to breathe on his own and even speak to his teammates on video call. He told them, "I love you, boys", and that left the Bills players' spirits much higher. 

Bills quarterback Josh Allen said he believes the team is ready to play today. Head coach Sean McDermott echoed the sentiment.

“How do I know that we’ll be able to overcome? We have to," said McDermott. "Just like we’ve done many times before, and this city, and the people of Western New York that have dealt with what they’ve dealt with. That’s what you do. This is what Western New York and the fans of the Buffalo Bills...this is what we do."


Damar Hamlin will watch Bills game from hospital bed.

The fact that Hamlin is well enough to watch the game less than a week after collapsing on the field is incredible news.

AFC Playoff Picture

To expand upon the previous update, here is the latest on the playoff picture in the AFC. 

The Bills obviously cannot win the no. 1 seed in the AFC now that the Chiefs clinched it, but they can still win the no. 2 seed, and here's how:

A win or a tie against the Patriots today would give the Bills the no. 2 seed.

A Bengals loss to the Ravens would give the Bills the no. 2 seed no matter the result of the Bills-Pats game.

Who would the Bills play if they win the no. 2 seed?

A win today would mean the Bills clinch the no. 2 seed in the AFC. They would play the no. 7 seed in the AFC in the Wild Card round in that case. That could potentially be the Patriots, Dolphins, or Steelers. 

Who will get the last AFC playoff spot and how?

The Patriots are in the playoffs if: they beat the Bills OR the Dolphins and Steelers lose. 

The Dolphins are in the playoffs if: They win and the Patriots lose OR they lose, plus the Patriots and Steelers also lose.

The Steelers are in the playoffs if: ​​​​​​​They win and the Patriots and Dolphins lose. 

How could the Bills end up the no. 3 seed?

If the Bills lose and the Bengals win, the Bills would move down to the no. 3 seed and the Bengals would clinch the second seed.

The Bengals hold the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Bills, the fourth between the two teams. The first one is no longer applicable since the cancelation of their Week 17 matchup. Both the Bills and the Bengals would be 3-3 in the AFC and hold the same 8-3 record of common games.

Who would the Bills play if they are the no. 3 seed?

If the Bills end up the no. 3 seed, they will either play the Ravens or the Chargers. 

Damar Hamlin “would want the Bills to play” on Sunday


Damar Hamlin “would want the Bills to play” on Sunday

After a positive health update about Bills player Damar Hamlin, the Bills players and coaches are looking forward to reuniting with their teammate.

Read more.

What's at stake for the Bills and Patriots?

The Bills have already clinched the AFC East. With the cancelation of the game last week against the Bengals though, a few things have changed.

Last night saw the Chiefs beat the Raiders, which meant the Chiefs clinched the no. 1 seed in the AFC.

Now, if the Bills win, then the AFC championship game between the Chiefs and Bills would be played at a neutral site.

The Patriots would be eliminated from the playoffs if they lose. 

If the Patriots win, they would clinch a playoff berth.

If the Patriots win and the Bengals win against the Ravens, the Bills could drop down to the no. 3 seed.

Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills.

It's sure to be an emotional game today as the Bills players take the field for the first time since their teammate Damar Hamlin shockingly collapsed on the field during Week 17's Monday night game.

That game was canceled, but the Week 18 game will go on as scheduled. With Hamlin in recovery and able to speak to his teammates, the Bills players are feeling a little calmer heading into today's game.

For the Patriots, a win today would win them a playoff berth. 

This game is sure to be an emotional and intense one. Follow along as we bring you all the latest updates, scores, highlights, and commentary as the Bills host the Bengals.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET from Bills Stadium.


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