Cole Beasley savored a little extra time on the field with his former teammates after what had to be one of the most satisfying days of the Buffalo receiver’s career.
And to think he didn’t even have the most noteworthy play for the Bills’ pass-catchers.
John Brown became the first Buffalo receiver to throw a touchdown pass, Josh Allen set a franchise record by producing at least two touchdowns in an eighth consecutive game and the surging Bills beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 26-15 in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday.
Trailing 7-6, Brown took a pitch on a double reverse and lofted the ball to wide-open running back Devin Singletary for Buffalo’s first lead at 13-7 in the second quarter.
Allen’s TD pass was to Beasley, who had 110 yards receiving in the stadium where he spent his first seven seasons as the Bills (9-3) got their first Thanksgiving win since 1975 in their first appearance on the holiday in 25 years.
Allen was 19 of 24 for 231 yards and a career-best 120.7 passer rating as Bills won their third straight game and solidified their hold on an AFC wild-card spot.
The Cowboys (6-6) stumbled after scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, giving Philadelphia a chance to rejoin them atop the NFC East after their fourth double-digit loss in the past six Thanksgiving games.
A lackluster showing for Dallas’ sixth loss in nine games came four days after owner Jerry Jones blasted the coaching staff following a loss to New England from a team that entered the season with lofty expectations.
Jones remained supportive of embattled coach Jason Garrett, who is in the final year of his contract in his ninth full season for a franchise that hasn’t been past the divisional round since the last of its five championships to finish the 1995 season.
“This is not the time for me,” said Jones, who made an in-season change when Garrett got the job in 2010. “I’m looking ahead at winning four or five straight. Every decision that I make over the next month will be with an eye in mind to get us in the Super Bowl now.”
“I played a little backup quarterback in Pop Warner, but I wasn’t all that,” Brown said becoming the first non-QB with a touchdown pass for the Bills since Fred Jackson 10 years ago.
“Dropped a dime,” Beasley said. “We had two great quarterbacks today.”
The Cowboys couldn’t blame a sputtering offense on the conditions after the windy and rainy loss to the Patriots. Dak Prescott threw an interception, lost one fumble and had another on fourth down as Dallas was outscored 26-0 over a 50-minute stretch.
Ezekiel Elliott had 54 yards rushing and another 20 receiving in the first nine minutes, but wasn’t much of a factor the rest of the way. He finished with 71 yards rushing and 66 receiving.
Singletary became the latest back to have a splashier day than the two-time rushing champion, rushing for 63 yards with 38 more receiving. The 28-yard score was the easiest play he had all day, waiting for Brown’s throw to come down and waltzing into the end zone.
Bears 24, Lions 20: Mitchell Trubisky threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to David Montgomery with 2:17 left, lifting visiting Chicago past Detroit.
The Bears took the lead on the nine-play, 90-yard drive and sealed the victory on the ensuing possession with Eddie Jackson’s interception.
Rookie quarterback David Blough led Detroit’s last drive to the Chicago 26 in the final minute before losing 13 yards on a sack to leave a desperation pass as the only option and Jackson picked off his heave.
Chicago (6-6) has won three of four games after losing four in a row to stay in the NFC playoff picture. The Lions (3-8-1) have lost five straight for the first time under second-year coach Matt Patricia.
Trubisky finished 29 of 38 with three TDs, matching a season high he also equaled in a win over Detroit earlier this month, for 338 yards and an interception.
Saints 26, Falcons 18: Taysom Hill blocked a punt to set up his 3-yard touchdown catch, later scored on a 30-yard run and visiting New Orleans clinched its third straight NFC South title by beating Atlanta.
With Julio Jones inactive due to a shoulder injury, the Falcons had too little offense to keep pace with Drew Brees and the Saints. Atlanta recovered two onside kicks in the closing minutes, including one with 1:54 remaining, to make things interesting.
Matt Ryan was sacked by Cameron Jordan on a fourth-down play from the New Orleans 44 with 38 seconds remaining. Ryan was sacked nine times, including four by Jordan.
The Saints (10-2) atoned for their 26-9 home loss to the Falcons (3-9) on Nov. 10. It was the Saints’ only loss in their last 10 games.
The versatile Hill blocked Ryan Allen’s punt to end Atlanta’s first possession. The Saints took over at the Falcons 30, and four plays later Hill scored his first touchdown on the short pass from Brees.
Hill took a direct snap and ran 30 yards for his first rushing touchdown of the season to give New Orleans a 17-6 lead late in the first half.
The disappointing Falcons (3-9) solidified their hold on last place in the division with their second straight home loss.
Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman returned after missing two games with a foot sprain. Freeman ran for 51 yards on 17 carries.
Ryan committed three second-half turnovers – two interceptions and a lost fumble. Saints nose tackle Shy Tuttle and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson had interceptions.
Ryan fumbled in the fourth quarter when hit by Marcus Davenport. Vonn Bell’s recovery set up Will Lutz’s fourth field goal, from 45 yards.
Eli Apple’s 22-yard pass-interference penalty helped extend an Atlanta drive that ended with a fourth-down incompletion from the Saints 2.
Apple drew another pass interference call, this one a 35-yarder, and on the next play Ryan found tight end Jaeden Graham for an 18-yard touchdown pass that cut the Saints’ lead to 7-6, following Younghoe Koo’s missed extra point.
Koo also missed a 42-yard field goal before making a 45-yarder with 3 seconds remaining in the first half. Koo was good from 43 yards late in the game.
With Jones missing a game for the first time since 2016, and Atlanta tight ends Austin Hooper and Luke Stocker held out with injuries, Ryan had to look for new targets.
Ryan threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Russell Gage with less than four minutes remaining. Christian Blake had six catches for 57 yards.
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