ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Josh Allen regained his early-season groove, throwing three touchdown passes and scoring one rushing, and the Buffalo Bills beat the Seattle Seahawks 44-34 on Sunday.
Buffalo’s defense played a major role in rattling Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who was sacked five times, threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
Buffalo (7-2) matched its best record through nine games since 1993, a season that ended with the Jim Kelly-led Bills making their fourth consecutive, and most recent, Super Bowl appearance. Buffalo lost all four games.
Allen finished 31 of 38 and equaled a career best set earlier this season with 415 yards passing, becoming the first Bills player to top 300 yards four times in one season since Drew Bledsoe did it seven times in 2002. The Bills offense came alive after Allen combined for just 846 yards passing and five touchdowns – including one rushing – in splitting the previous four games.
The Seahawks (6-2) blew an opportunity to match their best record through eight games. They were 7-1 in 2013. Seattle became the NFL’s sixth team to score 25 or more points in each of its first eight games, but was undone by turnovers and a defense that surrendered 420 yards.
The 44 points allowed were the most in coach Pete Carroll’s 11 seasons in Seattle and the most for the franchise since a 48-10 loss at Green Bay on Dec. 27, 2009. It was just the eighth time since Week 9 of the 2011 season that the Carroll-led Seahawks have lost by 10 or more points.
Wilson has turned the ball over seven times in his past three games after throwing a season-worst three interceptions in a 37-34 overtime loss at Arizona two weeks ago.
He finished 28 of 41 for 390 yards with two touchdowns.
Though Buffalo never trailed, the game was decided in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Bills scored two touchdowns over a span of 2 minutes, 49 seconds, opening a 41-20 lead. Zack Moss scored on a 1-yard run, one play after Allen converted a third-and-16 by hitting John Brown on a 33-yard catch-and-run.
Facing third-and-25 on Seattle’s next possession, Wilson threw his second interception. Tre’Davious White broke off covering tight end Jacob Hollister to jump in front of a pass intended for DK Metcalf. White returned it to the Seattle 3, and Allen scored on a sweep on the next play.
Wilson provided the Seahawks a breath of life with a 55-yard touchdown pass to David Moore.
But on Seattle’s next possession, linebacker A.J. Klein burst around the left side of the line untouched and blindsided Wilson, forcing a fumble which he recovered at Seattle’s 19 with 6:30 remaining.
Allen carved up a Seahawks defense that entered allowing 28.5 points per game and had already surrendered 500 yards of offense three times this season.
Set up by Andre Roberts’ game-opening 60-yard kickoff return, Allen needed three plays to hit Isaiah McKenzie for a 25-yard touchdown.
On the next possession, the Bills faced third down just once on a 10-play, 75-yard drive Allen capped by hitting tight end Tyler Kroft in the back of the end zone.
Buffalo’s third touchdown drive featured Allen going 5 of 5 for 75 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Gabriel Davis over the middle.
Allen’s 24 completions and 282 yards passing in the first half alone were both the most by a Bills player since at least 1991.
Carroll signed a multiyear contract extension that will keep him with the team well past his 70th birthday, according a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the extension. ESPN first reported the agreement earlier in the day.
Carroll is in his 15th NFL season as a head coach and 11th in Seattle, where he’s led the Seahawks to eight playoff appearances including a Super Bowl victory after the 2013 season.
Seahawks TE Will Dissly and OG Jordan Simmons knelt for the national anthem, while LB Jordyn Brooks, LB Shaquem Griffin and FS Quandre Diggs sat on the bench. DT Carlos Dunlap stayed in the locker room before joining the team at the conclusion of the anthem.
The entire Bills team continued its season-long decision to stay in the locker room for the anthem.
The temperature of 69 degrees at kickoff set a Bills record for the warmest home game in November or later at Orchard Park or Buffalo. The previous record of 62 degrees was set in 2013.
Seattle visits the L.A. Rams Sunday in the first of two games between the NFC West rivals.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.