EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — If you didn’t realize it, this start to the Bills season is unprecedented.
Oh, they opened 2-0 in 2014 and actually won their first two road games a year later – though that was five games into the season.
But never, in the 60-year history of the franchise, has Buffalo begun a campaign with consecutive victories on the road … until Sunday.
Indeed, yesterday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, before 74,569 witnesses, the Bills became the first NFL team to win consecutive road games in the same building since the 2006 Bears hit the same perfecta against the Jets and Giants at MetLife Stadium.
BUFFALO, which rallied to beat the Jets, 17-16, a week earlier in the same facility, handled the Giants seven days later, 28-14, to remain tied atop the AFC East with New England (also 2-0).
And, next Sunday at New Era Field, the Bills will welcome Cincinnati (0-2) for their home opener.
In many ways, unlike the win over the Jets, the triumph over the Giants was workmanlike.
It appeared Buffalo was in for a long afternoon as New York went 75 yards on five plays on its opening possession, as sophomore running back Saquon Barkley (107 yards on 18 carries), the former Penn State star, covered 55 of them on four carries including a too-easy 27-yard sprint for a score.
But, after that it was all Bills as, after a three-and-out, quarterback Josh Allen directed Buffalo to three straight touchdowns.
First he scored on a 6-yard run, then rookie third-round draft choice Devin Singletary (57 yards, 6 carries) scored on a 14-yard jaunt and, finally, Allen hit a short swing pass to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie for another 14-yard TD that made it 21-7 at halftime.
AS ALLEN, who was 15-of-20 for 210 yards in the first half, assessed, “Our offense established a line very early by being able to get the running game going (34 carries for 151 yards, 4.4 average). Then we got open in the passing game and made some plays.
“Overall, I’m proud of the guys, how they competed today, how they executed and how they finished the game.”
Frank Gore, Buffalo’s 36-year-old running back, after a tough afternoon against the Jets, had 19 carries for 68 yards and his first rushing touchdown since the 2017 season.
And starting wide receivers John Brown (7 catches, 72 yards) and Cole Beasley (4 receptions for 83) were persistently open.
“It was good to get a win, especially on the road ... this is a tough place to play,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “I thought we got stronger the last couple of weeks.”
As for the Giants’ fast start, he added, “It’s their home opener, they were fired up and I thought, defensively, we were on our heels defensively. But we got back and got our feet under us a little bit and made some adjustments. Leslie Frazier (defensive coordinator) and his staff did a really good job there.”
Buffalo, after two games, is 5-for-5 on touchdowns upon reaching the red zone (inside the opponents’ 20 yard line).
“To go into the red zone and cash in and get seven that’s big for us,” McDermott said.
And Allen added, “We’re doing a good job of executing … everybody knows their assignments and they’ve been extremely well-coached.”
THE BILLS also got some help from the defense as end Trent Murphy and safety Jordan Poyer logged interceptions.
And winning two road games to start the season, in the same stadium, no less, wasn’t lost on the players.
“(The NFL) put us in an ideal situation having us come to New York two games in a row,” Poyer said. “And this team handled it extremely well throughout the week. The focus has been amazing and now we get to go home in front of our home fans and continue to show why we are the team we are.”
To which fellow safety Micah Hyde added, “It’s hard to win in this league. You can have all the accolades, but you have to go out there each and every Sunday and win the games. So when you do it on the road in back-to-back weeks in the same stadium, which is weird, that just shows this team is battle-tested.”
Of course, Allen admitted playing consecutive road games in the same stadium is a bit odd.
“We were kind of lucky going to the same spot, the same hotel, having the same routine,” he said. “It felt normal to us.
“It’s a different feel once you start playing … we have a lot of guys on this team that are professionals and truly care about their jobs and truly care about each other and that just makes it that much more fun.”
Especially when you win.