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Carucci Take 2: As expected, Bills have little trouble disposing of Packers

WGRZ Bills/NFL Insider Vic Carucci says the Bills weren’t spectacular against the Green Bay Packers. They were simply the better team in every respect.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Here are my five takeaways from the Buffalo Bills’ 27-17 victory against the Green Bay Packers Sunday night at Highmark Stadium:

1. This one went pretty much as expected, with the exception of some late-game sloppy play that made the score closer than necessary.

The Bills weren’t spectacular. They were simply the better team in every respect.

Their offense was efficient, which was good enough. Their defense, which entered the game ranked first in the NFL, smothered the Packers’ offense.

Aaron Rodgers was held to 203 passing yards. He had a 19-yard touchdown throw, on which Romeo Doubs made a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone.

Otherwise, the Packers generated the bulk of their offense on the ground, with Aaron Jones gaining a game-high 143 yards. That and a Green Bay passing game that consisted mainly of screen passes was no match for Josh Allen, who threw for a pair of touchdowns. Allen finished with 218 passing yards and ran for 50.

He also had two interceptions that lowlighted the Bills’ general sloppiness while leading comfortably in the fourth quarter.

2. Two plays defined the Bills’ defensive effort.

On the Packers’ first drive, with the Packers facing a fourth-and-four from the Bills’ 39, Ed Oliver pressured Rodgers into an incompletion.

Late in the first quarter, 6-foot-6, 341-pound Jordan Phillips leaned in with his shoulder to knock down 5-9, 208-pound Aaron Jones after a two-yard gain on third-and-seven.

Despite giving up some chunk runs, the Bills’ defense had little problem keeping Rodgers and the rest of the Packer offense in check. Greg Rousseau had one of the Bills’ two sacks, giving him a career-best fifth for the season.

3. As well as the Bills’ defense played, let’s not lose sight of the fact Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are a shell of former offensive selves.

The Packers insisted on running the football even when trailing by 17 points late in the third quarter. When they weren’t running, Allen was throwing screens and short passes. One of those short throws ended up being intercepted by Matt Milano, his second pick of the season, in the fourth quarter.

That’s what happens when you no longer have Devante Adams and the ability to attack deep with your passing game.

4. Stefon Diggs quietly had a nice game.

He caught six passes for 108 yards and a score. Diggs’ first target didn’t come until late in the first quarter, when Allen found him at the end of the quarter for a nine-yard gain, after which Diggs recovered his own fumble. Allen then hit him for a 26-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-0.

Allen also connected with Diggs on a 53-yard throw that set up a 42-yard field goal to make it 24-7 at halftime.

Throughout the game, there was plenty of jawing and some shoves between Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who had an interception to show for an otherwise forgettable night. Alexander also managed to draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Gabe Davis after the Bills receiver hit him from behind after a play late in the game.

5. Nothing about the rest of the Bills’ schedule looks daunting.

They should be favored against all their remaining opponents and continue to build on the foundation of a No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

They have a chance to put another AFC East championship away when they play five divisional games, two each against the New York Jets and New England Patriots and a rematch against Miami.

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