ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)Bills receiver Stefon Diggs says he’s not the one who started the verbal exchange he and Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander had in the tunnel before and after pre-game warmups.
Whatever the case might be, Diggs and the AFC-leading Bills sure got in the last word on Sunday night.
Diggs had a game-high six catches for 108 yards and ran a perfect route in making a 26-yard touchdown catch in a 27-17 win over over the Packers, who are off to their worst start eight games into a season under Aaron Rodgers.
”I don’t give a (hoot) who started it. I’ll finish it, you know what I’m saying. I got the win” Diggs said, without going into detail over what sparked the verbal exchange.
”It’s the most talking that’s ever been with another team because I don’t know why. We don’t really do too much talking,” he added. ”I’m going to continue to be a leader and I’m going to lead by example. And I’m not going to get pushed around by nobody.”
Alexander disputed Diggs’ claim by saying he didn’t know who started things, which began when Diggs was spotted running sideways and yelling at the cornerback on their way out of the tunnel. Their feud continued as the teams filed back to their locker rooms.
”I always thought he was a decent receiver, but not much I can say about him,” Alexander said.
In an outing that was both chippy – Packers linebacker Quay Walker getting ejected for shoving Bills practice squad tight end Zach Davidson on the sideline – and sloppy, the Bills (6-1) never trailed in winning their fourth straight and matched their best start to a season since 1993.
In the meantime, the showdown between two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, Rodgers and Buffalo’s Josh Allen, never really materialized.
Allen finished 13 of 25 for 218 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He added 49 yards rushing, including a powerful 20-yard gain on third-and-14 to set up his 1-yard TD pass to Dawson Knox that opened the scoring.
Allen was unhappy with the two interceptions he threw in the fourth quarter, which briefly gave the Packers life.
Rodgers, meantime, was unable to will the Packers to victory a week after he called out teammates, cited too many mental errors and shared the blame following a 23-21 loss at Washington.
Rodgers’ message following the latest loss was more understated this time.
”I think the most important thing is to take a beat. After a frustration like this, the last thing you want is to respond in emotion,” the four-time MVP said. ”So take a beat, let it sit. There’s not a whole lot to say after the game that is really going to spark the team, I don’t think.”
The three-time defending NFC North champion Packers dropped to 3-5. The four-game skid is the second-longest under Rodgers and the team’s worst since 2016. Green Bay hasn’t been 3-5 since 2006, Brett Favre’s second-to-last season.
Rodgers finished 19 of 30 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was limited by an injury-depleted group of receivers. Green Bay was already missing veterans Allen Lazard (shoulder) and Randall Cobb (ankle), and then lost Christian Watson to a concussion in the first quarter.
Rookie Romeo Doubs had a 19-yard TD catch in the second quarter, and fellow rookie Samori Toure caught a 37-yard TD pass – the second catch of his career – with 6:32 remaining.
The lack of a downfield threat – especially after the Packers traded Davante Adams to Las Vegas this offseason – remains a concern for Rodgers.
”We’re going to have to push the ball down the field in order to win in this league,” said Rodgers, who completed just three passes beyond 20 yards.
The only thing Rodgers beat was the point spread. Green Bay came in as a 10 1/2-point underdog, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, the most in the quarterback’s 15 years as a starter.
The Bills, meantime, continue a season-opening stretch in which they’ve defeated three NFL MVP quarterbacks, following a 23-20 win over Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Oct. 2, and a 24-20 win over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs two weeks ago.
”It shows the type of character that we got in the locker room,” pass-rusher Von Miller said of the Bills staying poised amid the trash-talking and with the defense allowing a season-worst 398 yards offense, and 208 yards rushing.
The loss ended Rodgers’ streak of 13 straight wins in prime-time outings, which had been the longest in the NFL since 1970. … The Packers fell to 0-7 in road games against the Bills. … Diggs, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Packers’ NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings, became the first player to score a touchdown in eight consecutive games against Green Bay. Randy Moss scored for the Vikings in seven straight meetings with the Packers.
Packers: Watson, who returned after missing two games with a knee injury, was ruled out after sustaining a concussion midway through the first quarter. … Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell did not return after hurting his knee in the first half.
Bills: S Jordan Poyer was ruled out in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury..
Packers: Close out three-game road stretch at Detroit next Sunday.
Bills: At the New York Jets next Sunday.
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