FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts: The Buffalo Bills put a cherry atop the changing of the guard in the AFC East.

NFL 1 - Bills earn first sweep of Patriots since ’99
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (rear) celebrates his touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 28, 2020 (December 29 in Manila) in Foxborough, Massachusetts. AP PHOTO

A week after unseating the Patriots as division champions, Buffalo became the first AFC East team in two decades to sweep New England in a season series with a 38-9 victory on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

Josh Allen passed for four touchdowns to help the Bills stay in the mix for the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Bills (12-3) last swept the Patriots in 1999. The last division opponents to sweep the Patriots were the Jets and Dolphins in 2000. The Patriots’ 19 straight seasons without losing both games to a divisional opponent was an NFL record. New England (6-9) will finish with its first losing record since coach Bill Belichick’s first season in 2000.

Allen was 27 of 36 for 320 yards. He now has 34 touchdown passes, surpassing Jim Kelly to set a franchise single-season record. With his eighth 300-yard game, he also surpassed Drew Bledsoe’s single-season team record of seven.

Stefon Diggs had nine catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns, setting a Bills single-season record for receiving yards.

The Patriots struggled to move the ball for most of the night with running back Damien Harris out for the second straight game with an ankle injury. Cam Newton had a touchdown run but was just 5 of 10 for 34 yards passing before being pulled in the third quarter for backup Jarrett Stidham.

Newton’s 34 yards passing are the fewest by a Patriots starting quarterback since 1993.

He said the season has been frustrating because the work he has put in hasn’t translated into wins.

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