The change of scenery didn't bode well for the San Francisco 49ers. The team fell to the Buffalo Bills 34-24 in their first "home" game at State Farm Stadium, dropping their record to 5-7. Here are five takeaways from the match.
1. No Answer for Josh Allen
It was a lackluster outing for the 49ers in the 34-24 loss against the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo's offense was the story of the night. Allen racked up 236 passing yards in the first half while completing over 80 percent of his passes and two touchdowns. San Francisco struggled to generate pressure as Allen managed to escape the pocket and connect on off-schedule plays.
Heading into Week 13, Buffalo had scored on the opening drive of four-straight contests. That streak ended against the 49ers after San Francisco's defense managed to hold Buffalo outside of the end zone from the 1-yard line. Opting to go for it on 4th-and-1, Allen couldn't connect with tight end Lee Smith in the back of the end zone forcing a turnover on downs.
Outside of Buffalo's first two drives, Allen led Buffalo to six-straight scoring drives.
Buffalo put up 449 yards of total offense with 368 coming through the air. Allen finished the night completing 32-of-40 passes and four touchdowns for a 139.1 passer rating. Slot receiver Cole Beasley was the prime benefactor of the night, leading Buffalo with 130 yards on nine receptions and a touchdown.
2. Turnover Battle
Heading into the game, limiting turnovers was a focal point for San Francisco. The 49ers turned the ball over twice, including an interception at the goal line in the fourth quarter with a chance to cut the lead.
However, linebacker Fred Warner came up with a fumble recovery following a bad handoff between Allen and running back Zack Moss. With Warner's recovery, the 49ers have recorded takeaways in five-straight quarters (two interceptions, three fumble recoveries).
3. Team Notes
Nick Mullens finished the contest completing 26-of-39 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns. All-in-all, head coach Kyle Shanahan was pleased with the fight of his quarterback coming down the stretch.
"I thought he made some plays," Shanahan said postgame. "You can see there at the end he made some plays. He can't make those turnovers that he had. Can't have that false start that he had there at the inch-yard line. I thought he gave us a chance. With the way the whole team played altogether, he did need to play better because I think we had to play perfect in a few areas. By no means do I think he played perfect, there's still stuff to improve on. There was some good and bad things he did today."
Brandon Aiyuk led the team with 95 yards on five receptions and a score. The rookie wideout came up big on several plays, including a 49-yard bomb downfield to put the 49ers in scoring position.
Dion Jordan recorded the lone sack of the game. The pass rusher beat his man off the line of scrimmage and wrapped his arm around Allen and forced the ball out of the quarterback's hands. It's worth noting, San Francisco's offensive line, though pressured, managed to keep Mullens upright for the extent of the contest.
4. Injury Updates
D.J. Jones left the game in the first half and did not return with an ankle injury. The 49ers fear the nose tackle suffered a high-ankle sprain. He will be further assessed when the team reconvenes on Tuesday.
Tom Compton suffered a head injury in the fourth quarter. The offensive lineman missed the 49ers last matchup against the Los Angeles Rams with a concussion. The 49ers will continue to monitor Compton's status going forward.
5. What's Next?
The 49ers are set to host the Washington Football Team on a short week on Sunday. The Football Team is coming off of an upset win over the once-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. While the 49ers postseason hopes appear to have dwindled, Shanahan still believes San Francisco's fate is in their own hands heading into the final four games of the season.
"We've got four more games we can account for and we're in charge of, and we can win all of them," Shanahan said.