ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – Bills receiver Stefon Diggs says he wasn’t the one who started the verbal altercation between him and Packers cornerback Jair Alexander in the tunnel before and after pregame warmups.
Be that as it may, the last word on Sunday night undoubtedly belonged to Diggs and the AFC-leading Bills.
Diggs had a career-high six catches for 108 yards and ran a perfect route, making 26-yard touchdown catch in a 27-17 win over the Packers, who are off to their worst eight-game start to the season under Aaron Rodgers.
“I don’t care who started it. I’ll finish, you know what I’m saying. I won,” Diggs said, without elaborating on what sparked the verbal exchange.
“That’s the most conversation I’ve ever had with another team because I don’t know why. We don’t really talk too much,” he added. “I will continue to be a leader and set an example. And I’m not going to push anyone.”
Alexander disputed Diggs’ claim, saying he didn’t know who started the whole thing, which began with Diggs being seen running to the side and yelling at the cornerback on the way out of the tunnel. Their argument continued when the teams returned to the locker room.
“I always thought he was a decent receiver, but I don’t have much to say about him,” Alexander said.
In a matchup that was both unfortunate — Packers quarterback Quay Walker was ejected for shoving Bills practice squad tight end Zach Davidson on the sideline — and sloppy, the Bills (6-1) never trailed in their fourth straight win in a row and matched their best start to a season since 1993.
Meanwhile, a matchup between two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, Rodgers and Buffalo’s Josh Allen, never materialized.
Allen went 13 of 25 for 218 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He added 49 yards rushing, including a strong 20-yard gain on third-and-14 to set up his 1-yard TD pass to Dawson Knox to open the scoring.
Allen was unhappy with the two interceptions he threw in the fourth quarter that briefly revived the Packers.
Rodgers, meanwhile, was unable to lead the Packers to a win a week after he called out teammates, called too many mental lapses and shared the blame in a 23-21 loss at Washington.
Rodgers’ message after his latest loss was more subdued this time around.
“I believe that the most important thing is to get a rhythm. After a disappointment like that, the last thing you want is to respond emotionally,” the four-time MVP said. “So take a hit, let it sit. I don’t think there’s much you can say after the game that can really get the team fired up.”
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 penultimate season.
Rodgers went 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 without veterans Allen Lazard (shoulder) and Randall Cobb (ankle) and then lost Christian Watson to a concussion in the first quarter.
Rookie Romeo Dubs caught a 19-yard TD in the second quarter, and sophomore Samory Toure caught a 37-yard TD pass — the second of his career — with 6:32 left.
The lack of a threat in the middle of the field — especially after the Packers traded Davante Adams to Las Vegas this offseason — continues to be a concern for Rodgers.
“To win in this league, we’re going to have to push the ball down the field,” said Rodgers, who completed just three passes of more than 20 yards.
The only thing Rodgers has surpassed is the point spread. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Green Bay is a 10 1/2-point underdog, the most in the quarterback’s 15 years as a starter.
The Bills, meanwhile, are continuing a season opener in which they have defeated three NFL quarterback MVPs with a 23-20 win over Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Oct. 2 and a 24-20 victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs two weeks ago therefore.
“It shows the type of character we got in the locker room,” pass rusher Von Miller said of the Bills staying poised amid the trash talk and with a defense that allowed a season-worst 398 yards and 208 rushing yards.
The loss ended Rodgers’ 13-game streak in primetime, 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 rival Minnesota Vikings, became the first player to score a touchdown in eight straight games against Green Bay. Randy Moss has scored for the Vikings in seven straight meetings with the Packers.
Packers: Watson, back after missing two games with a knee injury, was ruled out with a concussion midway through the first quarter. … Linebacker De’Vondr Campbell did not return after suffering a knee injury in the first half.
Bills: Jordan Poyer was ruled out in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury.
Packers: Close out a three-game road stretch next Sunday at Detroit.
Bills: Next Sunday at New York Jets.
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