The Buffalo Bills survived a late game comeback by the Indianapolis Colts to claim the win Saturday 27-24. For the first time since 1995, the Bills find themselves moving on to the next round of the playoffs. The game, which was the first of the season viewed by fans in attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium, was almost taken from them in the final moments of the game. A game extending completion from Philip Rivers allowed the Colts to claw back with under one minute remaining. However, after consecutive incomplete passes, Rivers had to toss the ball towards the end zone with tire expiring for his team to win. The throw was far enough, but Bills defenders batted the ball away to seal the win.

Allen Leads Bills in Second Career Playoff Game

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs away from Indianapolis Colts’ Al-Quadin Muhammad (97) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

“It’s been a long time since Bills mafia has been able to celebrate like this. But again, it’s one game. I am just happy for a chance to be able to play next week,” quarterback Josh Allen stated after the win. Allen’s performance was not like his previous playoff game last season. In fact, Allen’s performance Saturday set a record. Allen became the youngest player in NFL history to complete 70% of his passes and throw for 300 yards in a playoff game. Last season, Allen was only able to manage to keep his team close, while only passing for 264 yards and zero touchdowns. “One’s not good enough for us. We’ve got to find a way to put our best foot forward this week and get another one,” stated Allen post game.

Rivers, Colts Kept Game Close, but Could Not Convert Late

Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws against the Buffalo Bills during the first half in the AFC Wild Card game at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers did what he needed to do to keep his team in the ball game on Saturday. He was consistent throwing the ball while ending the game with zero interceptions. However, late in the game and with the win within their grasp, the Colts simply could not convert when they needed to. Whether the veteran quarterback does or does not choose to retire in the off season, the core of the team is set up for success for the immediate future. Rivers ended the day completing 27 of 46 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie running back Johnathan Taylor carried the ball 21 times for 78 yards and one touchdown, while fellow running back Nyheim Hines rushed only six times but racked up 75 rushing yards. Another rookie led the Colts in the receiving department, as Michael Pittman Jr. hauled in five of his ten targets from Rivers. He ended the day with 90 yards receiving. Finding the end zone for the Colts were tight end Jack Doyle and Zach Pascal. Defensively, the Colts were led by Darius Leonard. Leonard ended the game with 12 total tackles, nine of them of the solo variety.

Bills Found a Way to Win Again, With Impressive Play on All Sides

USA Today

For the Bills, Josh Allen completed 26 of 35 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. His play was sharp, as he led the Bills team to the next round of the playoffs. With Allen playing so well throwing the ball, the running game of the Bills was incredibly quiet. Josh Allen led the team in rushing, carrying the ball 11 times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss together only carried the ball 10 times combined, both totaling 21 yards each. The running game for the Bills will be diminished next week, as Zack Moss left the game early in the fourth quarter Saturday with an ankle injury. Allen and his favorite target connected six times for 128 yards and touchdown, while Cole Beasley hauled in seven passes for for 57 yards. Dawson Knox scored the second of two receiving touchdown for the Bills while rookie Gabriel Davis caught four passes for 85 yards. Defensively, the Bills were led by Matt Milano who ended the game 11 tackles. Jordan Poyer and Tremaine Edmunds each ended the day with nine tackles.

The Bills will host their second playoff game of the season next weekend, with an opponent to be determined.

Featured Image Credit: USA Today Sports

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