NFL

Bills Beat Colts 27-24 For 1st Playoff Win In 25 Years

Jan 9, 2021, 3:19 PM | Updated: 5:20 pm

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills earned their first playoff victory in a quarter-century on Saturday when Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes, scored another rushing, and Micah Hyde batted down Philip Rivers’ desperation pass for a 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a wild-card game.

Buffalo snapped an 0-6 postseason skid by winning its first playoff game since a 37-22 win over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. And it came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years, with a limited number of 6,700 fans in attendance for the first time this season.

Allen finished 26 of 35 for 324 yards, with a 5-yard touchdown to Dawson Knox and a 35-yarder to Stefon Diggs.

The game wasn’t decided until the final play, when Rivers faced fourth-and-11 from Buffalo’s 47. Rivers heaved a deep pass for T.Y. Hilton, who was surrounded by defenders in the right side of the end zone. Hyde broke through the crowd of bodies, leaping up and batting the ball to the ground.

It just so happens, Hyde was one of three Bills defenders that failed to do the same thing in allowing DeAndre Hopkins’ 43-yard leaping catch in the final seconds of Arizona’s 32-30 win over Buffalo on Nov. 15.

Buffalo (14-3) has won seven in a row since that loss.

Rookie kicker Tyler Bass accounted for the decisive points by hitting a 54-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 27-16 with 8:08 remaining.

The Bills added a new entry to a season in which they’ve busted numerous slumps. Buffalo won its first AFC East title in 25 years, and matched a single-season record in victories set in both 1990 and ’91.

The Colts (11-6) ended a season in which they won 11 games for the first time since 2014, and reached the playoffs for the second time in three years under coach Frank Reich.

Rivers finished 27 of 46 for 309 yards and had his career playoff record drop to 5-7 in completing his first — and potentially last — season with the Colts as he ponders retirement.

Diggs, who became Buffalo’s first player to lead the NFL in catches and yards receiving, finished with six catches for 128 yards.

The Bills didn’t make it easy, with Allen nearly losing a fumble at midfield when sacked for a 23-yard loss by Denico Autry on first down from the Indianapolis 37. Offensive lineman Daryl Williams, however, recovered.

“It doesn’t matter how it looks,” said Allen. “It’s the playoffs. It’s win or go home and we got it done. We’ve got to turn our focus to whoever we got next week.”

In shades of last year, when Buffalo squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead in a 22-19 overtime loss at Houston, the Bills nearly squandered a 24-10 fourth-quarter lead after Allen hit Diggs with a perfectly placed pass up the right sideline.

The Colts responded with a seven-play, 75-play drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass to Pascal. After Bass upped Buffalo’s lead to 27-16, the Colts scored less than two-minutes later. Rivers hit a wide-open Jack Doyle for a 27-yard touchdown and Doyle caught a 2-point conversion.

The Colts were limited to a touchdown and field goal in the first half after having all five drives cross midfield and enjoying a nine-plus minute edge in time of possession.

The turning point came when the Colts, up 10-7, were unable to score on four snaps inside Buffalo’s 4. Rivers’ pass for Michael Pittman glanced off the diving receiver’s fingertips on fourth down.

Buffalo responded with a 10-play, 96-yard drive capped by Allen’s 5-yard keeper with 14 seconds left in the half. Rookie Gabriel Davis had four catches for 85 yards, including a pair of toe-tapping receptions upheld following video reviews.

“Our defense did a great job,” Allen said. “Right before half they were able to turn it into points.”

A Colts’ miscue also helped extend the drive. Facing fourth-and-3 from the Colts 26, Allen drew defensive end Kemoko Turay offside with a second left on the play clock.

MR. EVERYTHING

With his 5-yard TD rushing and TD completion to Knox, Allen became the fifth player since at least 1940 to score a touchdown rushing, passing and receiving in his playoff career. Allen scored on a 16-yard catch from John Brown in a 22-19 OT loss at Houston a year ago.

Allen joined Nick Foles, Kordell Stewart, Freeman McNeil and Julian Edelman.

FAN-DEMONIUM

The Bills finally had a chance to play in front of their fans this season. State guidelines required each person, including stadium staff and media, to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of kickoff before entering.

Fans were limited to sitting in groups of two and four and scattered throughout the 70,000-seat facility.

They cheered everything from the Bills taking the field for pre-game warmups to Buffalo winning the coin toss.

UP NEXT

Colts: Their season is over after losing in the wild-card round for the first time since 2012.

Bills: They advance to the divisional round for the first time since the 1995 playoffs.

NFL

Julian-Blackmon-Indianapolis-Colts-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

Colts Safety Julian Blackmon Announces Engagement To Former Jazz Dancer

Former Utah Utes and current Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon announced his engagement with a post on social media.

24 hours ago

Josh-Jacobs-Las-Vegas-Raiders-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

Report: Raiders ‘Not Expected’ To Franchise Tag RB Josh Jacobs

The Raiders plan to avoid the franchise tag with Josh Jacobs and will try to re-sign him to a new deal, according to Adam Schefter.

1 day ago

Richard-Sherman-Thursday-Night-Football-NFL-Prime-Video...

Frank Sumrall, Seattle Sports

Reports: Richard Sherman Expected In Court Monday After DUI Arrest

Former Seahawks star Richard Sherman was arrested for suspicion of DUI on Saturday, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) confirmed.

2 days ago

Jordan-Love-Green-Bay-Packers-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

Top Plays From Jordan Love During First Season As Packers’ QB1

Former USU standout Jordan Love seized his opportunity to be an NFL starting quarterback and became a rising star for the Packers in 2023.

2 days ago

Garett-Bolles-Broncos...

Michelle Bodkin

Garett Bolles In Attendance For Utah Basketball Game Against Colorado

The Runnin' Utes had Utah football alum Garett Bolles and his family in attendance for their game against the Colorado Buffaloes.

3 days ago

golden richards...

JOHN COON Associated Press

Former BYU, Dallas Cowboys Receiver Golden Richards Dies At 73

Golden Richards, the former Dallas Cowboys receiver died Friday of congestive heart failure at his home in Murray. He was 73.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Bills Beat Colts 27-24 For 1st Playoff Win In 25 Years