Josh Allen, Bills Shake Off Mother Nature, Steelers In Playoff Win

Jan 15, 2024, 7:00 PM


Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills passes against Alex Highsmith #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes and scored on a franchise playoff-record 52-yard touchdown run, and the Buffalo Bills beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-17 on Monday in an AFC wild-card playoff game that was postponed a day because of a lake-effect blizzard.

Bills defeat Steelers in AFC Wild Card

The Highmark Stadium stands erupted with snow being tossed into the air like confetti when Allen threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Shakir with 6:27 remaining that restored a two-touchdown lead for Buffalo. Shakir caught the pass at the 10 over the middle, and then slipped Minkah Fitzpatrick’s tackle attempt by spinning around before outracing the rest of the Steelers defenders into the end zone.

The second-seeded Bills (12-6), who closed the regular season with five straight wins, advance to host Patrick Mahomes and the No. 3 seed Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round on Sunday night.

“We’ve got a resilient group. The veteran leadership that we have, I really think it’s unmatched in the league,” Allen said of a team that was 6-6 after an overtime loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 26.

The Bills have longed for a home playoff game against the Chiefs after their 2020 and ’21 seasons ended with playoff losses at Kansas City.

“It’s going to take a team effort,” Allen said. “We know the type of team that they are, obviously the type of quarterback that they have in Pat over there. … Just thanking God that we get another chance to play another game.”

Allen finished 21 of 30 for 203 yards and ran for 74 yards on eight carries, becoming the first quarterback in NFL playoff history to throw three or more TD passes while rushing for 70 or more yards and a score. He didn’t have a turnover for just the fourth time this season.

Mason Rudolph threw two touchdown passes with an interception in his first playoff start for the Steelers (10-8), but Pittsburgh was too inconsistent on either side of the ball to keep up with Allen and the Bills. The Steelers lost their fifth straight playoff game; the franchise’s most recent postseason victory was exactly seven years ago.

Rudolph, a longtime backup, took over for the injured Kenny Pickett and the ineffective Mitch Trubisky to lead the Steelers to three straight wins to close the regular season and was given the playoff start even after Pickett recovered from an ankle injury.

“I’m appreciative of the efforts. But it’s not mystical. We didn’t do what was required to win tonight,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, noting that two Steelers turnovers led to the Bills scoring 14 points. “Can’t come into an environment like this with a playoff-caliber team and turn the ball over like that and expect to be competitive.”

Asked about his future in Pittsburgh after completing his 17th season — all of them with a record of .500 or better — Tomlin smirked and walked away.

Buffalo had a to wait an extra day to host the Steelers after a dangerous storm that dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the region, leading the NFL to bump the game from its scheduled Sunday afternoon start.

The elements didn’t play much of a factor. Though temperatures were in the teens, the skies were clear and there was only a slight breeze blowing in off Lake Erie.

The Steelers came out flat, allowing Buffalo to score touchdowns on three of its first five possessions and build a 21-0 lead on Allen’s electrifying touchdown run midway through the second quarter.

Rudolph went 22 of 39 for 229 yards with an interception.

Allen’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Dawson Knox capped an 80-yard opening drive for the Bills.

After Buffalo linebacker Terrel Bernard recovered receiver George Pickens’ fumble at the Pittsburgh 29, Allen threw a TD pass to Dalton Kincaid on the next play.

Allen’s touchdown run came after cornerback Kaiir Elam intercepted Rudolph’s pass intended for Diontae Johnson in the end zone.

The Steelers finally capitalized on one of the Bills’ few errors of the half, when coach Sean McDermott elected to attempt a 49-yard field goal into the wind with a little more than two minutes left.

Montravius Adams blocked Tyler Bass’ low kick. The ball squirted some 20 yards into Bills territory and was recovered by Nick Herbig at Buffalo’s 33. The Steelers scored five plays later on Rudolph’s 10-yard TD pass to Johnson.

Pittsburgh eventually cut the lead to 24-17 on Rudolph’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Austin with 10:32 left.


The Bills’ already depleted defense held up despite losing several regulars to injuries. Buffalo allowed 324 yards and limited the Steelers to converting 5 of 11 third-down opportunities.

Bernard was ruled out after twisting his right ankle and starting nickelback Taron Johnson did not return after being evaluated for a concussion. The Bills began the game without cornerback Rasul Douglas (knee) and linebacker Tyrel Dodson (shoulder).

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.



Joe Reedy, AP

Chris Mortensen, An Award-Winning Reporter Who Covered NFL, Dies At 72

Chris Mortensen, the award-winning journalist who covered the NFL for close to four decades, died Sunday morning. He was 72.

14 hours ago


David A. Lieb, AP

Missouri Governor Shortens DWI Prison Sentence Of Ex-Chiefs Assistant Coach Britt Reid

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson shortened the prison sentence of former Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid for a drunken driving crash.

21 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Local Players Shine At 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine featured multiple players with ties to the Beehive State who tested and performed at the pre-draft event.

2 days ago

Tyreek Hill Social Media Influencer Broken Leg Football Drills...


Influencer Says Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill Broke Her Leg During Football Drill At His Home

A social media influencer is suing Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill over an alleged incident that happened at the NFL star's home last summer.

5 days ago


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.

7 days ago


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.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles


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 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.


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.

Josh Allen, Bills Shake Off Mother Nature, Steelers In Playoff Win