Bills frustrate Colts in first playoff win since 1995

Josh Allen throws for 324 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 54 yards and a score as the Buffalo Bills hold off a fourth-quarter fightback from the Indianapolis Colts to clinch a 27-24 Wild Card win – their first playoff victory since 1995.

Last Updated: 10/01/21 12:36am

6:51
Highlights of the Indianapolis Colts against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL Playoffs.
Highlights of the Indianapolis Colts against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL Playoffs.

Josh Allen starred on the postseason stage with a mature performance as the Buffalo Bills survived a late fightback to beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 and clinch their first playoff victory since 1995 on Wild Card weekend.

The Colts had threatened to overturn a 14-point deficit when they took over with 2.30 to play in the fourth quarter after Allen had been sacked for a loss of 14 amid his efforts to extend the play. Philip Rivers found Zach Pascal to convert on fourth-and-10 after surviving a fumble call, however was unable to get the team in field-goal range in the final seconds.

Buffalo leaned the game in their favour just before half-time when Allen bundled into the end zone to punish the Colts after they had been stuffed at the goalline three times with a chance to make it a 10-point game. A slow start after the break also saw Indianapolis miss a field goal at the end of a 14-play march downfield during which they had converted four third-downs.

In the end it was Allen’s decision-making from the pocket along with his production on the run that prevailed, while the Colts were left to rue a series of missed opportunities.

  • Bills passing: Josh Allen, 26/35, 324 yards, 2 TDs
  • Rushing leader: Josh Allen, 11 carries, 54 yards, 1 TD
  • Receiving leader: Stefon Diggs, six catches, 128 yards, 1 TD

0:45
Watch as Josh Allen shows off his improvising skills as he is tries to run the ball on 2nd and Goal from the three-yard line, only to then throw it up to Dawson Knox in the endzone.
Watch as Josh Allen shows off his improvising skills as he is tries to run the ball on 2nd and Goal from the three-yard line, only to then throw it up to Dawson Knox in the endzone.

Rodrigo Blankenship kicked the Colts ahead with a 30-yard field goal after Rivers had connected with Michael Pittman Jr for 22 yards with a beautifully-weighted pass over Tre’Davious White in an early sign of Frank Reich’s efforts to stretch the Bills defense.

Allen replied with a three-yard shot put touchdown pass to Dawson Knox after absorbing pressure in what had initially looked like a quarterback design run. He had settled any lingering playoff nerves earlier in the drive by picking out Stefon Diggs for a gain of 37.

Micah Hyde produced outstanding coverage to break up a pass intended for T.Y. Hilton for a would-be first-and-goal, before the Colts rewarded a strong hold on defense with a one-yard touchdown run from Taylor after Pittman’s pickup of 32 at the Bills’ 11.

  • Colts passing: Philip Rivers, 27/46, 309 yards, 2 TDs
  • Rushing leader: Jonathan Taylor, 21 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD
  • Receiving leader: Michael Pittman Jr., five catches, 90 yards

1:08
Josh Allen grabs the Bills’ second touchdown of the game, just before half-time against the Colts.
Josh Allen grabs the Bills’ second touchdown of the game, just before half-time against the Colts.

The Colts were unable to extend their lead on fourth-and-goal when Rivers’ pass brushed the finger-tips of a diving Pittman Jr in the end zone, the latter having launched the series with a 31-yard catch-and-run on a receiver screen.

Allen’s five-yard touchdown run then capped an eventful drive late in the half which had seen a tight call go in the Bills’ favour when Gabriel Davis was just ruled in-bounds on a 19-yard catch, before the Colts give up an amateurish offside penalty on fourth-and-three and an Isaiah Rodgers interception was scratched off.

Scoring summary

FIRST QUARTER
Colts 3-0 Bills Rodrigo Blankenship 30-yard field goal
Colts 3-7 Bills Josh Allen three-yard TD pass to Dawson Knox (extra point)
SECOND QUARTER
Colts 10-7 Bills Jonathan Taylor one-yard rushing TD (extra point)
Colts 10-14 Bills Josh Allen one-yard rushing TD (extra point)
THIRD QUARTER
Colts 10-17 Bills Tyler Bass 46-yard field goal
FOURTH QUARTER
Colts 10-24 Bills Josh Allen 35-yard TD pass to Stefon Diggs (extra point)
Colts 16-24 Bills Philip Rivers nine-yard TD pass to Zach Pascal (failed 2PT conversion)
Colts 16-27 Bills Tyler Bass 54-yard field goal
Colts 24-24 Bills Philip Rivers 27-yard TD pass to Jack Doyle (two-point conversion)

Tyler Bass kicked a 46-yard field goal to add to Buffalo’s lead early in the second half, in reply to which the Colts saw a 14-play drive stall on a wayward throw from Rivers to Pittman before ending in a missed 33-yard field goal from Blankenship.

The frustration continued for them when Allen cashed in a 35-yard scoring strike to Diggs, who finished with six catches for 128 yards and one touchdown, after Indianapolis lost a timeout for an unsuccessful challenge on what they thought had been a Zack Moss fumble.

0:49
Josh Allen finds Stefon Diggs deep as Bills extend their lead over the Colts.
Josh Allen finds Stefon Diggs deep as Bills extend their lead over the Colts.

Rivers hit back immediately with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Pascal, only for Taylor to be stuffed on the two-point conversion attempt.

Bass booted a 54-yard field goal to stretch the Bills’ lead by three, but it wasn’t over yet as Rivers tossed a 27-yard score to Jack Doyle and then went back to his tight end to convert the two-point attempt.

Offensive tackle Daryl Williams rescued the Bills when he recovered Allen’s fumble on a sack that left Buffalo facing third-and-33 as they were forced to punt with 2.37 to play. Despite allowing a conversion on fourth-and-10, Sean McDermott’s men were able to keep the Colts out of field-goal range as Rivers failed to find a team-mate on his last-gasp Hail Mary attempt.

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Source : Sky Sports