Staying ‘patient’ was a key for Bills offense vs. Colts defense in wild card win

Sports

Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen (17) celebrates with teammate Stefon Diggs (14) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Even after a slow start, this Bills offense has shown at any point in a game Josh Allen and company can turn it on when needed to rally and bounce back.

That was on display again against the Colts.

The Bills had trouble getting anything going on offense until late in the first quarter when Allen, on a designed run couldn’t find running room and ended up tossing it to Dawson Knox in the end zone for their first touchdown of the game.

That was totally how they drew it up.

After that, the Bills started to find their spark offensively scoring again before halftime to make it 17 straight points before the Colts found the end zone again in the fourth quarter.

“Being in this situation that we were in last year, taking that experience, understanding that these drives that we have are precious but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t get things going right away, staying with it,” Allen said after the game.

“Our defense did a great job of limiting them. That’s a heck of a football team that we just played, make no mistake about it. They came prepared and hungry. They started off with a bang and it took us a second to adjust and catch up to what they were doing. They had a good plan all game.”

Allen finished with 324 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 54 yards and a touchdown too on 11 attempts, the first time he’s had double digit carries since week eight.

Part of that slow start in the first half had to do with terrible field position. They were backed up in their own end every single drive to the point where their own 15-yard line was their best field position of the first half.

“They’re probably the best defense we’ve played all year. They’ve got a great scheme and they do a great job of mixing it up so we started off with a lot of bad field position early. Then we just really had to stay patient and figure it out. They’re a defense that makes you earn it so we knew we had to be patient with this defense. Just glad we did enough today,” Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley said after the game.

For the first time since week 10, Allen had his top three weapons back as Beasley, John Brown and Stefon Diggs were all playing. Beasley missed the regular season finale against the Dolphins with a knee injury and Brown was fighting through an ankle injury, then placed on the COVID-19 list as a close contact to T.J. Yeldon who tested positive.

Diggs was listed as questionable with an oblique injury but didn’t seem limited in any way as he ended with six catches for 128 yards and a 35-yard touchdown. Beasley fought through that knee injury and was able to make an impact with seven catches for 57 yards.

“I look at myself as one of the leaders on this team but silently Cole is one of those leaders. Cole is one of those guys that steps up at any given time. He’s been making plays all season and he’s been a guy that’s been vocal with us as far as being one of the older guys. He’s one of the older guys in the room so as far as like expressing himself and letting us know that we can take it one play at a time,” Diggs explained.

Now the Bills advance to the divisional round after winning this franchise’s first playoff game for the first time since 1995 and the first postseason win in the Sean McDermott/Brandon Beane era.

“I’m super excited for the fan base here and I don’t think guys really understand the meaning and impact of winning a playoff game for this franchise but at the same time I think we’re not in tune with that because we want one more. One’s not good enough for us and we’ve gotta go find out a good way to put our best foot forward this week and try to go execute next week no matter who we play,” Allen said.

For weeks now the Bills have been dominating their opponents but today was a different story as the Colts wouldn’t go down without a fight. It came down to the very last play as Philip Rivers launched a Hail Mary but history didn’t repeat itself from the Arizona loss.

“These up and down games like this are an emotional roller coaster for us. It’s really hard to come down from them. It will be hard to sleep tonight,” Beasley said.

“This is the playoffs, this is what it’s gonna be and it’s gonna come down to the wire every time. We’re gonna try to blow people out but on offense we want to score points but it’s not necessarily gonna be like that all the time. We’re playing a lot of good football teams and they were a great football team so it doesn’t matter if they’re the last seed or the seventh or the first, second, they’re all good now. Teams play their best football at the end year in the playoffs so we’re gonna have to play our best football to win.”

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