Buffalo 27, Indianapolis 24
When: 1:05 PM ET, Saturday, January 9, 2021
Where: Bills Stadium, Orchard Park, New York
Josh Allen passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another and the Buffalo Bills recorded their first playoff victory since 1995 by notching a 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday in an AFC wild-card game at Orchard Park, N.Y.
Stefon Diggs caught six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, Dawson Knox also had a scoring reception and Tyler Bass kicked two field goals as second-seeded Buffalo snapped a six-game postseason skid. The Bills' opponent in the divisional round will be determined on Sunday.
Allen completed 26 of 35 passes and added 54 yards on 11 carries for Buffalo, which has won seven consecutive games.
Philip Rivers completed 27 of 46 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns for the seventh-seeded Colts. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 78 yards and a score on 21 carries while Jack Doyle and Zach Pascal caught scoring passes.
The Colts took possession with 2:30 left for a final gasp and Rivers later hit a sliding Pascal for 17 yards on fourth down to the Bills' 46-yard line. Indianapolis couldn't move any closer and Rivers' final-second Hail Mary pass was broken up by Buffalo's Micah Hyde.
The late defensive stand allowed the Bills to leave the field victorious in the postseason for the first time since a club led by Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas engineered a 37-22 win over the Miami Dolphins in a wild-card matchup on Dec. 30, 1995.
"Our defense stepped up and made some plays," Allen said. "It doesn't matter how it looks. It's the playoffs -- it's win or go home and we got it done."
Buffalo held a 24-10 lead after Allen connected with Diggs on a 35-yard scoring play with 14:10 left in the contest. The Colts answered with Rivers' 9-yard touchdown throw to Pascal, but an ensuing two-point run by Taylor failed and left Indianapolis trailing 24-16 with 11:32 left.
Bass boomed a 54-yard field goal through the uprights to make it an 11-point margin with 8:08 remaining. But the Colts quickly moved 76 yards on five plays with Rivers hitting Doyle on a 27-yard scoring pass and on the ensuing two-point conversion to move within 27-24 with 6:13 left.
But Indianapolis fell short despite outgaining the Bills 472-397.
"It's certainly disappointing to finish like this when we believe it was the year," said the 39-year-old Rivers, who hasn't decided if he will play in 2021. "That's the competitor in me. I've never not believed it was the year. But it was a special team to be part of."
Buffalo led 14-10 at halftime after a questionable Indianapolis decision to pass on a field goal.
The Colts were leading 10-7 and had first-and-goal on the Bills' 4-yard line but came up empty on four straight plays, including an incomplete fourth-down pass from Rivers to Michael Pittman Jr.
The Bills took over with 1:46 remaining and moved 96 yards on 10 plays. Allen capped the drive with a 5-yard keeper with 14 seconds left to give Buffalo the four-point halftime lead.
Buffalo took a 17-10 lead when Bass booted a 46-yard field goal in the third quarter. Indianapolis attempted to counter but Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 33-yard field-goal attempt that clanked off the right upright.
Earlier, the Bills held a 7-3 lead on Allen's 3-yard scoring pass to Knox with 1:49 left in the first quarter. Taylor scored from the 1 to give Indianapolis a 10-7 edge with 8:07 left in the half.
--Field Level Media
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Buffalo will play their next game at home against Baltimore. The Bills have a W/L % of .833 after a win and .667 after a loss.