Bills Win First N.F.L. Playoff Game in Nearly 25 Years
By routing Miami last week, A.F.C. East champion Buffalo clinched the No. 2 seed but also facilitated the Colts’ entry into the postseason, as the conference’s first-ever seventh seed. It was also, for the Bills, nearly a tremendous blunder.
Led by the quarterback Josh Allen, who had a role in all three Bills touchdowns on Saturday, Buffalo scored 17 consecutive points, turning a 10-7 first-half deficit into a 24-10 fourth-quarter lead. But as Rivers fired touchdown passes on the Colts’ first two drives of the final period, the Bills managed only a field goal on theirs, giving Indianapolis a final chance to tie or take the lead.
Facing fourth-and-10 from his team’s 37-yard line, Rivers connected with Zach Pascal, who made a diving catch for 17 yards but was stripped after getting up. The reception was upheld on instant replay, giving the Colts first-and-10 at the Buffalo 46, but they lost a yard on their next three plays, failed to reach the kicker Rodrigo Blankenship’s field-goal range and forced Rivers into making a desperate, but incomplete heave.
In reaching the divisional round for the first time in 25 years, the Bills knocked out one of their legends, Frank Reich, who is head coach of the Colts.