Wild Card weekend is here, and are we in for a treat with these two triple-headers. First up on the AFC Wild Card slate sees the Indianapolis Colts visit the Buffalo Bills.
Both teams have well-documented playoff histories, but the Bills haven’t won a playoff game since 1995 while the Colts beat the Texans as recently as 2018 in the Wild Card round. And as a famously lifelong Bills fan, I could not be more excited to circle the wagons this weekend and make a deep playoff run.
Keys for the Bills
Josh Allen’s leap this year has been nothing short of impressive. His ability to use both his arms and legs makes him one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the league and even has him in the MVP discussion. The addition of Stefon Diggs has been also been huge for the Bills offense. He finished the season with 127 catches and 1,535 yards to lead the league in both of those categories. The backfield hasn’t been a big factor overall but when your QB rushes for 8 touchdowns on the season does it really have to be? Their top 2 receivers could be questionable for game time after dealing with injuries that led to short outings in week 17. But it’s likely that they will be suited up and ready to go in a winner take all situation.
Overall the Bills are feeling great leading up to Saturday’s game after finally being able to not play little brother to the Patriots in the AFC East for nearly 2 decades. It’s not unreasonable to think that they could make a deep run and potentially land their first ever Super Bowl trophy.
Keys for the Colts
The biggest focus for the Colts will be trying to contain Josh Allen and limit his mobility by bringing lots of pressure from the front line of the defense. If they can manage to contain him in any way they stand a decent shot of not only being competitive but stealing a win away from the number 2 team in the conference.
On the offensive side, Phillip Rivers has been a solid starter at quarterback after signing a 1-year deal to prove that he’s still got something left to give. Rookie standout Jonathan Taylor has managed to impress and become the 3rd leading rusher in the league as well as the league leading rookie rusher. Rivers doesn’t have to depend on just the legs though with a standout pair of targets in T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman, Jr. Even with this often high powered offense it could be tough to score a lot of points if the Buffalo defense manages to shut down Taylor and force the Indy offense to rely on Rivers’ arm alone. Especially given that it’s set to be in the low to mid 30’s at kickoff in Buffalo.
How It Ends
Given the momentum that the Bills come storming into the playoffs with and the fact that they are at home and will be able to play in front of just over 6,700 of the Bills Mafia’s finest at Orchard Park, it’s hard to pick against them in this one. That being said, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that the Colts could keep it close.
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