The Buffalo Bills won their first playoff game in 25 years last week. Now, the Bills face the next challenge in the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional round. Everyone knew coming into this game two of the young quarterback in the league were set to face off. Both were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft (Josh Allen: pick 7 and Lamar Jackson: pick 32).
The Bills’ defense:
Head coach Sean Mcdermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier came in the game with a great game plan. From the start of the game, the Bills defense was able to control the line of scrimmage. The Bills’ defensive line was an area of concern coming into the game but sure their quickness as an advantage. The defense was able to hold the league’s best rushing attack to 150 yards.
They forced the Ravens to try and pass the ball. When Jackson did drop back her looked very uncomfortable. Everyone thought the Ravens would come into the game blitzing but it ended up being the Bills. Creating seven quarterback hits and four sacks. Jerry Hughes had a monster game with four hits and two sacks.
The third quarter:
The Bills’ offense was able to take the opening drive of the third quarter for a touchdown. Allen was able to Hit Diggs for a three-yard touchdown on a wide receiver screen. The drive was 11 plays, 66 yards, and took 5:31minutes.
Even with the Ravens driving 66 yards with their next position, the defense changed the trajectory of the game. Taron Johnson picked off Lamar Jackson and returned it 101 yards for a touchdown; this tied a record for the longest return in playoff history.
The Bills win probability was 58% before that interception after jumped to 68.4%. In the next series, Jackson took an intentional grounding at the two-yard line street a bad snap. Jackson ended getting knocked or of the game with a concussion on the play. The Bills win probability jumped to 98.1%. Everyone watching the game could feel the momentum shifting to the Bills.
Buffalo’s third down offense:
Buffalo’s offense went 4-of-13 on the night only 30.8%. During the regular season, the Bills were first in the NFL at 40.9%. This could have been due to Cole Beasley not being 100% for the game. Beasley did tough it out, but only managed two targets.
Missed opportunities to finish the game:
Even though the Bills won the game, they missed chances to finish the game early. After taking a 14 point lead late in the third quarter, the Bills were driving. With a chance to take a three-score game three offense stalled just past midfield.
After the defense was able to hold the Ravens on a turnover on downs, the Bills took over at the 29. In the next offensive series, the Bills were able to get into field goal range, and Tyler Bass missed a 44-yard field goal.
Luckily, the Bills defense was on fire all night. This was the biggest game in franchise history in the past 27 years. Now, it’s onto the AFC Championship game versus the Kansas City Chiefs.