ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills held on to beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 in their AFC Wild Card Playoffs game on Saturday to extend their season to another round of the competition. GamePass Replay | BOX SCORE
Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another score to help the Bills secured their first postseason since 1995.
Allen, who had an outstanding regular season, extended that form in the postseason as he completed 26 of 35 passes for 378 yards in the win. He completed scoring passes to Dawson Knox from 5-yards and a 35-yarder to Stefon Diggs.
Diggs, who became Buffalo’s first player to lead the NFL in catches and yards receiving, had six catches for 128 yards. Rookie Gabriel Davis took four catches for 85 yards for the Bills.
However, it was rookie kicker Tyler Bass, who accounted for the decisive points after he put away a 54-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 27-16 with 8:08 remaining.
Philip Rivers ended 27 of 46 on completed passes for 309 yards and threw touchdown passes to Jack Doyle and Zach Pascal for the Colts.
However, his desperation final play hail mary pass into the end zone was batted down by Micah Hyde, who admitted after the game that had prepared himself for such an attempt.
“It doesn’t matter how it looks,” said Allen. “It’s the playoffs. It’s win or go home and we got it done. We’ve got to turn our focus to whoever we got next week.”
Saturday’s defeat saw Rivers’ career playoff record fell to 5-7.
In shades of last year, when Buffalo squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead in a 22-19 overtime loss at Houston, the Bills nearly squandered a 24-10 fourth-quarter lead after Allen connected with Diggs with a perfectly placed pass up the right sideline.
The Colts responded with a seven-play, 75-play drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass to Pascal. After Bass upped Buffalo’s lead to 27-16, the Colts scored less than two minutes later. Rivers hit a wide-open Jack Doyle for a 27-yard touchdown and Doyle caught a 2-point conversion.
The Colts were limited to a touchdown and field goal in the first half after having all five drives cross midfield and enjoying a nine-plus minute edge in time of possession.
The turning point came when the Colts, up 10-7, were unable to score on four snaps inside Buffalo’s 4. Rivers’ pass for Michael Pittman glanced off the diving receiver’s fingertips on fourth down.
Buffalo responded with a 10-play, 96-yard drive capped by Allen’s 5-yard keeper with 14 seconds left in the half. Davis had four catches for 85 yards, including a pair of toe-tapping receptions upheld following video reviews.
“Our defense did a great job,” Allen said. “Right before half they were able to turn it into points.”
A Colts’ miscue also helped extend the drive. Facing fourth-and-3 from the Colts 26, Allen drew defensive end Kemoko Turay offside with a second left on the play clock.