Bills host ex-AFC East rival Colts for 1st time in playoffs
INDIANAPOLIS (11-5) at BUFFALO (13-3)
Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS
OPENING LINE - Bills by 6 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Colts 8-8; Bills 11-5
SERIES RECORD - Bills lead 37-32-1
LAST MEETING - Colts beat Bills 37-5 on Oct. 21, 2018 at Indianapolis
LAST WEEK - Colts beat Jaguars 28-14; Bills beat Dolphins 56-26
AP PRO32 RANKING - Colts No. 10, Bills No. 3.
COLTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (10), RUSH (11), PASS (11).
COLTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (2), PASS (20).
BILLS OFFENSE - OVERALL (2t), RUSH (20), PASS (3).
BILLS DEFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (17), PASS (13).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — It’s the first playoff meeting between former AFC East rivals, with the Colts holding a 4-3 edge since the NFL realigned its divisions in 2002. ... Colts coach Frank Reich spent nine years playing for the Bills, the final eight backing up Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly. ... Reich most memorably led Buffalo to a 41-38 overtime win against Houston in 1993 wild-card playoff, in which the Bills overcame a 35-3 third-quarter deficit. It still stands as the largest comeback in NFL history. ... The Colts are making their second playoff appearance in three seasons under Reich. Indy won four of its last five regular-season games and needed Buffalo to beat Miami just to earn the AFC’s first No. 7 seed. ... The Colts have won their first playoff game in each of their last three postseason trips. ... Indy is one of four teams to finish ranked in the top 10 in offense and defense this season. ... The Colts have combined to score 66 points on their opening possession, which ranks second behind Green Bay’s 73. ... Colts QB Philip Rivers has started 251 consecutive games including the playoffs, but is 5-6 in the postseason. The 17-year veteran has never reached the Super Bowl. ... Indy allowed only 21 sacks, tied for second fewest in the NFL. ... RB Jonathan Taylor set a franchise record with 253 yards rushing in last week’s victory over Jacksonville. He’s the first Indianapolis rookie to hit the 1,000-yard mark since Joseph Addai in 2006 when Indy won the Super Bowl. ... Taylor led NFL rookies with 1,169 yards rushing and 1,468 yards from scrimmage. ... Nyheim Hines has 63 receptions this season, third among NFL running backs. ... The Colts' defense has allowed only four rushing plays of 20 or more yards and has 25 takeaways. ... DE Justin Houston led the NFL with two safeties this season and is tied for the NFL’s career record with four. ... Though DeForest Buckner didn’t make the Pro Bowl, he finished with a franchise record 9 1/2 sacks for a defensive tackle. ... Pro Bowl LB Darius Leonard was eighth in the NFL with 132 tackles despite missing two games with injuries. ... K Rodrigo Blankenship broke the Colts' rookie records for field goals (32) and extra points (43). ... Buffalo is hosting its first playoff game since a 30-27 loss to Jacksonville on Dec. 28, 1996, which marked Kelly’s final game. ... The Bills have lost six straight playoff games since a 37-22 win over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. The 25-year drought is the NFL’s fourth longest behind Cleveland (26 years), Detroit (29) and Cincinnati (30). The Browns’ drought spans 23 seasons because the franchise was dormant from 1996-98. ... The Bills won their first AFC East title since 1995 and matched a franchise record for victories set in 1990 and ’91. ... Buffalo closed the season winning six straight to match its longest streak since 2004. ... The Bills became the NFL’s first team to close a season winning three straight by 25 points or more since the 1996 Green Bay Packers, who went on to win the Super Bowl. ... QB Josh Allen set single-season team records with 396 completions, 4,544 yards passing and 37 TDs passing and 46 combined TDs, including one receiving. ... Allen finished fourth in the NFL with a 69.2 completion percentage, which represented a 10.4 point improvement from last year when he finished 32nd. ... WR Stefon Diggs, acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March, became Buffalo’s first player to lead the NFL in catches (127) and yards receiving (1,535), both team records. ... WR John Brown had four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown against Miami in returning after missing five games with a knee injury and a stint on the reserve-COVID-19 list. ... Jordan Poyer finished tied for the NFL league among safeties with a career-best 118 tackles. ... WR Isaiah McKenzie scored on an 84-yard punt return and CB Josh Norman returned an interception 16 yards for a TD against Miami, marking the first time the Bills had two return TDs in one game since scoring three in a 40-14 win against Denver on Dec. 24, 2011. ... In its past 10 games, Buffalo’s defense has 19 takeaways (13 interceptions), forced 46 punts and limited opponents to convert just 38 of 120 third-down opportunities. That represents a big turnaround from Buffalo’s first six games in which the defense had seven takeaways (two interceptions), forced 17 punts and allowed opponents to convert 38 of 66 third-down opportunities. ... Fantasy tip: With Bills WR Cole Beasley’s status uncertain because of a knee injury, Brown is more than capable of stepping in with the Colts expected to focus their coverage on Diggs.
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