Well, that was a nail-biter. I knew the Colts weren’t going to be an easy out for the Bills but didn’t expect the game it to be that close. A few observations:
- The officiating was horrible. A, that was a clear fumble because Zach Pascal got back up, making himself an eligible runner and the play shouldn’t have been ruled dead, and B, they missed some obvious delay of game situations. I know they determine the refs for the playoffs on how they did in the regular season, but sheesh. They’ve gotta get more experienced guys out there in the postseason.
- It wasn’t Josh Allen or Brian Daboll’s best day – don’t get me wrong, Allen was good overall. But when he coughed up the ball late in the game, he needed to take the sack rather than try too hard to make a play. Instead, he fumbles, gives Indy the ball back and makes it a closer game than it actually should have been. Daboll was also running the ball too much early on, which made no sense given that the Colts finished second in the NFL against the run – the first time they were in the league’s top-five in nearly 50 years.
- Ditto Leslie Frazier. I get that Philip Rivers has seen nearly every coverage in existence after being in the NFL for 17 years, but as we know by now, the Bills’ corners – save for Tre White – are much more suited for zone coverage. Rivers picked them apart in man-to-man all day long (and should have had a touchdown late in the second quarter to Michael Pittman, who was being guarded one-on-one). Frazier needs to use zone more often and stay true to who the Bills are.
- More than anything, the Bills were beating themselves early on. Bad tackling and poor execution were to blame, especially when it came to stopping Indy’s offense. Jonathan Taylor had a big day and Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano weren’t exactly on their “A” game either, especially when it came to covering tight ends.
- Regardless, Buffalo escaped that one. And they’ve finally gotten their first playoff win in 25 years. It’s nice that they have that monkey off of their back, but that was too close for a lot of people’s taste. They’ll need to be better to win next week, because no NFL team can win in that sort of fashion consistently.