Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game
The Kansas City Chiefs won their first NFL title since 1970 when they beat San Francisco in last year's Super Bowl. What we get Sunday is a matchup of dynamic offenses and overlooked defenses, the top two teams in the conference. Kansas City (15-2) has the confidence of a reigning champion and a charisma few NFL teams can match. That could provide an edge over Bills rookie Tyler Bass — except that Bass has been very reliable all season. Buffalo punter Corey Bojorquez and Kansas City rookie Johnny Townsend were two of the most dependable in the AFC.
Bills among the NFL's 4 defenses peaking in the postseason
Buffalo Bills' Micah Hyde (23) celebrates with teammates after an NFL divisional round football game against the Baltimore Ravens Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Leslie Frazier’s faith in his Bills defense never wavered even at the lowest point of Buffalo’s season. It was mid-November and the Bills were entering their bye week on the heels of a 32-30 defeat at Arizona. In the NFC, the Packers are allowing an average 306 yards offense over their past seven outings. Here comes Patrick Mahomes, should he clear the NFL’s concussion protocol, and the league’s top-ranked offense.
Top cornerbacks standing out on NFL's Super Bowl hopefuls
Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent's top receiver all by himself. The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference's four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay's Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans' Marshon Lattimore. Staley's scheme has employed Ramsey in multiple roles throughout the season, and his job often changes from play to play. Oddly enough, the remaining playoff team perceived to have the least dominant cornerbacks is defending champion Kansas City, the favorite to make it back to the Super Bowl. “Some of the best cornerbacks happen to play on the best teams, that’s all I can say,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
Colts' comeback bid falls short in 27-24 loss to Bills
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Colts coach Frank Reich couldn’t manufacture another comeback in Buffalo. We just didn’t get it done.”After squandering scoring opportunities through three quarters, the Colts finally mustered a response when trailing 24-10. Rivers engineered consecutive touchdown drives over a six-minute span before coming up empty on the Colts' final possession. The game ended with Rivers throwing three consecutive incompletions, including a 47-yard desperation pass intended for T.Y. “He exceeded expectations on what he brought to the team this year on and off the field,” Reich said.
Brady and Bucs, plus Bills and Rams win NFL wild-card games
The first tripleheader of NFL wild-card games saw Tom Brady extend his postseason record for victories to 31 with a 31-23 win for Tampa Bay at Washington on Saturday. After a quarter-century, the Bills got one of those triumphs that Brady collects — and they even figured out how to stop a Hail Mary. The previous playoff win was over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. And it came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years, with a limited number of fans in attendance (6,700) for the first time this season. The Ravens averaged an NFL-best 191.9 yards rushing per game and their 3,071 yards rushing were third highest in NFL history.
Bills beat Colts 27-24 for 1st playoff win in 25 years
In a season in which the Bills busted numerous slumps, Allen became Buffalo's first starter in a quarter century to win a playoff game. Made enough plays to win,” Allen said. The Colts responded with a seven-play, 75-play drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass to Pascal. Rivers’ pass for Michael Pittman glanced off the diving receiver’s fingertips on fourth down. Facing fourth-and-3 from the Colts 26, Allen drew defensive end Kemoko Turay offside with a second left on the play clock.
Vikings RB Cook up vs. Packers, who keep LT Bakhtiari out
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)Dalvin Cook is back for the Minnesota Vikings from a one-game absence, his injured groin cleared to play in Green Bay. Packers: QB Jordan Love, CB Kevin King, S Raven Greene, RB Aaron Jones, LB Randy Ramsey, OT David Bakhtiari, DL Billy Winn. ___LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MIAMIRams: RB Raymond Calais, OL Brian Allen, WR Trishton Jackson, TE Brycen Hopkins, DL A’Shawn Robinson. Dolphins: RB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr., RB Salvon Ahmed, FB Chandler Cox, CB Jamal Perry, RB Jordan Howard, DE Jason Strowbridge. Bengals: K Austin Seibert, WR John Ross III, RB Joe Mixon, OG Michael Jordan, C Trey Hopkins, OT Bobby Hart, OT Jonah Williams.
Browns' Beckham, Washington's Collins leave with injuries
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)Cleveland receiver Odell Beckham and Washington safety Landon Collins will have more tests Monday to determine the extent of what could be season-ending injuries. Beckham injured his left knee while attempting to make a tackle after Baker Mayfield threw an interception on the team's opening pass play. Collins injured his left ankle/Achilles tendon in noncontact fashion early in the second quarter. Phillips was carted off the field early in the second quarter. — Carolina left tackle Russell Okung (calf) left in the second half against New Orleans and did not return.
AP source: Bills-Titans, Broncos-Patriots rescheduled by NFL
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Minneapolis. The Titans had no positive tests Monday or Tuesday for the first time after six consecutive days of positive results. The Titans' outbreak increased to 23 Thursday with tight end MyCole Pruitt and a defensive back from the practice squad put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday afternoon. The Titans' facility remains closed with the team still prohibited from any in-person activities. ___AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner, AP Sports Writers Kyle Hightower and Steve Wine contributed and AP freelance writer Mark Ludwiczak contributed to this report.
Allen reaches career high in passing, Bills beat Dolphins
Allen reached a career high in yards passing for the second week in a row, and became the first Buffalo quarterback to have back-to-back 300-yard games since Drew Bledsoe in 2002. The Bills totaled 524 yards, with 342 in the first half, the most by the team since 2000. The Dolphins closed to 31-28 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Mike Gesicki and a successful 2-point conversion with 49 seconds left. Allen threw touchdown passes to four receivers and Stefon Diggs led the Bills with eight catches for 153 yards. The Bills had scoring drives of 97 yards, 84 yards, and 73 yards in the first half.