The 2020 NFL Playoffs got started off the right way for the Buffalo Bills on Saturday with a 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wild Card Round at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park.
This past Saturday was the Bills' first playoff win since the 1995 season, thanks to a good day from Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense doing just enough to outlast Philip Rivers and the Colts.
Allen had an efficient day under center for Buffalo, completing 74.3% of his passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a team-high 54 yards on the ground on 11 carries, while also scoring a touchdown with his feet.
While the Buffalo defense was not as good as the unit was down the stretch of the regular season, they did manage to come up with a couple of big plays in the game. This included a big stop on 4th-and-goal late in the second quarter that led to a touchdown, and also the final play of the game when safety Micah Hyde knocked down a Hail Mary attempt from Rivers to secure the win.
Now it's on to the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs, where the Bills will host a game in this stage of the playoffs for the first time since the 1993 season. This was, of course, the last season the Bills made a Super Bowl appearance when they played the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XVIII.
However, the competition will be much tougher than, maybe, first anticipated for the Bills this upcoming Saturday when the fifth-seeded Baltimore Ravens come to town.
Baltimore is coming off a 20-13 win over the fourth-seeded Tennessee Titans this past Sunday in Nashville, thanks to an offense that put up 236 rushing yards en route to victory.
While the Ravens offense can certainly move the ball with the passing game, their rushing attack finished as the best in the NFL this past season, averaging 191.9 yards per-game. And the number of options the Ravens have at their disposal seems endless with quarterback Lamar Jackson, as well as running backs J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram and company.
Buffalo's rushing defense this past season was in the middle of the pack in the league, averaging 119.6 yards-against per-game, but they ended up getting gouged by the Colts' rushing attack on Saturday, giving up 163 yards between primarily Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines.
In addition, the Ravens possess one of the better defensive units from the 2020 season, giving up an average of just 329.8 yards per-game. They took it to Derrick Henry and the Titans offense this past week, giving up just 209 yards of total offense, and limited Henry to just 40 yards rushing on the day.
Where the Bills can counteract with the potent Ravens defense is with their high-scoring offense, which finished the 2020 season with the second-best unit, averaging 396.4 yards per-game. Allen and the passing game were excellent with an average of 288.8 yards per-game this year, but the running game struggled with just 107.7 yards per-game. That group took a hit this week as running back Zack Moss has been placed on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury and is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
While the Ravens proved to be one of the more dangerous teams in the final stretch of the season, Howard Simon's confidence in the Bills is at an all-time high.
In the Wild Card Weekend edition of "Howard Picks the Bills", Howard did something that he had never done in the history of his weekly segment during the Bills season... he picked the Bills to win the Super Bowl.
Heading into the Divisional Round this Saturday, Howard's confidence in the Bills remains at that all-time high. He picked Buffalo to not only beat the Ravens, but also continue their run through the playoffs and capture Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, Florida on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Follow along on Twitter for the latest picks from Howard by using the hashtag #HowardPicksTheBills. You can also track all of Howard's picks throughout the season with Brayton Wilson's picks tracker on Twitter: @BJWilsonWGR.
You can listen to the latest edition of "Howard Picks the Bills" below: