Bills 27 Colts 24

How ya livin, mafia?

Jim Rome
January 11, 2021 - 10:22 am
Josh Allen

USA Today


Bills Mafia! Bills mafia! Hell no, I haven’t forgotten about you!! But I do have just one question for you. How ya’ll livin?!? How the hell are you all livin right now?! I’m guessing pretty damn well!  I know that 27-24 win over the Colts on Saturday wasn’t as convincing as you would’ve liked, but the playoffs are about two concepts: survive and advance.

That’s it. That’s all that matters. There are no style points. If you blow out the Colts, you don’t get to skip a round. You don’t get a free pass into the Super Bowl if you win by 30 points instead of three points. And I’m here to tell you how that went down is a good thing. Probably the best thing. Because it reminds you, as dominant as you’ve been the last several weeks, the players are a different animal; a different deal; that game will dial you in: make you sharper: you’ll be so much better for it. I guarantee they’re better this weekend than last. And there was absolutely nothing wrong with last weekend: nothing wrong with hosting and winning your first playoff game in a quarter of a century. So don’t get what I’m saying twisted. No apologies. No regrets. You either win and move on or lose and go home. And the Bills are moving on.

I know the Bills were a juggernaut going into that game. I’d been talking about it all last week. And when they were dancing during practice, I told Frank Reich he better look the hell out. And Reich did just that.

The Colts came in with a serious plan. They threw a lot of different looks at the Bills offense. They were giving Josh Allen some looks he hadn’t seen before. And it was stymieing that Bills offense.

The crew that was putting up nearly 50 per game in the last three games suddenly looked mortal. But they showed another side on Saturday. They can blow you out and they can win a street fight.

And even though things weren’t rolling early, Allen still managed to lead an 8 play, 85-yard drive that ended with this.

I could break down that play until I’m blue in the face, but as always, I’m turning to Dion Dawkins for the ultimate analysis. And the Schno-Man delivered, like he always does: “The first TD to Knox, come on now. The kid is special. He’s special, this is a special group. Josh is almost like a create-a-character on Madden with a 99 overall.”

And if you thought he was special and a create-a-character on that first touchdown, you were probably blown away by that second touchdown drive, the one just before the end of the first half. Trailing 10-7 and starting with the ball on his own four-yard-line, Allen led a 10-play 96 yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by him.

That was brass. That was clutch. That was elite. 96 yards in 92 seconds and scoring just before halftime. That is special stuff.

Schno-Man, what do you think? “The kid is just out there having fun, executing and doing what he does best - that’s lead. He continues to just show it. If Josh Allen does not win the MVP, this thing is rigged. He’s doing it day in and day out. He’s extending plays, he’s making plays with his arm, he’s making plays with his eyes and he’s making plays with his feet. He’s doing it every single play. The kid is special and he’s still young. He has a long journey of greatness ahead of him.”

There is so much in that quote, like the statement that “If Josh Allen does not win the MVP, this thing is rigged.” I love that. But the biggest thing from that quote from Dawkins and all of Allen’s teammates is love. They love Josh Allen.

It’s not just that he’s a good quarterback. They absolutely love him. And that is special.

And how about Cole Beasley, saying this? “He’s the engine that makes this thing run. We just have to do our best to be as good as him.”

Again, you do not get higher praise than that. We have to do our best to be as good as he is – that’s remarkable. That’s leadership. That’s the kind of leadership that wins playoff games and makes Super Bowl runs.

And by the way, the guys around Allen did step up. They did match him with their greatness. Gabriel Davis was freaky as hell with his toe taps. Stefon Diggs was Stefon Diggs with 128 yards and this.

I’m not saying the Bills were perfect on Saturday. They weren’t in fact, they were far from it. But, let me say it again, it’s a good thing. Because they will be better for it. That had all the hallmarks of the kind of game you look back on in a couple weeks and say, that was the starting point.

The win makes it a starting point. A loss would’ve been the ending point. But the Bills didn’t lose. They won. They’re moving on. Survive. Advance. And host the Ravens this Sunday. 

And Bills fans, when you’re thinking back on that game, don’t forget – that is a damn good Colts team. Unlike some teams, no names mentioned, the Chicago Bears, they belonged in that playoffs. They could’ve made a run in the playoffs.

And would have, if they didn’t run into the Bills. Indy put up 474 yards of total offense and had zero turnovers. If you told Frank Reich before the game that he’d have those numbers, he’d have been pumped and would’ve started planning for the next round.

Because before Saturday, every team that had 450 yards of total offense and no turnovers in the playoffs, advanced in the playoffs. Every team that did that won.

Until the Colts met the Bills. That says something about this Bills team. And my guy, Dion Dawkins, would tell you that it says something about Josh Allen: “If I could put it in one phrase, lasered in, dialed in, and just extremely focused. He was like, ‘Nah, we’re not walking off this field with a loss.’ I saw it and felt it in Josh’s emotions, how he was calling calls, how his progression was. He went on the field with a ‘kill or be killed’ mentality.”

Amen. Buffalo, you’ve got yourselves a quarterback. A damn special quarterback. You’ve got yourselves a damn special quarterback and a damn special football team. And I couldn’t be happier for that city or that fanbase.