A last-second Hail Mary from Philip Rivers went incomplete, as a fourth quarter comeback fell just short. The Colts lose to the Bills 27-24 in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs.
The loss is the Colts’ first in the Wild Card round since 2012.
After both teams traded punts to begin the game, the Colts were first on the scoreboard courtesy of a 30-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal. The Bills immediately answered with points of their own, coming off a three-yard pass from Josh Allen to Dawson Knox, as Buffalo held a 7-3 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Colts jump out front. A nine-play, 63-yard drive culminated with a one-yard Jonathan Taylor plunge into the end zone, putting Indianapolis ahead 10-7. The Colts were close to adding to that lead, but a failed 4th and goal attempt gave Buffalo the ball with 1:46 to go in the half at their own four. Josh Allen then led the Bills on a 10-play, 96 yard drive that he finished off himself with a five-yard rush into the end zone. The drive, which was kept alive by a Kemoko Turay jump offsides on 4th and 3, put Buffalo up 14-10 at halftime.
The Bills’ first drive of the second half netted a 46-yard Tyler Bass field goal and a 17-10 lead. The Colts were primed to answer with three of their own, as they went 60 yards in 13 plays to get inside the Red Zone. Rodrigo Blankenship’s 33-yard field goal attempt however would hit the upright, and the Colts came up empty, finishing the 3rd quarter down 17-10.
As the fourth quarter began, the Bills didn’t let up, as Josh Allen went over the top to Stefon Diggs for a 35-yard touchdown, extending Buffalo’s lead to 24-10. Then the Colts offense woke up, driving 75 yards in 2:38, winding up in the end zone on a nine yard Philip Rivers pass to Zach Pascal. The two-point conversion failed, so Buffalo led by eight, 24-16. Once again, the Colts’ defense couldn’t keep Buffalo from scoring, as Tyler Bass drilled a 54-yard field goal to extend the Bills’ advantage to 27-16. Once again, the Colts drove quickly: 76 yards in 1:55 finished by a Rivers-to-Jack-Doyle 27-yard score. A two-point conversion to Doyle made it 27-24 Bills. After a defensive stop, the Colts’ offense got the ball with 2:30 to play at their own 14 yard line. They drove into Bills territory, but a Hail Mary on the game’s final play fell to the turf, giving the Bills a victory.