Bills Recipe for Success Earns Them a Trip to AFC Championship

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ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills shakes hands with Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at New Era Field on December 8, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Baltimore defeats Buffalo 24-17. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

It has been a long time coming for this franchise since 1994, to be exact. The Buffalo Bills have made their first AFC Championship appearance in 26 years and will be looking to get back to the Superbowl, where they haven’t been in the same amount of time. This past Saturday, the Bills recipe for success worked against a dynamic Baltimore Ravens team.

While we won’t be getting into who the Bills will be playing in the AFC Championship Game, we will talk about this game. Buffalo did a few things to secure this win that other teams could not do against the Ravens, like the Titans. I think most of us were expecting this to be an offensive shootout, and it was just the opposite.

The game was a lot closer than the score would suggest. The Ravens had a chance to tie the game at the end of the third quarter, but we know how that went. If the Bills can keep putting together all-around games like these, they will have a chance to make it further than just the AFC Championship.

Bills Recipe, AFC Championship, Buffalo, Bills, Josh Allen
ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 08: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills shakes hands with Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at New Era Field on December 8, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Baltimore defeats Buffalo 24-17. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Bills Recipe for an AFC Championship Berth

Run Defense

The Ravens came into this game as the best statistical running team during the postseason. While they were good last week against the Titans, this Bills defense is a little different.

The Titans allowed Baltimore to run all over them last week as they gave up 236 rushing yards to the Ravens. That was against a weak defensive front in Tennessee, as we have seen this year. They are a team who is bottom three in sacks this year and run stop defense.

The Bills are different on the defensive end, and we saw that Saturday night. Baltimore averaged 190 rushing yards this season, ranking first in the NFL. Buffalo put together a Bills recipe for success that ended up holding Baltimore to just 150 rushing yards.

Not to mention Baltimore rushed 34 times. That’s two more attempts than they have averaged per game this season. If the Bills defense can show up like this, they will be solid in the AFC Championship game.

Bills Recipe, AFC Championship, Buffalo, Bills, Josh Allen
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Janarion Grant (84) is stopped by Buffalo Bills running back Patrick DiMarco (42), linebacker Ramon Humber (50) and cornerback Lafayette Pitts (30) during the first half of an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Poor Special Teams by Baltimore

Let’s start with the impossible. Yes, Justin Tucker missed not one but two field goals from under 50 yards away. He does not do that often or at all. Tucker had only missed one of those field goals in his playoff career entering the game, and that one was against Tennessee last week.

While Alexa told me the weather in Buffalo was only 35 degrees, with seven miles per hour winds, the description did not fit the eye test. The orange flags on the goal post were moving more than the velocity of a Josh Allen throw. If those two field goals had fallen, the score could have been 10-9.

Good Pass Defense

The Ravens were the worst passing team in the league this season, as they averaged only 171 passing yards per game. While they did pass that average, the Bills created havoc in that area and made it hard for the Ravens to do anything at all, and hard for Baltimore to get to the AFC Championship game.

Buffalo also had maybe the play of the game that was not from Josh Allen. Instead, cornerback Jordan Poyer interception Lamar Jackson in the endzone and returned it for a touchdown. This defense is making Josh Allen’s job easier and can carry over into the AFC Championship.

Bills Recipe, AFC Championship, Buffalo, Bills, Josh Allen
Sep 15, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer (21) celebrates with teammates after an interception against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks for reading my article on the AFC Divisional Playoffs with a matchup between Buffalo and the Baltimore Ravens, and the Bills recipe for success that gained them a spot in the AFC Championship.

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