The Buffalo Bills have secured their place in the AFC’s final four teams in the 2020-2021 NFL Playoffs. After hanging on to beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 yesterday, the Bills have earned that place for the first time since the 1995-1996 season.
That year, Buffalo defeated the Miami Dolphins 37-22 in the Wild Card round before heading to Three Rivers Stadium to take on Neil O’Donnell and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Buffalo fought valiantly, but ultimately Pittsburgh was too much, beating Buffalo 40-21 on their way to representing the AFC in Super Bowl XXX.
This year, the No. 2 Bills will host a second playoff game rather than heading on the road. Two games today dictate Buffalo’s Divisional Round opponent, and since one of those games kicks off at 8:15 p.m. EST, we won’t know who Buffalo plays until well into the night. The Bills will host the highest remaining seed in the tournament, while the No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs will host the lower seed.
In the first game of the day, which is set to kick off at 1:05 p.m. EST on ESPN and ABC, the No. 4 Tennessee Titans host the No. 5 Baltimore Ravens. That’s a rematch of a Week 11 matchup that the Titans won in overtime 30-24. Derrick Henry scored on a 29-yard run to seal that win. These two teams also met in the Divisional Round last year, with Tennessee winning that game 28-12. Both of those games were in Baltimore.
The second game of the day is between the No. 2 New Orleans Saints and the No. 7 Chicago Bears on CBS and Nickelodeon at 4:40 p.m. EST. This game obviously has no bearing (that pun really wasn’t intended but it’s so bad that I’m not changing it now) on Buffalo’s second game, but any playoff football is good football. Are you interested in seeing the veteran Drew Brees go on one last ride? Or would you rather see the underdog Bears advance to the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field next week to take on the Green Bay Packers? I’m an underdog guy, and I’m also a huge Chicago White Sox fan, so I’ll be pulling for da Bears in this one.
Finally, the nightcap involves the real linchpin game regarding Buffalo’s next opponent. The No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers host the No. 6 Cleveland Browns on NBC at 8:15 p.m. EST in a matchup of two squads that played last week. Pittsburgh rested most of their key starters, but Cleveland will be without head coach and offensive playcaller Kevin Stefanski, who has coronavirus. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, who threw a touchdown pass in relief of Jim Kelly in the aforementioned Bills-Steelers playoff game, will assume playcalling duties tonight for Cleveland.
The scenarios are easy for Buffalo: If the Steelers win, they’ll be coming to Orchard Park next week. If the Browns win, they’ll be going to Kansas City, while the winner of Tennessee-Baltimore will instead shuffle up to Buffalo.
What matchup do you want for our Bills? Who are you rooting for today? Will ESPN need to update its questionable officiating tracker multiple times today again? Use this thread as a place to chat with your fellow Bills fans—in a far less stressful environment than yesterday’s chat!
Enjoy your Victory Sunday, everyone!