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Takeaways: Buffalo Bills advance to AFC Championship Game on defensive lockdown

The Bills are ready.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed and Daryl Talley and Steve Tasker and Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith and Marv Levy and James Lofton. The Buffalo Bills are back in the AFC Championship Game. Our takeaways form the game are fun.

Taron Johnson is the man

I ran out of the room when Johnson intercepted Lamar Jackson inside the Bills’ end zone. My kids were trying to sleep and everything. I didn’t see the touchdown. Johnson has two of the biggest picks in the Bills’ season. He has two of the biggest touchdowns in the Bills’ season. He scored against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, turning the tide in that game, and then again tonight. He is under contact for one more year, too, and we are HERE FOR IT!

The Bills don’t run the ball a lot

The Bills didn’t run in the first 16 minutes. A 3rd-and-8 scramble from Allen was the first rush to break the seal and there were 13 passes before a run play. Eighteen passes and a scramble and I’m okay with that. The first run to a running back was with 3:03 in the first half.

I was adamant they didn’t run against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half, and they took that advice this week. Awesome.

Man, the Ravens run a lot

Opening the game, Baltimore had 13 rushes to three passes in the first quarter and 18 runs to 18 passes (16 passes and 2 sacks) in the first half. It wasn’t terribly effective but they were still in the game.

What a defense

Defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier interviews with the Houston Texans on Sunday and he padded his resume Saturday. Buffalo held the Ravens to three points. That’s their lowest point total in quite some time—a 2009 loss in the playoffs.


If the Cleveland Browns win on Sunday, the Bills will host the AFC Championship Game. And I am here for it. LET’S GO!

Odds and ends

  • Corey Bojorquez had a good game, and scooped a suspect snap and punted it for a nice field-position shift. Then drew the penalty to seal the game. Props.
  • Bills brought the heat, blitzing from the second and third levels A TON. It worked, limiting Lamar Jackson and his backup.
  • Justin Tucker, who did you piss off? Two misses for the future Hall of Famer in Buffalo’s winds. I didn’t see that coming.