In role reversal, the Bills’ defense carries the offense to victory

The Bills Report

The Bills prove they don't need an A+ effort from their offense to win in the playoffs

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 16: Tremaine Edmunds #49 of the Buffalo Bills reacts in the fourth quarter after a play against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Bills Stadium on January 16, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — The story of the Buffalo Bills all season long has been their offense.

They set the franchise record for points scored in a season. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs rewrote the record books individually.

But on Saturday night, things were different. The wind was swirling. Allen missed on a few throws. The Ravens’ defense held their ground.

When one unit faltered, the other rose to the occasion. Jon Feliciano put it best.

“Thanks, defense.”

The Bills scored just ten offensive points, their fewest this season. They only had 220 total yards— just the second time this season Buffalo was held under 330.

Sean McDermott and his coaching staff preaches complimentary football. That was never more the case than on Saturday night.

“They won the game for us. They played lights-out,” said wide receiver Cole Beasley. “They were flying around, swarming the ball. The coaches did a great job of scheming it up and the players did a good job of executing. You’ll take them any way you can get them.”

“I can’t say enough words for what that game was for our defense and how they played,” said Josh Allen. “That’s what our defense did, they stepped up huge. It was fun to watch.”

Last year, the Bills held Lamar Jackson to his second-fewest rushing yards all season. This time around, they kept the Ravens out of the end zone.

“To hold a team in the playoffs in the divisional round to three points is tough to do, especially an offense with the weapons that they have,” McDermott said. “Just a really gutsy performance by them and they were disciplined. We knew they had to be disciplined. Those guys play disciplined and they played hard throughout the entire game.”

The Bills’ defense in fact outscored the Ravens’ offense, as Taron Johnson returned an interception 101 yards for a touchdown at the end of the third quarter.

“That bend don’t break [expletive] is for real. To see those guys not break at all… that’s our defense being our defense,” said Stefon Diggs.

“The effort our defense put forward, I’m speechless. The guys were on fire, they played with intensity, the game plan was sound, they were confident in it. We needed them for four quarters tonight,” said center Mitch Morse. “Kudos to them, they played their tails off. We wouldn’t be in their position right now if it wasn’t for them, that’s for sure.”

As much praise as the players got, McDermott made sure that defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and his staff got credit for the plan they put together.

“That’s a tough offense to stop. They’re unique in what they do,” said McDermott. “The players had a really good week of practice. They were focused. They played 1/11th-style football which is what you’ve got to do.

“It was a great plan, a well-executed plan,” McDermott added. “The way they practiced during the week was very mapped out and intentional and I thought the players showed that in the way they played tonight.”

The Bills aren’t looking for style points in the postseason. Just wins. It’s earned them a spot in the AFC Championship Game.

“It’s playoff football, it doesn’t matter how it looks. You either get it done or you don’t,” said Allen.

Whether it’s the Chiefs or the Browns, the Bills will likely have to put up more points to advance to the Super Bowl. If it’s the Chiefs, they’ll definitely need more points.

But the Bills proved they don’t need Herculean effort from their offense in order to get the job done.

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