The # 2 seed Bills (13-3 AFC East champions) are hosting the Colts # 7 seed (11-5 Wildcard) tomorrow to open up the playoff season. The Bills had a dramatic offensive turnaround this season with the addition of wideout Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen taking huge strides in his third season. The Colts have played steady, almost under the radar football and grabbed the last playoff spot in a talented AFC. Here’s how they match up statistically.
Buffalo went on a scoring spree to end the regular season. They rang up 229 points since their bye in week 11 during a six-game winning streak. Their opponents included stout defenses of the 49ers, Steelers, Patriots and Dolphins in a must win game for Miami. This offensive firepower helped the Bills finish 2nd in the NFL in overall offense as well as 2nd in scoring averaging over 31 points per game. As a pass heavy club, their elite wide receiving corps had them 3rd in passing offense while finishing just 20th in rushing offense. They converted just shy of 50 percent of 3rd down possessions and had an impressive 62 percent touchdown rate in the red zone.
Indianapolis, led by head coach and former Bills hero Frank Reich cracked the top ten and finished 9th in scoring, averaging just over 28 points per game and finished 10th in total offense. In a well-balanced attack, they ranked 11th in both passing and rushing offense. The Colts have momentum heading into the postseason as well winning four of their last five contests to end the season. They found themselves in the red zone 60 times and converted 35 touchdowns, an efficiency rating of over 58 percent.
In the first half of the season, it looked as if the Buffalo defense was struggling, especially against the run, ranking near the bottom of the league in run defense. Sacks and turnovers also were not coming as regularly as they had been during defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s tenure. By the end of the year, the Bills “D” has looked more like their past selves. They were 3rd in the NFL with 26 takeaways and had a +4 turnover differential. They also had a respectable 38 sacks. Overall, they ended up 14th in total defense, giving up over 23 points per game. Their passing and rushing defense were in the middle of the NFL pack, ranking 13th and 17th respectively.
Indy’s defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has done such a good job this year that he is garnering attention from teams looking for a new head coach. His defensive squad finished 8th in total defense. It was a bit lopsided as the passing defense was just 20th overall but their defensive front dominated, finishing 2nd in rushing defense allowing just over 90 yards per contest. They caused a lot of mistakes by their opponents, finishing +11 in turnovers and were one of only two teams this season with a double digit plus turnover margin. They also sacked the quarterback 40 times to go with their 25 turnovers.
BILLS OFFENSIVE STAT LEADERS
Quarterback Josh Allen:
46 total TDs, 37 passing TDs, 10 INTs, 4544 yards, 69.2% completion rate, 107.2 QB rating
Wideout Stefon Diggs:
127 receptions, 1535 yards, 8 TDs
Running back Devin Singletary:
687 yards, 156 attempts, 4.4 yards per carry, 2 TDs, 38 receptions, 269 yards
COLTS OFFENSIVE STAT LEADERS
Quarterback Philip Rivers:
24 passing TDs, 11 INTs, 4169 yards, 68% completion rate, 97 QB rating
Wideout TY Hilton:
55 receptions, 762 yards, 5 TDs
Running Back Johnathan Taylor:
1169 yards, 232 attempts, 5.0 yards per carry, 11 TDs, 36 receptions, 299 yards, 1 TD
BILLS DEFENSIVE STAT LEADERS
Safety Jordan Poyer:
124 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended
Linebacker AJ Klein:
5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 4 passes defended
Cornerback Tre’Davious White:
3 INTs, 11 passes defended, 56.9% QB completion rate, 1.5 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble
COLTS DEFENSIVE STAT LEADERS
Linebacker Darius Leonard:
132 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 7 passes defended
Defensive Tackle DeForest Buckner:
9.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles
Defensive Back Kenny Moore II:
4 INTs, 12 passes defended, 72.3% QB completion rate, 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 TD