Guest of the League
Afternoon Flex
FFL: Offseason | NFL: Championship

Allen's fourth-quarter TD clinches playoff spot for Bills

Sun Dec 15 11:51pm ET
By DAN SCIFO
Associated Press

Players: John Brown, Tyler Kroft, James Conner, Devlin Hodges, Josh Allen, Diontae Johnson, Devin Singletary

Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft (81) celebrates with running back Devin Singletary (26) and others after scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh Allen during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft (81) scores on a pass from quarterback Josh Allen, running near Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Terrell Edmunds (34), during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft (81) celebrates his touchdown on a pass from quarterback Josh Allen during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) intercepts a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges pass intended for Diontae Johnson (18) during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) scores during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) strips the ball from Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (26) and the Steelers recovered during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) scores with Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) defending during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges looks to throw a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) and cornerback Taron Johnson (24) go after a turnover by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. The Bills recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges calls signals during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges (6) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary, second from right, is stopped short of the goal line by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Mark Barron, right, outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) and free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, left, during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, center, scores on a 1-yard run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Terrell Edmunds (34) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. Allen fumbled on the play. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


PITTSBURGH (AP) Josh Allen threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft with 7:55 to play and the Buffalo Bills clinched a playoff spot, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-10 on Sunday night.

The Bills secured their second playoff berth in two seasons under coach Sean McDermott, a college teammate with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at William & Mary. Buffalo trailed 10-7, but scored on two possessions in the fourth quarter, as Allen rallied the Bills for a comeback win for the fifth time this season. Consecutive interceptions by Jordan Poyer and Levi Wallace on Pittsburgh's last two possessions sealed the victory.

The surging Steelers had an opportunity to leapfrog the Bills for the top AFC wildcard spot, but Buffalo snapped Pittsburgh's three-game win streak.

Buffalo won for the fourth time in five games and recorded its first 10-win season since 1999. The Bills also beat the Steelers for the second time ever in Pittsburgh, first since a 21-point win in the 1993 AFC Divisional playoff round.

The Bills, who improved to 6-1 on the road, made their first Sunday night appearance in 12 years when they were dismantled by the Patriots in a 46-point loss.

Not this group, led by a No. 3-ranked defense and an opportunistic offense.

The Bills no longer resemble the inept franchise with a revolving door of coaches, general managers and quarterbacks that struggled through a 17-year playoff drought before McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane arrived.

Allen completed 13 of 25 passes for 139 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Allen, who also rushed for a score, has only lost consecutive games once in his career. Kroft scored his first touchdown since 2017 when he played for Cincinnati. Devin Singletary rushed for 87 yards and John Brown caught seven passes for 99 yards. He became Buffalo's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2015.

The Steelers entered with wins in seven of their last eight games since a 1-4 start.

Devlin Hodges completed 23 of 38 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Hodges had a chance to become the first undrafted rookie in the Super Bowl era to win his first four starts.

James Conner played for the first time since missing five of the last six games with a shoulder injury. He finished with 42 yards rushing and caught a touchdown pass.

Pittsburgh scored on the first drive of the second half to take a 10-7 lead.

Hodges opened the series with a 31-yard pass to Diontae Johnson and Conner broke off a 17-yard run, setting up his 11-yard touchdown reception two plays later. The 69-yard touchdown drive came after Pittsburgh totaled 64 yards in the first half.

Tre'Davious White returned his second interception of the game 49 yards to the Pittsburgh 18 late in the third quarter. The Bills couldn't capitalize with a touchdown and instead settled for a 36-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka to tie it.

The Bills took a 17-10 lead on their next possession.

Allen connected with Brown for a 40-yard gain one play after a Pittsburgh punt. Five plays later, Allen found Kroft at the front pylon for a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Allen's 1-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second quarter opened the scoring.

Allen's ninth score also established a new single-season franchise record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback. Buffalo took advantage of a short field following a 22-yard punt and converted a fourth down during the 40-yard series.

Pittsburgh trailed 7-3 when Steven Nelson picked off Allen late in the second quarter. A facemask set Pittsburgh up with first-and-goal from the 10, but Johnson fumbled and the Bills recovered to preserve a four-point halftime lead.

NOTES: Allen tied Doug Flutie for the most consecutive games accounting for a touchdown by a Bills quarterback with 20. ... T.J. Watt is the first player in Steelers history with multiple 13-sack seasons. ... Pittsburgh registered at least one sack in 55 straight games, the longest in regular-season franchise history. ... Chris Boswell kicked his 125th career field goal, fourth-most in Steelers history. ... The matchup featured the first trio of brothers - Pittsburgh's Trey and Terrell Edmunds and Buffalo's Tremaine Edmunds - to appear in the same game since 1927.

UP NEXT

Bills: Travel to New England on Saturday.

Steelers: Visit the New York Jets on Sunday.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

Interview with a Champ

Player Notes
Tramon Williams Jan 20 9:03pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramon Williams (Ravens) worked out for the Green Bay Packers Wednesday, Jan. 20, and is expected to sign to either the practice squad or the 53-man roster.

From TheHuddle

Larry Ogunjobi Jan 20 8:03pm ET

Cleveland Browns DT Larry Ogunjobi said he'll assess his options in free agency as it's unknown if he'll return to the Browns. 'When I go into training this offseason, just kind of figure out what fits best for me and then obviously when you get into March, you figure out where the team wants you as, what they see you as and what role they want you to play here or somewhere else,' Ogunjobi said Wednesday, Jan. 20.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Jan 20 6:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (quadriceps) and wide receivers Mike Evans (knee) and Chris Godwin (quadriceps) were all limited participants during Wednesday's practice. Jones was able to practice in a limited fashion last week before ultimately suiting up against the Saints, while Evans' and Godwin's reps are being managed as precautions. Jones has a good matchup against Green Bay's front, though he and Leonard Fournette are trending towards a timeshare after head coach Bruce Arians described them as a "1-2 punch." Meanwhile, Evans will likely tango with star corner Jaire Alexander on the outside, as tough a matchup as any. Godwin is due for a rebound performance after dropping a surefire touchdown last week and could see more targets if Evans struggles and Antonio Brown (knee) is banged up.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jan 20 6:43pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is wanted on a long-term contract, according to head coach John Harbaugh Wednesday, Jan. 20. 'Absolutely, we want Lamar to sign a long-term deal and be with us,' Harbaugh said. 'I'm totally certain that's going to happen. When it happens, that's the details.'

Fantasy Spin: Harbaugh also said they aren't going to adjust the offense to be more pass-heavy. So long as Jackson is healthy, he'll be a top fantasy QB for the foreseeable future due to his added production on the ground.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Jan 20 6:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (quadriceps) said Wednesday, Jan. 20, he already feels better than last week and he's all good for the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Brown Jan 20 6:20pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (knee) was listed as a non-participant for Wednesday's practice. Brown sustained the knee injury during the divisional-round win over the Saints, with Tampa Bay officially listing him as day-to-day. The veteran wideout will look to ramp up his activity during Thursday and Friday's sessions to give him a chance at suiting up against Green Bay in the NFC title game. Fellow wideouts Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson- who both made big plays in the victory over New Orleans- would be in line to receive more targets if Brown isn't healthy enough to play.

From RotoBaller

Nickell Robey Jan 20 5:53pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DB Nickell Robey-Coleman was removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Jan. 20.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Wilkins Jan 20 5:43pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB Jordan Wilkins was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Jan. 20.

From TheHuddle

Mason Crosby Jan 20 5:33pm ET

Green Bay Packers LB Krys Barnes (thumb), PK Mason Crosby (shoulder), RB AJ Dillon (quadriceps), DL Kingsley Keke (concussion), TE Marcedes Lewis (knee), LB Za'Darius Smith (thumb), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (knee, ankle), OT Ricky Wagner (knee) and RB Jamaal Williams (ankle) were limited at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20. S Will Redmond (knee) practiced in full.

From TheHuddle

Chris Godwin Jan 20 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hip, quadriceps) was limited at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin caught four of seven targets but for just 34 yards against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round. The Buccaneers' passing game wasn't needed much as Tampa Bay operated from favorable field position for much of the game. Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown should all see more work against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. Godwin is likely to see the most targets.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Jan 20 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (finger, calf) was a limited participant at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Jones ran 13 times for 62 yards against the New Orleans Saints last week after being considered questionable for most of the practice week. He should be more involved this week, but the game script isn't likely to be as favorable for the Bucs as it was in the NFC Divisional Round. Jones will be a touchdown-dependent fantasy FLEX option this week.

From TheHuddle

Jason Pierre-Paul Jan 20 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 20. S Jordan Whitehead (knee) and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (quadriceps, ankle) were limited. DL Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf) and G Ali Marpet (pectoral) practiced in full.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Brown Jan 20 5:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown (knee) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Brown is expected to be fine in time for Sunday's NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. He'll represent a contrarian pivot from either Mike Evans or Chris Godwin.

From TheHuddle

Mike Evans Jan 20 5:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (knee) was a limited participant at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Evans didn't practice much last week and was targeted just three times in the NFC Divisional Round game against the New Orleans Saints. His day was saved by a three-yard touchdown catch, but it was his only reception. He should be more involved in the NFC Championship with another week of recovery under his belt.

From TheHuddle

Stefon Diggs Jan 20 4:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs (oblique) was limited during practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Diggs has posted at least 100 yards in five of his last six games and is a must-start fantasy option if he is active for the game.

From TheHuddle

Quinton Jefferson Jan 20 4:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills DT Vernon Butler (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 20. QB Jake Fromm (non-injury) and DT Quinton Jefferson (ankle) were limited during practice. PK Tyler Bass (hand), LB Tremaine Edmunds (hamstring) and DE Darryl X. Johnson (knee) fully participated in practice.

From TheHuddle

Stefon Diggs Jan 20 4:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (oblique) remains on the injury report and was a limited practice participant on Wednesday. Diggs has been battling an oblique injury late this season, but it hasn't really slowed him down at all. The NFL's leader in receptions and receiving yards in 2020, the 27-year-old has 14 catches on 20 targets for 234 yards and two touchdowns in the team's two playoff tilts against the Colts and Ravens this year. Diggs was able to haul in six of his eight targets for 46 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Chiefs back in Week 6 in a 26-17 loss. With quarterback Josh Allen having a breakout season under center, Diggs has been one of the most valuable fantasy wideouts this season, and that shouldn't change in the AFC Championship this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 20 4:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (concussion, toe) is now listed as limited during practice Wednesday, Jan. 20. He was initially listed as a full participant Wednesday.

Fantasy Spin: Mahomes is going through the concussion protocol but may be able to do more during practice over the next few days. He is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL when healthy and should be a starting option if he is active.

From TheHuddle

Gabriel Davis Jan 20 4:30pm ET

Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Gabriel Davis (ankle) and defensive tackle Vernon Butler (quadriceps) both missed practice on Wednesday. Davis injured his ankle in the Divisional Round win over the Ravens last Saturday night. As of right now, the impressive 21-year-old should be considered questionable to play against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship on Sunday, but keep an eye on his practice status through the rest of the week. He was unable to haul in any of his four targets against Baltimore's defense last week after going for four catches and 85 yards in the wild-card win over Indianapolis the week prior. He's hard to trust for consistent production behind Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley. If Davis can't play this weekend, Isaiah McKenzie could see an expanded role.

From RotoBaller