Cole Beasley wasn’t close to 100 percent for Buffalo billsWeekend Super Wild Card match against Indianapolis Colts.
Anyone watching from a regular fan to a die-hard Bills Mafia member could see that Beasley wasn’t the same on the field. His methods were not clear as usual and he was not playing anywhere at full speed.
That wouldn’t stop Beasley from playing on Saturday and certainly wouldn’t stop him from performing. The hard-working All-Pro slot would continue to be one of Buffalo’s bright spots in their 27-24 win.
After Buffalo’s first playoff victory in 25 years, here are 8 reasons to be encouraged and 3 reasons to be alarmed.
Cheerful: Cole Beasley
As mentioned in the lead, Cole Beasley played through a knee injury on Saturday. Not only did he play, but he did many big plays for Buffalo. When all was said and done, Beasley led Buffalo at receptions (7) and finished third on the team in obtaining the yards (57).
After the match, Josh Allen paid tribute to Peasley.
“It’s solid like nails,” Allen said. “Going out and playing the way he did was amazing for us.”
Tough as nails is the perfect description of the best soccer receiver.
Encouraged: Stephon Digges
Stephon Digges will get the ball. There’s a reason he leads the NFL at the receptions and yard collections. It’s all about limiting the big plays.
On the game’s first Buffalo touchdowns, Allen hit Diggs to get a 36-yard win. Early in the fourth quarter, Diggs is back with another big catch. This time the landing reception was 35 yards.
In his first playoff match for The Bills, Diggs was excellent. Finished with 128 yards and a one-step out six receptions.
Encouraged: Gabrielle Davis
“Mr. Permiter” is unlike any rookie player in his playoff debut. That should come as no surprise as Davis rarely looked like a newbie in 2020.
As Josh Allen was running from the pressure, Davis was the one who worked his way along the sidelines. Allen made great passes along the sideline, but the catch would come down to the receiver while keeping his feet at the limits. Either way, Davis made sure to click or pull his feet along the sideline so he left no doubt when the plays would finally be revised.
Davis was pulling all four of his goals in victory at an average of 21.3 yards per shot.
Encouraged: Josh Allen
The player who gets the ball to Paisley, Davis and Davis deserves some praise as well.
The Colts put together a great match plan for Saturday, but Josh Allen beat it with his arms and legs. Despite constant pressure throughout the match, Allen completed 74 percent of his passes at 324 yards and two stars. He also did some big kicks in the game and finished off with 54 yards and 1 point in 11 loads.
Josh Allen looked like the MVP candidate during the regular season. Play like one again on Saturday.
Encouraged: Mika Hyde
Mika Hyde clinched Buffalo’s playoff victory on Saturday by leading Philip Rivers Hill Mary’s attempt on the field. Obviously, this was his biggest game in the game, but Hyde finished the match with three defensive total passes.
Promote: Tyler Bass
Tyler Bass has been close to auto since the second half of the junior season. Against the Colts, Bass was perfect on extra points (3 of 3) and in field goals (2 of 2). His 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter ended up being the winning points.
Encouraged: Daryl Williams
Daryl Williams made it to the encouraging list to help Buffalo secure their first playoff win in 25 years by reclaiming Josh Allen’s stumble late in the match. Williams’ awareness helped Buffalo avert disaster.
Cheer: Jordan Boyer
Speaking of consciousness, Boyer did what should have been winning the match on Saturday when he allowed Zach Pascal to rise after picking up a fourth-place pass down. He will proceed to remove the ball from the receiver. Tri White was making an apparent recovery, but officials would judge Pascal fell by contact. This was clearly not the case and I took a Boyer moment from him.
Anxiety: the third attack
Freaking Buffalo for third was a bright spot throughout the season, but Biles really struggled to move the chains against the Colts. Beals was only converted twice in nine attempts against Indianapolis.
Buffalo will need to do a better job of maintaining leadership on Saturday night against crows.
Concern: Run Linebacker
Tremin Edmunds and Matt Milano are the faces of the full-back. They both put on big plays at times this season, but the duo weren’t at their best on Saturday against Indianapolis. There were instances of lack of interference and poor coverage.
This does not mean that everything was bad on Saturday. The duo came together to make 20 total tackles and scored three defensive passes. Milano specifically deserves the credit for stopping the shovel’s pass to the narrow end near the end zone.
Buffalo will need a lot of good play against Baltimore.
Anxiety: running defense
Crows will often run on Saturday night on the Split Ride. That’s a little unsettling based on what we’ve seen from Buffalo this week. Indianapolis lunge 163 yards and 1 point in 30 lunts (5.4 YPC) and that was with one of the lowest moving midfielders in the league.
Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins, Jos Edwards and the partners will be looking to test the Buffalo defense early and often on Saturday night.