The quest to win Super Bowl LV begins with a half-dozen intriguing games.
The top seeds in the AFC and NFC, the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, respectively, are sitting back and waiting their turn. This year’s playoff field has seven teams per conference so there are three contests apiece this weekend. There are two matchups between divisional rivals and a pair of rematches from the regular season. There’s also a division champion with a sub-.500 record hosting an 11-5 club. And it will be interesting to see how the six host teams fare this weekend considering home teams in 2020 were a combined 127-128-1.
NOTE: All times ET
Saturday, Jan. 9Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at Buffalo Bills (13-3), 1:05 pm
Colts: Frank Reich has this team in the playoffs for the second time in three years and this time with veteran Philip Rivers behind center. But as of late, the offense is being driven by rookie running back Jonathan Taylor. The second-round pick from the University of Wisconsin got hot down the stretch and finished the season with 1,169 yards on the ground (11 TDs) and led the Colts with a dozen total touchdowns. The offensive line remains one of the best in the league and under coordinator Matt Eberflus, the team finished eighth in the NFL in total defense, allowed the second-fewest rushing yards in the league and was among the top clubs in 2020 with 25 takeaways.
Bills: The club finished with its most wins since its 13-3 season in 1991. The Bills set a franchise record in points scored (501) – totaling 142 points in their last three contests – and enters the postseason riding a six-game winning streak. Quarterback Josh Allen took quite the leap from his first two seasons, most notably in terms of completion percentage (69.2). He threw for 4,544 yards, 37 scores and 10 interceptions, plus ran for 421 yards and eight scores. Wideout Stefon Diggs led the NFL in catches (127) and receiving yards (1,535) in his first season with the club. But Allen also turned over the ball 16 times. And the Bills’ rushing defense is ranked just 17th in the league.