Bills aim to use lessons learned from Texans playoff loss in Wild Card game

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) is pressured by Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt (99) and Barkevious Mingo (52) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Mike Marshall)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After finishing the regular season with an impressive 13-3 record and securing the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs, the Buffalo Bills are heading into the playoffs for the third time in four years.

The last two playoff appearances for the Bills did not work out in Buffalo’s favor: in 2017 when the Bills broke the 17-year playoff drought, the Jacksonville Jaguars ended the Cinderella story with a 10-3 victory in the Wild Card game. In Josh Allen’s debut in the postseason in 2019, the Bills blew a 16-0 lead in the second half and lost to the Houston Texans in overtime, 22-19.

“Getting into the playoffs, playing outstanding in the first half then things go downhill. That’s something you don’t want to feel again. We know what we have to do, we know we have to go out and execute and play great ball,” Bills receiver John Brown said. “It’s the playoffs, it’s win or go home. Just play hard, don’t make a lot of mistakes.”

With that devastating playoff loss to the Texans a motivating factor for many players on the team in 2020, the Bills have learned from their mistakes heading into this postseason.

“I think you could learn something from all 2017, 2018, 2019, we’ve been through all those tough times that we’ve gone through, even through this season. The season has ups and downs, and the teams that find ways to get through the tough times are usually the teams standing up at the end,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said. “We’ve been in this situation before, understand how we have to prepare, understand how we have to execute on Sunday, it’s another game and another chance for us to execute and show who we are.”

“It still lingers a little bit, just knowing the situation of the game, knowing what I could’ve done differently, reads I could’ve changed. If I could change it, obviously would, but I can’t, and I’m glad for the lessons I learned throughout that game and throughout the three years I’ve been playing so far,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “Without failure, you wouldn’t know success. We’ve got to find ways to put our best foot forward and try to get a victory.”

The Bills are just three days away from hosting a playoff game for the first time since 1996. With a tough opponent in the Colts, Buffalo will need to implement the lessons learned from the two previous playoff losses in order to get that coveted playoff win for the first time since 1995.

“I was able to learn a lot from it, hopefully carry that playoff experience into Saturday’s game. Indianapolis is a very well coached team, they’ve got a Hall of Fame quarterback on their side, so we’ve got to do everything we can to hold onto the ball, score when we can score, try to execute the game plan to the best of our ability,” Allen said.

Kickoff at Bills Stadium is set for Saturday at 1:05 pm. You can watch the game on News 4.

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