Playing with fans in the stands was an added spark for Bills

Sports

Buffalo Bills fans react during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills won the game 27-24. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — It took the first home playoff game since 1996 to happen this season, but the Bills finally got to play in front of “Bills Mafia” fans.

“It was crazy. For the fans to be loud and experience that with this team, it would have been a shame if we couldn’t have done that with the 6,700, it’s more than zero,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “I’m super excited for the fanbase here. I don’t think guys really understand the meaning and the impact of winning a playoff game for this franchise, but at the same time we’re in tune with that because we want to win one more.”

With 6,700 fans in the stands, the Bills pulled off a 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts to punch Buffalo’s ticket to the AFC Divisional Round.

“They definitely gave me the boost that I needed, I needed a little extra to get me through today. I appreciate it for sure,” Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley said. “Got our juices and adrenaline flowing more than usual, it was everything we needed today. I’m glad they finally let them in.”

While all the new 2020 Bills finally got to experience Bills Mafia for the first time after the team clinched the AFC East title for the first time since 1995, the actual experience of playing with Bills Stadium chock full of Buffalo fans is something you have to see, and hear, for yourself.

“When I came out of the tunnel, I paused and just looked around like aw man, it’s so good to have y’all back. I’m just happy for all the young guys, all the new guys like Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Zack Moss, T Bass, all those young guys that haven’t felt what it feels like to be a part of this,” Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins said after the game. “The 6,700 they came, they showed out, and they represented in full capacity today.”

“Running out of that tunnel, call it 6,700 fans, but man that place was rocking! It was louder than I expected, and we didn’t even have the upper deck. Nobody was even in the upper deck, and it was still wild to hear,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said. “When I was running out of the tunnel, I literally got chills. Fans are back! This is weird, I’m used to it being quiet. It was awesome to get a win for Bills Mafia in Orchard Park for the first time since 95.”

With two AFC Wild Card games still left to be played on Sunday, the Bills won’t know who they’ll be welcoming into Bills Stadium next weekend for the AFC Divisional Round, but they’re hoping to have that 12th man in the Bills Mafia back in the stands.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will reportedly announce whether fans will be allowed back in the next day or so.

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