Ravens Survive Bills to Clinch Postseason Berth
When the game was on the line, the Baltimore Ravens showed their championship mettle.
On a fourth-and-8 from the Baltimore 16, Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters knocked down a pass from Bills quarterback Josh Allen to John Brown that sealed the 24-17 win.
"That was a great victory," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Very impressed with the Bills. That’s a team that’s going to be around.”
Baltimore (11-2) clinched a spot in the postseason and is in position to earn the top seed in the AFC playoffs.
The Ravens overcame numerous costly penalties, including a personal foul on defensive tackle Michael Pierce and a pass interference penalty on cornerback Marlon Humphrey on a fourth-and-16 on the final drive.
"Yeah, my feet got tangled. I have to watch it," Humphrey said. "I was on the positive end of a PI earlier this year, so I can’t really complain.”
The Bills did an effective job shutting down Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had 40 yards on 11 carries. Jackson also completed 16 of 25 passes for 145 yards with three touchdowns and his first interception since Week 5 against Pittsburgh.
The Ravens' defense was even better and sacked Allen six times. Baltimore was also able to overcome several questionable calls that helped the Bills extend drives.
"The pass rush was relentless," Harbaugh said.
The officials penalized the Ravens nine times for 99 yards. Buffalo had five penalties for 49 yards.
In the end, the Ravens showed they could win a hard-fought game for the second straight week. Baltimore beat San Francisco 20-17 on a last-second field goal by Justin Tucker in Week 13.
This time, the Ravens were able to make a key stop by pressuring Allen into making a throw across the middle to Brown. Peters was able to extend his left arm just enough to knock the ball to the turf.
Still, Baltimore was held to a season-low 118 yards against Buffalo, which stayed in its zone and kept Jackson contained for most of the game.
The Ravens still managed to find a way to extend their winning streak to a franchise-record nine games.
Baltimore entered the game leading the NFL with 207.8 yards per contest. Buffalo held them to 118 yards on 33 carries.
Overall, the Ravens managed 257 yards of offense, compared to 209 for the Bills.
Harbaugh has said numerous times that he's not concerned with style points. The video of this game won't be very entertaining, but the Ravens will take the win.
Later in the visiting locker room, Harbaugh congratulated his players on making the postseason and received a tepid response.
“Just getting in isn’t enough," Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon said.