Wild Card weekend kicks off with the Indianapolis Colts (11-5, 5-3 away) in New York to take on the Buffalo Bills (13-3, 7-1 home) in the playoff opener on Saturday afternoon. The visiting Colts are the AFC’s 7-seed, while the Bills enter as the 2-seed. The winner of Saturday’s game gets the top-seed Kansas City Chiefs the following week. Kickoff is at 1:05 EST inside Bills Stadium in Buffalo. Buffalo is a 6.5-point favorite in the Wild Card matchup, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts return to the postseason after last year’s absence following the surprising retirement of Andrew Luck before the start of the 2019 season. Indianapolis closed out the regular season winning four of their last five and was one half of football away from winning all five.
The offseason acquisition of Philip Rivers has paid dividends for a Colts franchise that went just 7-9 last season. Rivers threw for over 4,000 yards (4,169) for the 12th time in his career, completed 24 touchdown passes, and threw nine-less interceptions (11) compared to last season (20).
Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor eclipsed the 1,000 rushing mark (1,169) and rushed for 11 touchdowns in his freshman season. Taylor chipped in nearly 300 receiver yards (299 yards) and one touchdown on 36 catches.
T.Y. Hilton came on late in the season and hauled in 56 passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns. Hilton’s five touchdown grabs came in the last six games of the season, and the veteran wideout amassed 435 yards receiving during that timeframe. Wideouts Zach Pascal (44 receptions, 629 yards, five touchdowns) and rookie Michael Pittman Jr. (40 receptions, 503 yards, one touchdown) added additional threats to the Colts’ passing attack.
What to Know – Buffalo Bills
Buffalo returns to the playoffs for the second consecutive season and third in four years. The Bills lost to the Houston Texans (22-19) in overtime last year in Wild Card weekend. Like the Colts, the Bills enter the postseason on a hot streak, winning nine of their final ten games of the season.
Josh Allen continues to make progression at quarterback in his third season in the NFL. The signal-caller set career marks in passing yards (4,544) and touchdown passes (37) this season while chipping in eight rushing touchdowns.
Devin Singletary (156 carries, 687 yards, two touchdowns) and Zack Moss (112 carries, 481 yards, four touchdowns) combined to account for 1,168 yards on the ground out of the backfield for Buffalo. As a team, the Bills tallied 1,723 yards on the ground during the regular season.
Buffalo went out and helped Allen out with the offseason addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The former Minnesota Viking blew away season-highs in receptions (127) and yards (1,535), leading the league in the latter. Wideout Cole Beasley (967 yards) also set a career-mark in receiving yards in his second season in Buffalo.
The Pick is In
These two teams did not meet up in the regular season, pitting the two squads together for the first time this weekend. Buffalo is a hot commodity recently, taking care of business in the second half of the season. The Colts, however, have been one of the league’s dark horses with their consistent play. Indy has enough firepower on offense to keep up with Buffalo, while the Colts boast a top-10 defense that will keep Allen in check.
The Pick: Indianapolis Colts (+6.5)