The Buffalo Bills delivered on their field against the Baltimore Ravens as they claimed a 17-3 win on Saturday night to progress into their first AFC Championship Game since 1993. The Bills, seeded at No. 2, were locked in a tight battle against the Ravens until Bills cornerback Taron Johnson came up with a game-changing play.
The Ravens, who were in the red zone and close to a touchdown late in the third quarter, choked as quarterback Lamar Jackson threw an interception, that was returned by Johnson for 101 yards and a 17-3 lead. Around 6,700 fans attended the game at Bills Stadium but they made it feel like there 67,000.
"What a great environment. I know all of our fans couldn't be in the building, but it was loud again. Great atmosphere," Bills head coach McDermott said, per ESPN. "We came here with a vision, and seeing it move forward in the right direction feels good."
Johnson came up with the key play for the Bills
After Johnson returned an interception for 101 yards, the Ravens fell apart. "Coach made a good call, a Cover-2 call, and I'm just reading the eyes of the quarterback.
I have the seam in that coverage, and he took me to the back side, and all I did was cheat. He didn't see me, and the ball came to me," Johnson explained, adding that his first thought was to take a knee for a touchback.
"I kind of looked down, but then I looked up, and I saw a whole bunch of green grass to the right side. So I figured if I could race over there -- I know Lamar is fast, but if I have lead blockers, I feel like I could take it."
Bills quarterback Josh Allen gave credit to Bills defense for limiting the Ravens to only three points. "I can't say enough words for what that game was for our defense and how they played," Allen said. "Taron Johnson, that's a play people are going to remember for a long time in Buffalo."
On the final play of the third quarter, Ravens quarterback Jackson left to the locker room to be checked for a concussion and he did not return to the game. "He's frustrated. He's doing good," said Buffalo wide receiver Willie Snead IV, who spoke to Jackson following the contest.
"He said he's fine from the concussion but he's frustrated that we were that close and that we didn't get to finish drives. He's the ultimate competitor. He doesn't like to lose."