Baltimore Ravens 24-17 Buffalo Bills: Ravens clinch Playoff spot after hard-fought victory in Buffalo
Marcus Peters celebrates making a stop on fourth down late in the game (Photo: Bryan M. Bennett)

The Baltimore Ravens are the first team in the AFC to clinch a Playoff berth after beating the Buffalo Bills 24-17 at New Era Field.

The Ravens were up by 15-points in the fourth quarter, but the Bills fought back and Marcus Peters made a huge stop on fourth-down, with 1:08 remaining, to force a turnover and ice the game.

Lamar Jackson completed 16 of his 25 attempts for 145-yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The MVP front-runner was limited to just 40 rushing yards by the Bills and is now just 23-yards away from breaking Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback.

Josh Allen and the Bills offense were limited in the game, with the quarterback going 17-for-39 for 146-yards and a single touchdown, which was thrown in the fourth quarter.

Baltimore have now won nine-straight games and need just two more wins, from their final three regular season games, to secure the number one seed in the AFC. Meanwhile, the Bills move to a 9-4 record and are still in a Wild Card places, with a few teams breathing down their necks.

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Ravens open up ten-point lead after Boyle touchdown

The Ravens forced the Bills offense to a three-and-out on both of their opening drives and managed to put points on the board on their second drive of the game.

Jackson brought up 1,000 rushing yards for the season after a seven-yard run, which put the offense on Buffalo’s 25-yard line. The Bills made a stop in the red zone and Justin Tucker come out to kick a 36-yard field goal.

After the Ravens were forced to punt on their next possession, their defense forced a turnover on the third play of the Bills’ next drive. Matthew Judon got to Allen and forced the ball out, which was recovered on Buffalo’s 26-yard line.

Five plays later, Jackson found tight-end Nick Boyle in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown to open up a 10-0 lead in blustery conditions. The Ravens set a franchise single-season record for most points, the previous record was 409 points in 2014.

Buffalo responded by putting together an 11-play, 56-yard drive before Stephen Hauschka kicked a 36-yard field goal.

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Hurst scores touchdown at start of second-half

Jackson’s pass to Willie Snead was high and the receiver could only get a finger-tip to the ball. Trumaine Edmunds was alert and intercepted to force a turnover.

The Bills failed to capitalise though, with Jaylon Ferguson sacking Allen on third down, forcing a punt. Defense was the theme of the game as Ravens went three-and-out, leaving 1:58 left on the clock in the first-half.

Hauschka’s 47-yard field goal made it a four-point game at the half, but the Ravens responded with a three-play, 75-yard drive at start the second-half.

Jackson threw down the middle to tight-end Hayden Hurst, who raced down the left sideline and into the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown.

Earl Thomas sacked Allen and forced a fumble, which the Bills recovered. The quarterback responded with back-to-back big plays, but the Ravens held them to another field goal, with Hauschka splitting the upright from 48-yards.

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Bills threaten late comeback, but thwarted by Ravens defense

Six scoreless drives took the game into the fourth quarter before the Ravens were in the end zone for the third time. Mark Ingram’s bulldozing run set up Jackson’s four-yard pass to Snead for the score.

Buffalo responded by going 78-yards in seven plays, with back-to-back penalties hurting the Ravens. Allen threw to Cole Beasley for a three-yard touchdown and the pair connected successfully on the two-point conversion to make it a seven-point game..

The Bills forced a three-and-out to give themselves a chance to tie the game, late in the fourth quarter. Their 56-yard drive was thwarted when Peters batted away Allen’s pass on fourth down, which secured another important victory.

Baltimore have a short week ahead of them as they host the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football, while Buffalo travel to Baltimore’s AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are sitting in the second Wild Card spot after Week 14.

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