BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After the Rams scored their fourth straight touchdown with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter, down 32-28, the Bills needed to drive down the field and use up as much time as possible to defeat the dynamic Rams.
And that’s exactly what they did, but in true Bills fashion, in a way that kept every single person watching on the edge of their seat.
“At the end of the day, we made the plays on the last drive that we needed to make,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.
The drive started with an 18 yard dart to Cole Beasley to pick up a first down and move the chains to the Buffalo 43 yard line. On first and 10, Josh Allen was under pressure and scrambled to get away and toss the ball down the field, but as the ball was being released, a pack of Rams defenders sacked him, causing his knee to be down before the ball was thrown. Bills move to second and 22.
Backed up to the Buffalo 31 yard line, Allen connects with Beasley, but the receiver’s foot was out of bounds, and the Bills move to third and 22.
So on third and 22 in your own territory with 3:30 left to play in the game, who do you throw to? You go back to the sure handed receiver that was born to make plays like this, Cole Beasley.
Allen goes deep over the middle where Beasley makes the beautiful snag and takes it 22 yards for the first down, and just like that, the Bills are in Rams territory.
“Late in that game, they were doing a good job getting pressure on me, and honestly it just kind of turned into some backyard bull so I just tried to find some time to throw, me and Cole talk about this route many a time, and they just kind of went outside, Cole found a spot in the middle, first down and it was a huge play for us,” Josh Allen said.
“Me and Josh talked about this route week one, because there was a time last year when we were playing the Jets and we ran this same play and we weren’t on the same page and I wasn’t ready, so we talked about it, and I was just getting to the middle and finding a window for him,” Cole Beasley said. “He knows exactly what I’m going to do and I knew exactly what he wanted from me. All the talking that we’ve done off the field helped us on that play.”
Isaiah McKenzie and Devin Singletary combined for 13 yards to get the Bills another first down and land on the Rams 34 yard line, but yet again, it was Beasley that comes up big and gets Buffalo into the red zone with a 19 yard reception.
“Cole is never the guy to want the ball right away, he’s not going to ask for it, he wants to do his job and of course he wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. He’s obviously the most consistent guy,” Allen said. “He knows he’s probably not going to get that many touches per game, but he works his tail off, he’s where he’s supposed to be. I’ll tell you what, he’s a shifty little sucker, he’s hard to cover, and I love him. I love this team, proud of how we finished that game.”
What happened after that, you almost couldn’t make up. On second and 10 from the 15 yard line, Allen scrambles after coming under pressure, and in the midst of the scramble, he’s called for a face mask after while stiff arming a Ram defender.
Replaying second down from the 30 yard line now, Allen throws an high incomplete pass to Singletary on the sideline. It’s now third and 25 with 40 seconds left in the game.
Just like earlier in the drive, when it’s third and long, players step up to make the plays. This time, it’s Stefon Diggs who makes the big time play, with a 17 yard reception over the middle to bring the Bills to the 13 yard line, but it still wouldn’t be enough for the first down.
25 seconds left to play, fourth and eight, Allen sends it to the end zone for Gabriel Davis, but after the miss, Rams cornerback Darious Williams was called for pass interference, giving the Bills a first and goal situation from the three yard line.
The Bills take advantage of the flag and go ahead and score on the next play, with a Josh Allen floater to Tyler Kroft in the end zone for his second touchdown on the day, and arguably the biggest touchdown of the game to bring the Bills up 35-32.
“It was a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster for a second, but one thing I know about this team is we’re going to keep fighting all four quarters,” Tyler Kroft said. “It was going back and forth all day, I was just happy we were in a position to win in the end.”
“Our guys play well in critical moments, and I think that’s a redeemable quality of our football team,” McDermott said.
While Allen is the first person to give all the credit to his teammates, after the excitement of the game wore off, Beasley praised his quarterback for his fire and intensity, especially in the face of adversity.
“I’m cool with that, the guy wants to win, he’s got a lot of fire in him, and that spreads throughout the team. We feel that and anytime you’ve got a guy like that, you’re going to run through a wall for him. He’s a dog, and you love that out of a quarterback,” Beasley said. “There’s not a lot of quarterbacks like that, a lot of guys shy away from the physicality of the game, and he does not. He’s just a baller and a grinder, we’ll just put it all on the line for him, I’ll put my body on the line for him because I know he’ll do the same.”