What the Bills learned on their winning streak, and why they’re not worried after a close win

  • Joined ESPN in 2011
  • New Jersey native and author of two published novels

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Déjà vu struck at the right time on Saturday for the Buffalo Bills, who didn’t “escape” the first round of the playoffs as much as just kind of refresh their memories. After you spend weeks blowing everybody out, sometimes you forget that it isn’t always that easy. The Indianapolis Colts did the Bills the favor of reminding them without beating them, and that could be bad news for the rest of the AFC playoff field.

See, the Bills have lost just one of their past 11 games, and the one was on the miracle, game-ending “Hail Murray” catch by DeAndre Hopkins at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10. Teams learn lessons from losses, and before Saturday’s wild-card playoff game, I asked Bills tackle Dion Dawkins what his team had learned from that defeat.

“That not every game has to be close,” Dawkins said. “We can keep our foot on the gas pedal and keep going. We felt like, if we’d have just done a couple of things better in that game, there wouldn’t have been an option for a last-second Hail Mary.”

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