Josh Allen, Bills Clinch 2022 NFL Playoff Berth with Win Over Falcons, Ravens Loss

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 2, 2022

Foxborough, MA - December 26: Buffalo Bills Josh Allen completes a touch pass against the New England Patriots during second quarter NFL action. The New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills in an NFL game on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

For the third straight year, and the fourth time in Sean McDermott's five years as head coach, the Buffalo Bills are headed to the playoffs. 

Buffalo clinched a playoff berth Sunday with a 29-15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. That win coupled with the Baltimore Ravens' 20-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams secured a spot for the Bills.

The McDermott era has largely coincided with the Josh Allen era at quarterback, and that partnership has been incredibly successful. Allen has had another elite season. Entering Sunday, he had thrown for 4,048 yards, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 65 percent of his passes. 

He's also rushed for 619 yards and four scores, making him one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in football. 

But while Allen, Stefon Diggs and Devin Singletary lead one of the scarier offenses in football, Buffalo's defense was also giving up an NFL best 287.9 yards per game and just 17.6 points per game (third in the league) through Week 16.

While that unit has its weaknesses—a mediocre pass rush, for one, that has managed just 26 sacks—it's been one of the better defenses in football.

It shouldn't be a surprise this Buffalo team is again heading to the playoffs. Last year's group reached the AFC Championship Game, falling to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. While Andy Reid's charges once again look like the class of the AFC, the rest of the conference is wide-open. 

These Bills are a threat, in other words, and one that is coming on strong with three straight wins. Anything less than a title will be deemed a disappointment in Buffalo, even after an up-and-down regular season that saw them lose five of eight games between mid-October and early December.

The Bills are peaking at the right time. Allen and Co. are looking for a chip.