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Bills smother Ravens, advance to AFC title game

The forecasted snow didn’t materialize. Neither did the vaunted Baltimore Ravens offensive attack.

On a windy but snowless night, the Buffalo Bills won their second home playoff game in as many Saturdays, flexing their defensive muscle throughout to defeat the Ravens 17-3, in the first of two weekend AFC divisional playoff games.

Neither team mustered much offence in a 3-3 first half, amid wicked winds.

To open the second half the Bills marched 66 yards to go up 10-3, on Josh Allen’s quick pass left to Stefon Diggs, from three yards out.

The Ravens answered with a long drive, to the Bills’ nine. But on third-and-goal, disaster.

Lamar Jackson, the dangerous Ravens QB, threw to tight end Mark Andrews in the end zone. But Buffalo cornerback Taron Johnson leapt in front, intercepted, and ran it out. And ran. And ran. Until he tied the NFL playoff record for longest interception return — 101 yards for a touchdown.

A decisive 14-point swing.

Minutes later, Jackson left with a concussion.

Buffalo advances to its first AFC championship game since 1990-93 — either at Kansas City (should the favoured Chiefs defeat Cleveland on Sunday) or, for the third straight weekend at Bills Stadium, against the Browns (should Cleveland upset Kansas City).

JoKryk@postmedia.com

@JohnKryk

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