1. Buffalo to get its share of national coverage leading into tonight's game
The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs has arrived, and the Bills will square off against the Ravens tonight at 8:15 pm on NBC.
As fans wait for kickoff, there will be a lot of media coverage all day. NFL Network will have more than 15 hours of media coverage this weekend.
Starting at 9:00 am, Good Morning Football: Weekend will be breaking down the Ravens-Bills matchup with NFLN reporter Kim Jones reporting live from Bills Stadium. Then at 12 noon, NFL Gameday Morning will continue the discussion and GMFB's Kyle Brandt will make an appearance to talk about the game and hype up Bills Mafia. There will also be an exclusive interview between Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin and Cole Beasley.
Cole Beasley will also be on the Saturday edition of Fox NFL Sunday, before today's Green Bay Packers-Los Angeles Rams game. Beasley sat down with Charissa Thompson to talk about the Bills success this season.
Right before the game, NBC's pre-game show – Football Night in America – will have all the analysis for the Bills postseason matchup against the Ravens. There will be an interview featuring Josh Allen during FNIA. Allen sat down with Chris Simms and talked about some of his favorite plays of the season and his development throughout his career.
2. Oishei Children's Hospital unveils new pennant to celebrate the Bills success
Oishei Children's Hospital is joining in on the fun and celebrating the Bills successful season in a big way.
The hospital announced yesterday that they will be working with Oxford Pennant and hanging a giant pennant on the bridge that links the hospital to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.
The pennant features a "Let's Go Buffalo" design similar to the ones that Oxford Pennant recently installed on Seneca One and M&T Bank Center. The banner will also display "We (heart) 17," a nod to the support the hospital has received from Josh Allen and fans who donated over $1.1 million in nearly all $17 increments.
"The support from Bills fans these last couple of months has been overwhelming and we are incredibly grateful," said Allegra C. Jaros – President of Oishei Children's Hospital - in a press release. "The need for philanthropy for our children's hospital is so great and donations like this help ensure we have the tools we need to care for the kids and families who need it most. Especially during a year filled with such difficulty. The Buffalo Bills success and the support from fans and partners like Oxford Pennant for our hospital has been a much-needed light for us all, especially all our dedicated healthcare workers."
3. ESPN on the Bills' game-changing offseason move that made a big impact on the season
One of the biggest improvements that this Bills team has made from 2019 to 2020 is scoring points. Buffalo increased its points per game average by 11.7 points from 2019 to 2020. Brandon Beane and the Bills front office brought in the right players during the offseason and it is paying dividends. ESPN's NFL Nation laid out one game-changing move for every team left in the playoffs. For the Bills, the move was trading for Stefon Diggs who was the first receiver in franchise history to lead the league in receptions and receiving yards in a single season.
Offseason priority: Simple: score more points. The Bills managed a paltry 19.6 points per game last season, mostly due to the NFL's 26th-ranked passing offense at 201.8 yards per game. General manager Brandon Beane insisted on getting his team more weapons around Allen as the Bills continued to evaluate their potential franchise quarterback.
How it played out: Beane pulled the trigger on one of the offseason's biggest moves on March 16, trading for Diggs. The Bills also selected Gabriel Davis in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, but Diggs was an immediate game-changer. The former Viking spent most of the season at or near the top of the league's leaderboard for receptions and receiving yards and finished the season as the NFL's leader in both categories. Diggs' arrival revitalized Buffalo's passing game, which leapt from 26th to third in 2020. As a result, the Bills' owned the league's second-best scoring offense at 31.3 points per game.
What it means vs. Ravens: When these teams met last season, Baltimore's aggressive defense stymied an already-stagnant Bills offense, which mustered just 209 yards in a 24-17 loss. But Buffalo's defense held the Ravens to just 257 yards, which was a highly impressive performance against the league's second-ranked offense. With a high-powered offense of their own, the Bills are more equipped to counter Baltimore's aggression, and Diggs' presence should alleviate some of the pressure Allen is likely to face. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques