The Bills Mafia can take some of the credit for their team's win, as two Ravens offensive linemen said Sunday that their noise had a direct impact on the game.
The Ravens' offensive line was a point of strength down the stretch, helping to pave the way for the NFL's leading rushing attack. But in the Ravens' 17-3 divisional playoff loss, Baltimore's offensive line had a tough night.
The Ravens had multiple bad snaps from center Patrick Mekari. Some short-circuited drives and one contributed in Lamar Jackson's concussion that knocked him out of the game on the final play of the third quarter.
Baltimore also struggled at times with the Bills' pass rush, which brought more pressure than usual. Jackson was sacked three times and Tyler Huntley was sacked once.
"To the Bills fans' credit, they got loud at times and it got to a point that it was hard for us to hear the cadence. We had to change to silent count mid-game," Mekari said. "That's just something I have to practice more and get more of a feel for. Of course, I take full responsibility for and I will fix that."
Mekari said the mechanics for a shotgun snap in the silent count are different from a normal cadence. The added noise made it even tougher.
The Ravens have mostly played in silent stadiums this season, though there were fans last week in Tennessee and Baltimore knew the Bills would have about 6,700 fans in attendance at Bills Stadium Saturday night.
"Their fans got loud, especially when we got in the red zone or when we were backed up," Mekari said. "They got loud and we heard them. That's an adjustment we had to make and I had to be better with the adjustment."
The noise also affected the Ravens when they had penalties on three straight plays – a hold on Ben Powers, then false starts from Mark Andrews and Bradley Bozeman. The Ravens overcame them with a 21-yard pass to Marquise Brown on third-and-18, but the drive still ended with a punt.
"The crowd was like it was at full capacity. Couldn't hear the snap count, couldn't hear really anything going on. Even at guard, I was having trouble hearing the snap count," Bozeman said. "Lamar was trying to be loud. It was as loud as max capacity in my opinion. The Bills Mafia, I guess they came together and cheered their butts off last night.
"We just have to do a better job preparing and going into those situations and having the tools necessary to get the job done."