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Bills beat Ravens to reach first AFC title game since 1994 as Lamar Jackson exits early

Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson, left, runs away from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson after intercepting his pass for a touchdown during the second half Saturday. (Adrian Kraus/AP)

The Buffalo Bills are returning to the AFC championship game for the first time since they were the team that made reaching but losing Super Bowls an agonizing annual ritual in the franchise’s heydays, with Marv Levy coaching a star-laden lineup that included Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith.

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Those past glories finally are being recaptured by the best Bills team in a generation, led by brilliant young quarterback Josh Allen. A memorable season became even more so Saturday night when the Bills beat the Baltimore Ravens, 17-3, in Orchard Park, N.Y., in a divisional playoff game before a delighted crowd of 6,772 fans at Bills Stadium.

“Our defense stepped up,” Allen said. “That’s playoff football. It doesn’t matter how it looks. You either get it done or you don’t.”