Buffalo Bills Finally End Playoff Drought
The Buffalo Bills are finally in the playoffs! Is it really true? I keep pinching myself and it's the truth. It was an improbable path to get there, but it happened and the Bills are back in the Super Bowl Derby for the first time since the 1999 season.
Entering the final weekend of the season all the Bills had to do was beat the Miami Dolphins and hope Baltimore lost or both Tennessee and the Los Angeles Chargers both lost. Simple, huh? That's a lot of things that had to fall into place, but they did.
The Bills built a 22-3 lead on the Dolphins, then held on for a 22-16 win. They did what they had to do. Now they needed some help. Tennessee and the Chargers both won, so it came down to Cincinnati knocking out Baltimore and that happened too. The Bengals were down to a 4th down and 12 with less than a minute to play and hit on a long touchdown pass to knock the Ravens out of the playoff hunt and put Buffalo in.
The Bills will travel to Jacksonville next Sunday at 1 pm to meet their former coach Doug Marrone and the Jaguars. Yeah, that same Doug Marrone who quit and walked out on the Bills three years ago.
The Bills may have to go into next week's game without one of their key players. Running back LeSean McCoy was carted off the field in the third quarter of Sunday's game with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.
McCoy had rushed for only 10 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards before he left the game. For a change most of the Bills offense was by pass. Tyrod Taylor had a good day completing 19 of 27 passes for 204 yards including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Nick O'Leary.
But what might have been one of the more memorable touchdowns in Bills history was a one-yard run by defensive tackle Kyle Williams in the third quarter that turned out to be the winning touchdown. The Bills longest-serving player may be playing his final season and it was a class move by the coaching staff to allow Williams to do the honors in helping the team finally break their long playoff drought.
For the third week in a row Micah Hyde came up with a key interception. On Sunday it was in the final minute as the Dolphins were moving down the field after recovering an onside kick.
The Bills survived another controversial replay. The Bills appeared to have recovered a fumble and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. It sure looked like a fumble to me, but the suits decided the player was out of bounds when he fumbled it and awarded the ball back to the Dolphins at the one yard line. It's the second week in a row the league had fans, coaches and players scratching their heads. No doubt the league will have to take a real long look at their replay procedures because right now the process is broken.
If the Bills beat the Jaguars next week they'll meet......the New England Patriots who secured home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs with their convincing win over the New York Jets.