Bills, Jaguars Rosters New to This Whole ‘Playoffs’ Thing
By Harry Hodge
The Buffalo Bills have finally emerged from the postseason desert.
After 17 years in playoff purgatory, it took a one-yard touchdown plunge from veteran D-lineman Kyle Williams against the Miami Dolphins and a last-minute score to oust the rival Baltimore Ravens and free up a final berth. The sixth-seeded Bills will travel to Jacksonville to face the AFC South champion Jaguars, as they did more than 20 years ago. And I was at that fateful game.
It would prove to be the beginning of the Bills’ woes, with legendary quarterback Jim Kelly knocked out of the game and Mark Brunell marching the Jags downfield for a field goal that “pinged” off the upright… and through. Postgame shows on the radio all lamented the loss, with one disconsolate fan saying “this was worse than any of the Super Bowls.”
The Bills would make the playoffs one more time, with Doug Flutie coming off the bench early in the 1999 (!) season and leading the Bills to the postseason, only to be benched in favour of pricey pivot Rob Johnson. The Bills would infamously lose the “Music City Miracle” to the Tennessee Titans, and have not had a whiff of the playoffs since.
Bad signings. Brutal drafts. Years of mediocrity. All were washed away this past weekend. The Jaguars are their own feel-good story, qualifying themselves for the first time in a decade. But I hope the Bills whup ‘em and keep the story going. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the ageless Williams and (here’s hoping) a healthy LeSean McCoy will keep this New Year miracle going. For Buffalo fans, it’s been a long time coming.