Miracle of Miracles: The Buffalo Bills are in the Playoffs!

By Mary Pesarchick // @HeyMom418

At the end of the last century, the Buffalo Bills were eliminated from the NFL Playoffs by the Tennessee Titans because of a play which is now known as the “Music City Miracle.”

Although the throw from tight end Frank Wycheck to wide receiver Kevin Dyson appeared to everyone except Titans fans and, unfortunately, the referee, to be an illegal forward lateral, the resulting touchdown was allowed to stand.  And the Bills lost by a score of 22-16.

So began the epic journey known around Western New York as “The Drought.” For 17 long, torturous years, the Bills failed to make the postseason. This annual exercise in futility was the butt of countless jokes and NFL Today graphics.

Consider that the Bills owned the record for the longest span between playoff appearances, not just in the NFL, but in ALL of the major professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), and probably in a few of the minor ones as well.

It is important that all of that be made perfectly clear before non-Bills’ fans out there can understand the absolute euphoria spreading throughout the Bills’ fanbase following the completion of play in Week 17.

In this most unlikely of seasons, the Bills found themselves going into the final weekend with a 22% shot at making the playoffs. Their path to the postseason with the fewest twists required the Bills to get a victory over the Miami Dolphins and for the Cincinnati Bengals (a 10-point underdog) to beat the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bills took care of business and dominated the Dolphins for most of their game, with the exception of an uncomfortable final two minutes of the fourth quarter. The Bills failed AGAIN to cover a Miami onside kick which gave the Dolphins one last shot. Fortunately, Bills’ safety Jordan Poyer came up with an interception to secure the win.

Ironically, (or prophetically?), the final score was 22-16.

And then, wherever Bills fans congregated, TVs were turned to the last two minutes of the Ravens/Bengals game. The Bengals, who had been ahead for three quarters, surrendered the lead in the fourth quarter to the Ravens, 27-24. The Bills playoff chances suddenly shrunk to less than 10%.

But lo! Then came what could be called the “Who Dey? Miracle.” With less than a minute to play and facing a 4 and 12 situation, quarterback Andy Dalton completed a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd to retake the lead and win the game.

And just like that, The Drought was over. Exuberant celebrations erupted everywhere, in private homes, in sports bars, even in the concourse at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami.

In the Bills’ locker room where the players had gathered to witness their fate, a mad scene of jumping, hugging, and shouting.

The celebrating went long into the night. A crowd of 500+ braved the sub-zero temperatures to welcome the boys home at the Buffalo International Airport at 1 am.

The feelings of elation in Buffalo and wherever Bills Mafia can be found is indescribable to anyone who hasn’t lived through what this fanbase has endured. Finally, in the dead of winter, the warm rains have come and washed away 17 years of frustration and anger.

It is over. We have playoff football in Buffalo.

Talk Bills with Mary on Twitter // @HeyMom418 

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