For the first time since 1999, the Buffalo Bills are going to the playoffs.
It took a dramatic final day of NFL action on New Year’s Eve to clinch a spot for the Bills, who first needed to beat the Miami Dolphins on the road.
Buffalo did their part, winning 22-16 in Florida. Then, they were left to agonizingly wait in the locker room to find out their fate.
The 9-7 Bills needed help from the Cincinnati Bengals, who were playing the role of spoiler against the Baltimore Ravens. A loss by the Ravens would clinch a spot for the Bills.
Trailing by three with 53 seconds left, the Bengals faced 4th and 12 from the 49-yard line. It didn’t look good.
That’s when Andy Dalton answered Buffalo’s prayers, completing a pass to Tyler Boyd, who ran into the end zone for the game-winning score.
The reaction from Bills players was priceless. Here’s a video recorded by kicker Stephen Hauschka:
And another one from the Bills official Facebook account:
Their fans were pretty excited too.
— Steve Whipple (@S_Whipple) January 1, 2018
The Bills ended the longest current playoff drought of all the major North American sports leagues at 19 years. Buffalo will face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who ended a long playoff drought of their own this season, in the AFC wild card game on Sunday.
The longest playoff drought on this continent now belongs to the Seattle Mariners, who haven’t made the MLB postseason since 2001.