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A career day to remember for Kyle Williams


Kyle Williams has now played in 167 career games. When it comes to his regular season career, it's going to be very hard to top number 167 on Sunday.

Buffalo's five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, was fittingly in the middle of a sideline celebration in the third quarter celebrating his first career touchdown. Then he was at the center of a postgame locker room eruption after a comeback win by Cincinnati over Baltimore punched the Bills ticket to the postseason, marking what will be the first playoff game of Williams 12-year career.

"I want to say congratulations to Kyle Williams," said head coach Sean McDermott at the close of his opening statement at his postgame press conference. "He's worked, he's sweated, he's bled and he's put his heart and soul into this city and this team, and I couldn't be any prouder for him at this moment. Really our players and our fans, just congratulations."

Williams had two of his sons with him in the locker room and was moved to tears after the Cincinnati-Baltimore game went final. Not long after the boisterous celebration in the Bills locker room died down, just about every player personally congratulated the man who has invested the most time and effort to the Buffalo cause to ending the 17-season playoff hiatus.

Naturally, Williams was deflecting the attention after the landmark win of his pro career. Instead he was thinking of his fellow teammates who also haven't experienced the NFL playoffs.

"Richie (Incognito) who has been in the league for a long time and has never been (to the playoffs), Lorenzo (Alexander)," said Williams. "It's just such a good feeling. It's the culmination of a ton of work by those guys and a lot of grit and I'm so happy to have them as my teammates."

He was also thinking of all those teammates he's played with over the years, whose careers didn't last long enough to vanquish the playoff drought.

Players like Chris Kelsay, Aaron Schobel and Takeo Spikes.

"I would imagine they're smiling tonight," said Williams. "Those guys meant so much to me early in my career and helped me along. To be able to carry the flag for them and be able to get this done and let them enjoy it, I'm sure I'll talk to them tonight. It's a great feeling. I'm proud that they can enjoy a small part of it."

Williams' rare opportunity to line up on offense looked like it might be the highlight of his day. The defensive tackle was given a chance to line up at fullback with the Bills facing a goal-to-go situation on the Dolphins one-yard line in the third quarter.

With most expecting Williams to serve as a lead blocker, Williams instead got the hand-off and plunged into the end zone for the first touchdown of his career.

"That was special," said Incognito. "We worked on that. You never know. We thought it'd be a great opportunity to get Kyle a touchdown. You don't know if it's going to be his last game or not in a Bills uniform. It's a crazy business, so it was great to get the big guy in the end zone. They gave us a great look and he just piled in there."

"We worked on it this week and I was telling the guys earlier that I'm starting my own 10K chase, so Shady better watch out," Williams quipped. "I've only got 9,999 to go."

But the postgame celebration in the locker room exemplified just how revered Williams is in the Buffalo locker room. It not only meant everything to Williams, but to his teammates knowing what it meant to Williams.

"Look at his face," said Micah Hyde gesturing toward Williams across the locker room. "This dude has his sons in here. I'm speechless. It's amazing. I love Kyle, everybody in here loves Kyle. What he brings to this football team is amazing. To see him so happy that finally, he's been here for 12 years and hasn't been to the playoffs."

"He's been in this league for 12 years now and never had an opportunity to go to the playoffs until now," said Alexander. "Obviously, that's special because it gives you an opportunity to win a championship. That's the ultimate goal for everybody. Knowing Kyle, I know he's not happy just getting there. I know he wants to make some noise, make a push and obviously win a championship as a team."

First career touchdown, first career playoff game. Makes you wonder what could come next.  

Check out photos of the 2017 Buffalo Bills as they take on the Miami Dolphins.

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