1 - Bills part of a postseason record
The Buffalo Bills will certainly be an unfamiliar face in the playoffs, considering it's their first trip since 1999. But that's common for this year's postseason, as a greater number of new teams made it past Week 17.
This season, there are eight playoff teams who missed the postseason in 2016. That ties a record for most playoff teams who were not in the previous season's playoffs. The teams joining Buffalo include: Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. All those teams were absent from the playoffs last year and turned it around this season."A lot of happy guys in that locker room, a lot of emotions running pretty wild, guys just happy to be a part of it," said head coach Sean McDermott. "From day one, no one gave them the chance. People thought we were tanking and I give a lot of credit to (General Manager) Brandon Beane and our personnel staff. They do a great job and the guys continue to battle."
Calling the Bills path to the postseason stressful would be an understatement. They defeated the Dolphins by a score of 22-16, but a recovered onside kick by Miami kept Buffalo on their toes. With the Bills winning, they only needed a Ravens loss to advance. It looked unlikely, but on fourth-and-12 with less than a minute remaining Cincinnati connected for a 49-yard touchdown to defeat Baltimore 31-27.
That sets up a date between the Bills and Jaguars on Sunday. It's been over 10 years since the two teams have been in the playoffs, but they'll battle it out for a spot in the Divisional Round.
"We're nowhere near where we need to be, but we are very grateful for this opportunity," said McDermott. "It's a well-earned opportunity, and so my hat goes off to everyone involved."
2 - Charles Clay's consistent play continues
Buffalo's top target on Sunday against Miami was tight end Charles Clay. In the process of posting big numbers in the receiving game, he accomplished something no Bills tight end has before.
Clay came to Buffalo in 2015 and has now completed three regular seasons with the team. After Sunday's Week 17 game, he became the only tight end in Bills history with three consecutive 500-yard seasons.
"Guys came out and fought from the beginning. We knew it would be a tough game," said Clay. "We knew we had to start fast and we did."
The tight end's first catch of the game was an eight-yard reception on the team's first possession. The following play, Clay's fellow tight end, Nick O'Leary, connected with Tyrod Taylor for a 26-yard touchdown.
Clay continued to be a viable option for Taylor after the first drive. He finished the game with a team-leading six receptions for 64 yards.
Being the team's top target has been a trend all season for Clay. He finished the regular season as the leader in receiving yards (558). That's impressive, considering he missed three games.
Yardage wise, this was Clay's best season in Buffalo. In 2015, he finished the year with 528 yards. In 2016, he finished with 552. And in 2017, he finished with 558. He can add to that total in 2018 as the Bills are playoff bound.
"Go back to work. You can celebrate this one for a little while, but we worked all off season to get to this point and definitely can't just celebrate getting here now," said Clay. "Everything starts over right now. So it's the start of a new season, get back to work and get ready."
Check out photos of the 2017 Buffalo Bills as they take on the Miami Dolphins.
3 - What happened on Preston Brown's overturned TD
For a few minutes, it appeared linebacker Preston Brown had recovered a fumble and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. After further review, it wasn't ruled a fumble and the play was reversed.
Brown shared his thoughts after the game on the play that he ran nearly the length of the football field.
"The ball was on the ground. They didn't blow the whistle. I thought he was down, so I was like, 'Shoot let me show off my running back skills,'" said Brown. "So I got in the end zone, but I didn't dance because I thought he was down."
Brown's initial reaction was correct, as the referees ruled Jarvis Landry out of bounds before the fumble after reviewing the replay. The funny part is, moments after the refs made the call official, cameras pointed to Brown and he broke out his dance moves. This was a little confusing, because the call wasn't in his favor.
It was evident that Brown misheard the referees ruling. But now that it's over, and the Bills won, it provides us with a good laugh.
"Then they said the call stands, so I said, 'Now it's time to dance,'" Brown said. "So I started dancing and I'm all over the internet now, but it is what it is. It was fun."
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