1. Bills players and general manager offer these reactions from Sunday's win
Buffalo Bills players were pretty excited after making the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
"I would've cut Kyle Williams' car tires if it wouldn't have turned out this way," Lee Smith said. "He promised me this place was special, and I listened. Along with a lot of other people, I've been here before. I knew a lot of faces in the building."
"Yeah, I mean, this is what this team is built for," Jordan Phillips said. "We've been winning all year. We've been pretty dominate all year. We knew we were going to get in. I'll say that. You know what I mean? It was just a matter of time."
"Oh man, it's great," Frank Gore said. "I remember when I first signed here, a lot of people just thought I was coming here to get stats. You know, and when I got here, to see what type of guys that are in this locker room man. Great family. Play hard. You know, great coaches. We just won, and it kind of reminded me of when I was in San Fran when we were winning. When you won, and care and love for each other man, you would do whatever on the field for each other."
"Everybody always says you have the greatest fans. It's easy to say," general manager Brandon Beane said. "Find me a fan base that shows up and backs their team like this one does, especially with the drought that this team was in. Our guys love it. We feel very connected to them and very fortunate."
The Bills defeated the Steelers 17-10 in a primetime matchup on Sunday Night Football, earning a playoff berth in the process. Scroll through to see the top photos of the team celebrating after the Week 15 win!
2. Why NBC analysts believe in the Bills
NBC NFL analysts Cris Collinsworth, Chris Simms and others offered their opinions on the Buffalo Bills before the team's first Sunday Night Football appearance in 12 years. Collinsworth led the way with compliments galore for the Bills defense and coaching staff.
"We all know how good the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is, but the Buffalo Bills have some superstars as well. …Tremaine Edmunds is just amazing…is he a finished product yet? No, he's not. But this is going to be one of the more dynamic players in the NFL in the years to come," Collinsworth said.
Edmunds produced a team-high eight tackles.
"And this is the one that blows me away, Jordan Phillips, he's had 7.5 sacks already this year. He played four years in Miami, only had 5.5 sacks the whole time. I don't know what they're doing. And Tre'Davious White, only Stephon Gilmore do I put in the category with this young man. One of the best cornerbacks. I think you're going to see the Pittsburgh Steelers trying to avoid him tonight."
Phillips totaled two sacks on the night and White accounted for two interceptions.
Chris Simms nailed his prediction for the game when talking about Josh Allen.
"He's got incredible talent, superstar talent," Simms said. "He's just got to take care of the ball, and that usually translates to wins for Buffalo."
3. Sacks fuel defensive effort
Devlin Hodges was sacked four times by the Buffalo Bills during the Bills 17-10 victory. It's just one part to highlight of a defense that forced five turnovers and held the Pittsburgh Steelers to 229 net yards along with converting only five of their 13 third downs.
Jordan Phillips led the way with two sacks. With the Steelers threatening in the red zone, Philips stepped up. Pittsburgh needed a touchdown to tie with under one-minute remaining and zero timeouts. Phillips bull-rushed the center and brought down Hodges. The next play Hodges threw an interception in the endzone to seal the deal for the Bills.
"It started up front with the defensive line," head coach Sean McDermott said. "They handled the run, which we knew we had to do when we came in here and some other things that they had done well on their current win streak."
Adding to his sack total was Shaq Lawson with one and Trent Murphy recorded the other one. Combined the Steelers lost 24 yards when they were sacked.
"Yeah, it was relentless, it seemed to me," McDermott said. "There were a couple in there that we got to get to them a little bit earlier there, but I thought Leslie did a good job of changing it up, pressure, no pressure. And again, it usually has to work together, the front and the back and the rush and the coverage have to work in sync, and they did."