The NFL playoffs bracket for 2017 was recently released and the Buffalo Bills are featured on it for the first time in 18 years!
As shown by the flood of headlines and social media posts that followed the team's 22-16 victory against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, this marks the first time that the Bills have had a postseason run since 1999.
Perhaps the positive momentum of the Buffalo Bills' regular season and playoff berth may boost the team's chances of advancing stage by stage, game after game through the NFL playoffs bracket - leading them directly to the Super Bowl. However, the odds of that happening are relatively low. In addition to the stiff competition that they would have to overcome just to make it to the Super Bowl (starting with the Jacksonville Jaguars), one must also take into consideration that the Buffalo Bills have never won the Big Game when they did make it. In fact, the 58-year-old team is the only team in the NFL to win four consecutive conference championships (1990-1993) and lose the corresponding Super Bowl games.
On the other hand, a solid argument to combat that losing streak would be that the Buffalo Bills did not have Sean McDermott as the head coach back then.
Just think about what former coach Rex Ryan had to say about Sean McDermott and the overall direction of the Buffalo Bills during an interview back in late July.
"I think the direction this team is going in is a real positive thing... I feel the Bills will surprise a ton of people. They are kind of trying to float this under the radar stuff, which I get. That's probably the way to go... Undersell and overproduce."Ryan, who worked as the Bills head coach from 2015-2016, further expressed his belief that the team would have a "better year" than what the experts predicted and "might very well be" a playoff team when the smoke cleared. Apparently, Rex Ryan may have been onto something - at least when it came to the Buffalo Bills accomplishing the impressive feat of ending their extensive playoff drought.
The NFL Playoffs are set.Who will hoist the Lombardi trophy? pic.twitter.com/DRHHQ3FPt1Applause and commendation may have been passed to the Buffalo Bills with the confirmation of the 2017 NFL playoffs bracket, but the same cannot be said about the Baltimore Ravens. The two-time Super Bowl championship team was forced to watch its postseason hopes slip through their fingers during a jaw-dropping fourth down play in the final seconds of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2018
With only 51 seconds left on the clock, it seemed as if the Ravens had their victory and playoff berth locked and loaded - especially since they had forced the Bengals into a fourth and 12 position from midfield. However, when Dalton dropped back and got the ball to Tyler Boyd for a first down and then later a touchdown, that was essentially the nail in the coffin that brought the Ravens' season to an abrupt end.
THE @BENGALS!It was just one of the most impressive plays that you look forward to seeing over and over again on highlight reels and ESPN. However, the fact that this was the play that knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs makes it even more memorable.
— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2018
Will the Buffalo Bills make it all the way after ending their drought? Only time will tell. However, it is interesting to realize that the Baltimore Ravens have joined the list of teams that will only watch the playoffs from the comfort of their own homes.