2017 Buffalo Bills season

Last updated
2017 Buffalo Bills season
Head coach Sean McDermott
General manager Brandon Beane
Owner Terry and Kim Pegula
Home field New Era Field
Division place2nd AFC East
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (at Jaguars) 3–10
Pro Bowlers

The 2017 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 58th overall season, 48th in the National Football League and third full season under the ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula. The season was the first under the leadership of general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. On December 31, 2017, the final week of the regular season, the Bills finally ended what would have been their 18-year playoff drought (previously the longest active drought in the NFL and the longest active playoff drought among the four major professional North American sport leagues) with the Bills winning 22–16 over the Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals upsetting the Baltimore Ravens 31–27. The Bills also improved on their 7–9 record from 2016 and clinched their first winning season since 2014 (when Doug Marrone was head coach). [1] However, the Bills lost the Wild Card game against Jacksonville 10–3, extending their playoff victory drought to 22 years.



Beane joined the Bills after 19 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, the last two as assistant to then-general manager Dave Gettleman. [2] Beane, who signed an undisclosed deal on May 9, 2017, replaced Doug Whaley, who was fired by Pegula after the 2017 NFL Draft. [3] Whaley was fired, along with the team's entire scouting staff, on April 30, 2017, less than 12 hours after the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft. [4] Over the course of the 2016 offseason and into the 2017 season, many of Whaley's draft picks were purged from the roster in trades and cuts. Of the 28 players Whaley had drafted from 2014-2017, only nine were still on the roster by the end of August. [5] The 2017 season was also the first under McDermott, who spent the previous eight seasons as defensive coordinator, the last six with the Panthers. [6] McDermott, who signed an undisclosed deal on January 11, 2017, replaced Rex Ryan, who was fired along with his twin brother Rob on December 27, 2016. [7]


Coaching and front office changes

Coaching staff

PositionNameReason2017 ReplacementDateNotes
Head coach Rex Ryan (Weeks 1–16), Anthony Lynn (Week 17)Fired (Ryan) Sean McDermott January 11
Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman Fired Leslie Frazier January 13
Linebackers coach Bobby April III Fired Bob Babich January 13
Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer Fired Juan Castillo January 13
Defensive line coach John Blake Fired Mike Waufle January 14
Tight ends coach Tony Sparano, Jr. Fired Rob Boras January 17
Running backs coach Anthony Lynn (Weeks 1–2), Vacant (Weeks 3–17)Resigned [8] Kelly Skipper January 18
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman (Weeks 1–2), Anthony Lynn (Weeks 3–16)Fired (Roman) Rick Dennison January 19
Assistant offensive line coach Pat Meyer Fired Andrew Dees January 20
Quarterbacks coach David Lee Fired David Culley January 24
Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal Fired Phil McGeoghan February 2
Defensive quality control coachposition created John Egorugwu February 2
Offensive quality control coachposition created Marc Lubick February 2
Assistant special teams coach Eric Smith Fired Matt Smiley February 2
Special teams quality control Kathryn Smith position abolishedFebruary 2
Assistant defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich Fired Bill Teerlinck February 2
Defensive backs coach Tim McDonald Fired Gill Byrd February 7
Assistant defensive backs coach Ed Reed Fired Bobby Babich February 7
Player engagement and alumni director Paul Lancaster Fired Marlon Kerner April 3
Assistant strength and conditioning coach Hal Luther Fired Will Greenberg April 3
Assistant athletic trainer Jason Rebrovich Fired Denny Kellington April 3

Front office

PositionNameReason2017 replacementDateNotes
General manager Doug Whaley Fired Brandon Beane May 9
Player personnel advisor Kelvin Fisher FiredVacant
Assistant general managerVacant Joe Schoen May 14
Player personnel director Jim Monos Fired Malik Boyd May 17
Assistant director of college scoutingVacant Lake Dawson May 18
National scoutVacantMarvin AllenMay 18
National scoutVacantBrian AdamsMay 18
College scouting directorVacant Terrance Gray May 25
BLESTO scoutVacant Marcus Cooper May 25
Northeast area scoutVacantPete HarrisMay 25
Pro scoutVacant Chris Marrow May 25

Roster changes


PositionPlayer2016 TeamDate signedNotes
LS Reid Ferguson NoneJanuary 2, 20172 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)
RB Cedric O’Neal Philadelphia Eagles January 2, 20172 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)
CB Joe Powell New York Giants January 2, 20172 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)
CB Max Valles Buffalo Bills January 2, 20172 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)
QB Josh Woodrum Chicago Bears January 2, 20172 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)
SS Colt Anderson Buffalo Bills January 27, 20171-year extension/$900,000
LB Ramon Humber New England Patriots February 16, 20171 year/$900,000
FB Mike Tolbert Carolina Panthers March 8, 2017
S Micah Hyde Green Bay Packers March 9, 2017
S Jordan Poyer Cleveland Browns March 9, 2017
FB Patrick DiMarco Atlanta Falcons March 9, 2017
G Vladimir Ducasse Baltimore Ravens March 9, 2017
K Steven Hauschka Seattle Seahawks March 9, 20174 years
WR Corey Brown Carolina Panthers March 12, 2017
DE Ryan Davis Dallas Cowboys March 13, 2017
WR Jeremy Butler San Diego Chargers March 13, 2017
RB Joe Banyard Jacksonville Jaguars March 17, 2017
CB Leonard Johnson Carolina Panthers March 17, 2017
WR Corey Washington NoneMarch 17, 2017
WR Andre Holmes Oakland Raiders March 18, 20173 years/$6.5 million
CB Marcus Cromartie San Francisco 49ers April 7, 2017
T Cameron Jefferson Denver Broncos April 7, 2017
LB Jacob Lindsey NoneApril 7, 2017
DE Jake Metz Philadelphia Eagles April 7, 2017
OL Jordan Mudge NoneApril 7, 2017
DB Bradley Sylve NoneApril 7, 2017
LB Junior Sylvestre Indianapolis Colts April 7, 2017
LB Eddie Yarbrough Denver Broncos April 7, 2017
DE Ian Seau Los Angeles Rams April 10, 2017
QB T.J. Yates Miami Dolphins April 10, 2017
S Trae Elston Cleveland Browns April 21, 2017
CB Shareece Wright Baltimore Ravens May 1, 20171 year
CB Charles James Houston Texans/Indianapolis Colts May 2, 2017
LB Carl Bradford San Francisco 49ers May 9, 2017
TE Wes Saxton Washington Redskins May 24, 2017
WR Rod Streater San Francisco 49ers May 24, 2017
LB Gerald Hodges San Francisco 49ers May 25, 2017
CB Greg Mabin NoneJune 1, 2017
WR Rashad Ross San Francisco 49ers June 6, 2017
S Bacarri Rambo Miami Dolphins July 25, 2017
LB Sam Barrington Kansas City Chiefs/New Orleans Saints July 25, 2017
OL Karim Barton Tennessee Titans July 25, 2017
RB Taiwan Jones Oakland Raiders August 2, 2017
WR Anquan Boldin Detroit Lions August 7, 20171 year/$2.75 million
CB Jumal Rolle Baltimore Ravens August 12, 2017
TE Rory Anderson Chicago Bears August 20, 2017
S Adrian McDonald Los Angeles Chargers August 20, 2017
QB Keith Wenning NoneAugust 28, 2017
QB Joe Webb Carolina Panthers September 4, 2017
DT Cedric Thornton Dallas Cowboys September 5, 2017
S Shamarko Thomas Pittsburgh Steelers October 3, 2017


PositionPlayer2017 TeamDate signedNotesSource
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman Los Angeles Rams March 7, 2017
CB Stephon Gilmore New England Patriots March 9, 20175 years/$65 million
WR Robert Woods Los Angeles Rams March 9, 20175 years/$39 million
LS Garrison Sanborn Tampa Bay Buccaneers March 14, 20171 year/$950,000
QB E.J. Manuel Oakland Raiders March 20, 20171 year/$800,000
RB Mike Gillislee New England Patriots April 24, 20172 years/$6.4 million
S Corey Graham Philadelphia Eagles August 3, 20171 year


Player/picks acquiredFromDate tradedPlayer/picks traded
Conditional 7th-round pick Los Angeles Chargers July 26, 2017 Cardale Jones
E. J. Gaines
2nd-round pick
Los Angeles Rams August 11, 2017 Sammy Watkins
6th-round pick
Jordan Matthews
3rd-round pick
Philadelphia Eagles August 11, 2017 Ronald Darby
2019 4th-round pick Kansas City Chiefs August 28, 2017 Reggie Ragland
Kaelin Clay
2019 7th-round pick
Carolina Panthers September 2, 2017 Kevon Seymour
Conditional 6th-round pick Jacksonville Jaguars October 27, 2017 Marcell Dareus
Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers October 31, 20173rd-round pick
7th-round pick


PositionPlayerDateNotes / Source
TE Gerald Christian March 6, 2017
K Dan Carpenter March 6, 2017
S Phillip Thomas March 6, 2017
WR Marcus Easley March 8, 2017
S Aaron Williams March 9, 2017
CB Marcus Cromartie May 11, 2017
CBMarcus RobersonMay 11, 2017
WR Corey Washington May 11, 2017
LB Junior Sylvestre May 15, 2017
WR Jeremy Butler May 15, 2017
T Cyrus Kouandjio May 24, 2017
QB Josh Woodrum May 24, 2017
CB Charles Gaines May 25, 2017
S Jonathan Dowling June 1, 2017
LB Anthony Harrell July 25, 2017
C Patrick Lewis July 25, 2017
CB Charles James August 12, 2017
K Austin Rehkow August 20, 2017
S Bacarri Rambo August 29, 2017
OL Karim Barton August 29, 2017
DE Jake Metz August 29, 2017
RB Cedric O’Neal August 29, 2017
CB Jumal Rolle August 29, 2017
WR Rashad Ross August 29, 2017
QB Keith Wenning September 2, 2017
RB Jordan Johnson September 2, 2017
WR Jeremy Butler September 2, 2017
WR Dezmin Lewis September 2, 2017
WR Brandon Reilly September 2, 2017
WR Daikiel Shorts September 2, 2017
TE Rory Anderson September 2, 2017
TE Wes Saxton September 2, 2017
OL Cameron Jefferson September 2, 2017
OL Jordan Mudge September 2, 2017
OL Michael Ola September 2, 2017
OG Greg Pyke September 2, 2017
OG Zach Voytek September 2, 2017
DE Marquavius Lewis September 2, 2017
DT Nigel Williams September 2, 2017
DE Ian Seau September 2, 2017
DE Max Valles September 2, 2017
LB Sam Harrington September 2, 2017
LB Carl Bradford September 2, 2017
LB Jacob Lindsey September 2, 2017
CB Marcus Sayles September 2, 2017
CB Bradley Sylve September 2, 2017
S Shamiel Gary September 2, 2017
S Adrian McDonald September 2, 2017
S Joe Powell September 2, 2017
S B.T. Sanders September 2, 2017
RB Jonathan Williams September 3, 2017
LB Gerald Hodges September 3, 2017
CB Marcus Sayles September 5, 2017
S B.T. Sanders September 5, 2017
CB Greg Mabin September 12, 2017
WR Daikiel Shorts September 12, 2017
LB Jelani Jenkins September 19, 2017
S Robert Blanton October 3, 2017
DE Eric Lee October 3, 2017


WR Percy Harvin March 17, 2017
WR Anquan Boldin August 20, 2017


2017 Buffalo Bills draft
127 Tre'Davious White  *  Cornerback LSU Trade from KC
237 Zay Jones   Wide receiver East Carolina Trade from LAR
263 Dion Dawkins   Guard Temple Trade from ATL
5163 Matt Milano   Linebacker Boston College Compensatory pick from NE
5171 Nathan Peterman   Quarterback Pittsburgh Trade from DAL
6195 Tanner Vallejo   Linebacker Boise State
      Made roster        Pro Football Hall of Fame     *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


Undrafted free agents

TEJason Croom Tennessee
RB Jordan Johnson Buffalo
DEMarquavius Lewis South Carolina
K/P Austin Rehkow Idaho
WR Brandon Reilly Nebraska
GGreg Pyke Georgia
SB.T. Sanders Nicholls State
CB Marcus Sayles West Georgia
WRDaikiel Shorts West Virginia
TEKeith Towbridge Louisville
S Jeremy Tyler West Virginia
DT Nigel Williams Virginia Tech
GZach Voytek New Haven


2017 Buffalo Bills staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

Final roster

2017 Buffalo Bills final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
53 active, 9 inactive, 10 practice squad


WeekDateOpponentResultRecordGame siteNFL.com
1August 10 Minnesota Vikings L 10–170–1 New Era Field Recap
2August 17at Philadelphia Eagles L 16–200–2 Lincoln Financial Field Recap
3August 26at Baltimore Ravens L 9–130–3 M&T Bank Stadium Recap
4August 31 Detroit Lions W 27–171–3New Era Field Recap

Regular season


WeekDateOpponentResultRecordGame siteNFL.com
1 September 10 New York Jets W 21–121–0 New Era Field Recap
2 September 17at Carolina Panthers L 3–91–1 Bank of America Stadium Recap
3 September 24 Denver Broncos W 26–162–1New Era Field Recap
4 October 1at Atlanta Falcons W 23–173–1 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
5 October 8at Cincinnati Bengals L 16–203–2 Paul Brown Stadium Recap
6 Bye
7 October 22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 30–274–2New Era Field Recap
8 October 29 Oakland Raiders W 34–145–2New Era Field Recap
9 November 2at New York Jets L 21–345–3 MetLife Stadium Recap
10 November 12 New Orleans Saints L 10–475–4New Era Field Recap
11 November 19at Los Angeles Chargers L 24–545–5 StubHub Center Recap
12 November 26at Kansas City Chiefs W 16–106–5 Arrowhead Stadium Recap
13 December 3 New England Patriots L 3–236–6New Era Field Recap
14 December 10 Indianapolis Colts W 13–7 (OT)7–6New Era Field Recap
15 December 17 Miami Dolphins W 24–168–6New Era Field Recap
16 December 24at New England Patriots L 16–378–7 Gillette Stadium Recap
17 December 31at Miami Dolphins W 22–169–7 Hard Rock Stadium Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. New York Jets

Week One: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

With the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots losing 42–27 to the Kansas City Chiefs to kick off the 2017 NFL season and Hurricane Irma delaying the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Week 11, the Bills hoped to take advantage and grab first place in the AFC East by beating the Jets, who swept them in 2016. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw 1-yard TD passes to both TE Charles Clay and WR Andre Holmes, while FB Mike Tolbert rushed for a third touchdown. With Tolbert's score, the Bills recorded a rushing touchdown in 13 straight games, tying a team record set in 1980 and extending the longest active streak in the NFL. Safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde both got their first takeaways as Bills in the fourth quarter, with Hyde's interception ending any hope of a Jets rally. With the win, the Bills opened the season at 1–0 and in first place in the AFC East heading into their Week 2 matchup with head coach Sean McDermott's former team, the Carolina Panthers. [9]

Week 2: at Carolina Panthers

Week Two: Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers – Game summary

at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Date: September 17
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 83 °F (28 °C), sunny
  • Game attendance: 74,122
  • Referee: Walt Coleman
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

Looking for their first 2–0 start since 2014, the Bills traveled to Bank of America Stadium for an inter-conference matchup with the Panthers. Many former Panthers players and personnel made their return to Carolina as members of the Bills, including fullback Mike Tolbert, cornerback Leonard Johnson, wide receiver Kaelin Clay, general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. Unfortunately, despite the defense sacking Panthers QB Cam Newton six times and only allowing three field goals from Graham Gano, the Bills offense couldn’t take advantage, only managing a 45-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka in the fourth quarter, the team's lowest points since losing 45–3 to the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. A potential game-winning touchdown pass from QB Tyrod Taylor to rookie WR Zay Jones on 4th-and-11 with 0:09 remaining sailed off Jones’ fingertips, putting the game away for the Panthers. The Bills fell to 1–1 with the loss. [10]

Week 3: vs. Denver Broncos

Week Three: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

Following a close loss to the Panthers, the Bills returned home to host the Denver Broncos. Despite RB LeSean McCoy only amassing 21 rushing yards, the Bills still managed to score with QB Tyrod Taylor passing for 213 yards and two touchdowns and kicker Steven Hauschka kicking four field goals, including two from beyond 50 yards. The Bills defense intercepted QB Trevor Siemian twice as the team won a close-fought game 26–16. An unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty against LB Von Miller allowed the Bills to continue a stalled drive in the fourth quarter and ice the game with Hauschka's fourth field goal. With the win, the Bills improved to 2–1 heading into their Week 4 matchup against the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.

Prior to the game, several members of both teams knelt during the national anthem in the wake of President Donald Trump's comments regarding NFL players who protested. [11]

Week 4: at Atlanta Falcons

Week Four: Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

Looking to continue their winning ways after upsetting the Broncos the previous week, the Bills traveled to Atlanta to take on the Atlanta Falcons, who made it to the Super Bowl the previous season, as FB Patrick DiMarco made his first return to Atlanta since signing with the Bills in free agency. The Bills defense held the Falcons in check for most of the game and TE Charles Clay recorded his first 100-yard receiving game since 2015. A key highlight was a fumble from Falcons QB Matt Ryan that arguably looked like a forward pass, but was ruled a fumble and returned for a 52-yard TD by rookie CB Tre'Davious White. With the win, the Bills improve to 3–1 for the first time since 2011 and regained sole possession of first place in the AFC East with the Patriots losing 33–30 to the Panthers, but lost starting receiver Jordan Matthews and starting linebacker Ramon Humber to multi-week thumb injuries. [12]

Week 5: at Cincinnati Bengals

Week Five: Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals – Game summary

at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Game information

Looking to continue their winning ways after upsetting the Falcons the week prior, the Bills traveled down to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, who got their first win of the season when they defeated their rival Cleveland Browns 31–7 the previous week. Already missing wideout Jordan Matthews, the Bills offense sputtered for the most part after tight end Charles Clay suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and was ruled out the rest of the game. The Bengals rallied behind strong performances from quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green despite the duo committing three turnovers, and won a close-fought game in the rain 20–16. With the loss, Buffalo falls to 3–2 going into their bye week. [13]

Week 7: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week Seven: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

Fresh off their bye week, the Bills returned home to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. LeSean McCoy scored his first two touchdowns of the season as the Bills won a shootout match 30–27, with their final 10 points coming in the last three minutes of the game. With Tampa Bay taking the lead after forcing McCoy to fumble and capitalizing with a Mike Evans touchdown pass from Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor led the Bills 75 yards downfield, connecting with newly signed receiver Deonte Thompson for 44 yards to help set up McCoy's second touchdown. Tre'Davious White then forced the Buccaneers to fumble on their ensuing drive, setting up Steven Hauschka's game winning field goal. The Bills improve to 4–2 with the win. [14]

Note: Former Bills Garrison Sanborn and Ryan Fitzpatrick made their first return to New Era Field since signing with the Buccaneers in free agency.

Week 8: vs. Oakland Raiders

Week Eight: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

Game information

The Bills hosted the Oakland Raiders in week 8. This was the first week they were without All-Pro defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, who was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round draft pick just two days prior to the game. Nonetheless, the defense was still able to limit a potent Raiders offense to just 14 points, causing four turnovers in the process. LeSean McCoy led the team with over 180 yards from scrimmage and rookie linebacker Matt Milano also scored off a fumble recovery. With the win, the Bills improved to 5–2 for the third time since 2008. [15]

Week 9: at New York Jets

Week Nine: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets – Game summary

at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

Coming off the convincing win against Oakland, the Bills traveled to New Jersey for a Thursday Night rematch against their division rivals New York Jets. Though heavily favored to win, the Bills played poorly on defense and allowed the Jets to run for 194 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The offense surrendered three fumbles which ultimately influenced the course of the game, despite receivers Zay Jones and Deonte Thompson catching their first touchdowns as members of the Bills. With the loss, the Bills fell to 5–3. [16]

Week 10: vs. New Orleans Saints

Week Ten: New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: November 12
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 42 °F (6 °C), cloudy
  • Game attendance: 67,501
  • Referee: Terry McAulay
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber and Kristina Pink
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

For the second consecutive week, the Bills run defense under-performed, allowing 296 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints. To make matters worse, the offense was unable to stay on the field, attaining only five first downs and a field goal prior to rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman replacing Tyrod Taylor late in the fourth quarter. With the blowout loss, the Bills fall to 5–4. [17]

Week 11: at Los Angeles Chargers

Week Eleven: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers – Game summary

at StubHub Center, Carson, California

Game information

Nathan Peterman started in Tyrod Taylor's place. Peterman was benched at halftime after going 6 of 14 for 66 yards with 5 interceptions. [18]

Week 12: at Kansas City Chiefs

Week Twelve: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

After consecutive weeks of playing bad defense, the Bills were finally able to rebound, holding Kansas City to just 10 points as Tyrod Taylor returned to the starting lineup on offense. Tre'Davious White sealed the win for Buffalo in the fourth quarter with an interception off Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. With the win, the Bills snap their three-game losing streak and improve to 6–5.

Week 13: vs. New England Patriots

Week Thirteen: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: December 3
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 48 °F (9 °C), mostly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 68,499
  • Referee: Gene Steratore
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

Though Buffalo was able to hold the potent Patriots offense to just nine first-half points, it was not enough to beat them, as the Patriots won 23–3. Multiple Bills starters were injured, including Tyrod Taylor and Shaq Lawson. Perhaps the defining moment of the game occurred in the fourth quarter, when Tre'Davious White intercepted a pass intended for Rob Gronkowski. Upset that no pass interference penalty was called on White, Gronkowski reacted by jumping elbow-first onto White, who was still on the ground. The play resulted in White landing on the concussion protocol and Gronkowski receiving a one-game suspension as a result of his actions. [19]

Week 14: vs. Indianapolis Colts

Week Fourteen: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: December 10
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 32 °F (0 °C), heavy lake effect snow
  • Game attendance: 60,222
  • Referee: Brad Allen
  • TV announcers (CBS): Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta and Steve Tasker
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

The game against Indianapolis, called the "Snow Bowl" by the media, was notable for being held in the midst of a lake-effect snow storm that left over a foot of snow on the stadium's turf. The heavy snow and strong winds caused severe complications, making it difficult for CBS to televise the game due to low visibility and prompting both teams to run the ball far more often and make more fourth-down conversion attempts than would otherwise have been attempted, since kicking the ball was less reliable. The amount of snow on the ground did prove to be an advantage for the punters, since the ball did not bounce upon landing, making precision coffin corner punts easier. [20] Nathan Peterman made his second start with Tyrod Taylor injured, and was able to post a respectable performance before leaving in the third quarter with a concussion. The low-scoring game went into overtime, and did not end until LeSean McCoy rushed for a touchdown with under two minutes to go in the extra period. The Bills improved to 7–6 with the win. [21]

Week 15: vs. Miami Dolphins

Week Fifteen: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills – Game summary

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: December 17
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 22 °F (−6 °C), mostly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 62,202
  • Referee: Jerome Boger
  • TV announcers (CBS): Beth Mowins and Jay Feely
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

LeSean McCoy surpassed 10,000 rushing yards during the game, becoming just the 30th NFL running back to do so.

Week 16: at New England Patriots

Week Sixteen: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots – Game summary

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Date: December 24
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 35 °F (2 °C), cloudy
  • Game attendance: 65,878
  • Referee: Craig Wrolstad
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson
  • Recap, Gamebook
Game information

A play near the end of the second quarter proved to be particularly controversial. Receiver Kelvin Benjamin caught a pass in the closing seconds of the second quarter that was initially ruled a touchdown by the on-field officials; however, the league's replay official, Alberto Riveron, determined that Benjamin did not have control of the ball until after his foot left the turf and Riveron overturned the touchdown, forcing the Bills to settle for a field goal. [22] Bills owner Terrence Pegula indicated he would protest the decision. [23] Though the first half was close, the Patriots outscored the Bills 24–3 in the second half, culminating in a 37–16 loss for Buffalo.

Week 17: at Miami Dolphins

Week Seventeen: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – Game summary

at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

Game information

The Bills started off the game up 10–0 by halftime and 19–0 by the time the Dolphins added a field goal. The Bills then fought off a comeback, including a fight that saw Jarvis Landry and Kenyan Drake get ejected. After a Miami touchdown that left them down six, history from the Bills–Dolphins game two weeks prior repeated itself: the Dolphins recovered an onside kick, then threw an interception with a minute to go to seal the game. With the win, Buffalo improved to 9–7, earning its first winning season since 2014.

At the end of the game, the Bills were still waiting for the final outcome between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens to determine their fates for the season. With 49 seconds left in that game, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on a 4th-and-12 play, and with the Ravens unable to respond on the following drive, the Bengals beat the Ravens in the fourth quarter. [24] The Bengals' victory allowed the Bills to enter the playoffs over the Ravens, thus reaching the postseason for the first time in 17 years. [25]

After the game, thousands of grateful Buffalo fans donated money to Dalton's personal charity. Most of the donations were in $17 increments in honor of the Bills breaking their 17-year playoff drought. [26] In the first 72 hours after the game, over 11,000 people donated a combined over $250,000 to the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation, while Tyler Boyd's charity of choice, the Western Pennsylvania Youth Athletic Association, received $50,000 in donations from Bills fans. [27] [28] Relatedly, the Bills organization announced that they were sending Buffalo wings from Duff's Famous Wings to the Bengals organization, [29] where they were consumed by residents of The Children's Home of Cincinnati. [30] Retired punter Brian Moorman, who punted for the Bills through most of the 17-year playoff drought, also saw an uptick in $17 donations to his charity, the P.U.N.T. Foundation, which has extensive operations in Western New York. [31]

As a result of Buffalo making it into the NFL playoffs for the first time since 1999, the Cleveland Browns now hold the longest NFL postseason drought at 15 seasons. [32] MLB's Seattle Mariners hold the longest such drought in all North American sports at 17 seasons. [33]



AFC East
(1) New England Patriots 1330.8135–110–2458296W3
(6) Buffalo Bills 970.5633–37–5302359W1
Miami Dolphins 6100.3752–45–7281393L3
New York Jets 5110.3132–45–7298382L4


Division leaders
1 [lower-alpha 1] New England Patriots East1330.8135–110–2.484.466W3
2 [lower-alpha 1] Pittsburgh Steelers North1330.8136–010–2.453.423W2
3 [lower-alpha 2] Jacksonville Jaguars South1060.6254–29–3.434.394L2
4 [lower-alpha 2] Kansas City Chiefs West1060.6255–18–4.477.481W4
Wild Cards
5 [lower-alpha 3] Tennessee Titans South970.5635–18–4.434.396W1
6 [lower-alpha 3] Buffalo Bills East970.5633–37–5.492.396W1
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7 [lower-alpha 3] Baltimore Ravens North970.5633–37–5.441.299L1
8 [lower-alpha 3] Los Angeles Chargers West970.5633–36–6.457.347W2
9 Cincinnati Bengals North790.4383–36–6.465.321W2
10 [lower-alpha 4] Oakland Raiders West6100.3752–45–7.512.396L4
11 [lower-alpha 4] Miami Dolphins East6100.3752–45–7.543.531L3
12 [lower-alpha 5] Denver Broncos West5110.3132–44–8.492.413L2
13 [lower-alpha 5] New York Jets East5110.3132–45–7.520.438L4
14 [lower-alpha 6] Indianapolis Colts South4120.2502–43–9.480.219W1
15 [lower-alpha 6] Houston Texans South4120.2501–53–9.516.375L6
16 Cleveland Browns North0160.0000–60–12.520L16
Tiebreakers [lower-alpha 7]
  1. 1 2 New England claimed the No. 1 seed over Pittsburgh based on head-to-head victory.
  2. 1 2 Jacksonville claimed the No. 3 seed over Kansas City based on conference record.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Tennessee finished ahead of Buffalo, Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers based on conference record, claiming the No. 5 seed.
    Buffalo and Baltimore finished ahead of Los Angeles Chargers based on conference record.
    Buffalo claimed the No. 6 seed over Baltimore based on strength of victory.
  4. 1 2 Oakland finished ahead of Miami based on head-to-head victory.
  5. 1 2 Denver finished ahead of the New York Jets based on head-to-head victory.
  6. 1 2 Indianapolis finished ahead of Houston based on head-to-head sweep.
  7. When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.


Playoff roundDateOpponentResultRecordGame siteNFL.com
Wild Card January 7, 2018at Jacksonville Jaguars (3)L 3–100–1 EverBank Field Recap

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: at (#3) Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: (#6) Buffalo Bills at (#3) Jacksonville Jaguars – Game summary

at EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

Game information

The Bills were looking to win their first playoff game since 1995, as they faced the #3-seeded Jacksonville Jaguars, another team that has recently ended a lengthy playoff drought. Despite taking a 3–0 lead shortly before halftime on a kick by Steven Hauschka, the Jaguars would rally for the victory in a hard-fought defensive game, only sealing the victory with an interception by Jalen Ramsey on the Bills' final drive.

Related Research Articles

The 2013 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 44th season in the National Football League and the first under head coach Doug Marrone. It was also the final season under the ownership of Ralph Wilson, who died in March 2014 at the age of 95. The team equaled their record from 2012 and missed the playoffs, increasing their playoff drought to 14 seasons. This was the first year of renewed leases on Ralph Wilson Stadium and for the Bills Toronto Series, both of which were signed in the preceding offseason. The Toronto series was originally set to expire in 2017, but was cancelled in December 2014; the lease on Ralph Wilson Stadium expires in 2022 and will presumably be the last agreement with the aging stadium, as the lease specifies that the process of exploring a new stadium begins during the lease period. The Bills also started the 2013 season with a new starting quarterback, first-round draft pick EJ Manuel, after previous starter Ryan Fitzpatrick refused a pay cut and was subsequently released.

The 2014 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 45th season in the National Football League, 55th season of competition, second under head coach Doug Marrone and the first in franchise history without Ralph Wilson as owner. The Bills defense continued its strong play from last season, finishing first in the league with 54 quarterback sacks. Overall, the Bills improved on their 6–10 record from 2013, finishing with a 9–7 record, their first winning season since 2004, yet they still missed the playoffs.

The 2014 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 82nd season in the National Football League and the second under head coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles led the NFC East for most of the year, but a loss to the Redskins in week 16 eliminated them from playoff contention.

The 2014 Baltimore Ravens season was the franchise's 19th season in the National Football League and the seventh under head coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens improved upon their 8-8 record from 2013, when they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Additionally, the Ravens scored a franchise record 409 points and quarterback Joe Flacco passed for a career-high 27 touchdowns and 3,986 yards.

The 2014 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 45th season in the National Football League, the 47th overall and the twelfth under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals qualified for the playoffs for the 4th consecutive season, but lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the first round, extending their playoff losing streak to 7 games, 3rd longest losing streak in NFL history behind the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs who both have 8.

2015 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 2015 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League, the 56th overall and the third under the head coach/general manager tandem of Andy Reid and John Dorsey. The Chiefs went through a poor start in their first 6 games as they were 1–5, and lost their star running back, Jamaal Charles due to a torn ACL in his right knee during an 18–17 Week 5 loss at home against the Chicago Bears. In week 16, after their 9th consecutive victory and the Baltimore Ravens defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs clinched a playoff berth, their 2nd in 3 years. They are the first team since the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals to start the season 1–5 and qualify for the playoffs. They also set the franchise record for the most consecutive victories, winning 10 in a row. In their Wild Card matchup, the Chiefs played the Houston Texans. The Chiefs defeated the Texans 30–0 to earn their first playoff win in 22 years. The following week, they were defeated by the New England Patriots in the Divisional round by a score of 27–20.

The 2015 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise’s 56th overall season as a football team, 46th in the National Football League, third under leadership of general manager Doug Whaley and first under new head coach Rex Ryan. It was also the first full season under the ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula, having purchased the Bills partway through 2014 after the death of longtime owner Ralph Wilson in March at the age of 95.

2016 Atlanta Falcons season

The 2016 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 51st season in the National Football League and the second under head coach Dan Quinn. It also marked the team's 25th and final season playing their home games at the Georgia Dome, as the Falcons moved into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017. The Falcons won the NFC South for the first time since 2012 and improved on their 8–8 record from 2015, going 11–5 and earning the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Quarterback Matt Ryan was named the 2016 NFL MVP. The Falcons scored 540 points, the most in the NFL for 2016.

The 2016 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 47th season in the National Football League, the 49th overall and the fourteenth under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals regressed from their 12–4 record from 2015, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010, finishing 6–9–1, and finishing in 3rd place in their division. This season would see the Bengals play in London for the first time ever, where they tied the Washington Redskins 27–27.

The 2017 Los Angeles Chargers season was the franchise's 48th season in the National Football League (NFL), the 58th overall, the second in the Greater Los Angeles Area and the first under head coach Anthony Lynn. It was the Chargers' first season in Los Angeles since their inaugural 1960 season, when they were in the AFL, as the team exercised its option to move back to the city and join the Los Angeles Rams on January 12, 2017. The 2017 season was the first of three seasons played at StubHub Center prior to the new stadium in Inglewood being completed in 2020.

2017 Carolina Panthers season

The 2017 Carolina Panthers season was the franchise's 23rd season in the National Football League and the seventh under head coach Ron Rivera. During the offseason, the team's notable free agent signings included Matt Kalil, Captain Munnerlyn and veteran Julius Peppers. Peppers previously spent his first eight seasons with the Panthers, appearing in Super Bowl XXXVIII with them. On July 17, 2017, the team announced Dave Gettleman had been relieved as general manager. His predecessor, Marty Hurney, was hired as interim GM a day later. For the first time since 2011, the Panthers did not play the Seattle Seahawks during the regular season. The Panthers rebounded after a disappointing 2016 campaign, where they finished 6–10 and last in the NFC South. 2017 saw the Panthers qualify for the playoffs with an 11–5 record. However, they lost to the Saints 31–26 in the Wild Card round.

2017 Jacksonville Jaguars season 23rd season in franchise history; first playoff berth since 2007

The 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars season was the franchise's 23rd season in the National Football League and the first under head coach Doug Marrone. Marrone was hired after acting as the team's interim head coach for the final two games of the 2016 season. The team improved on their 3–13 record from 2016 and ended their 10-year playoff drought dating back to 2008 with a week 15 win over the Houston Texans. They also secured their first winning season since 2007 after a 30–24 win over the Seattle Seahawks. On December 24, 2017, they clinched their third division title, and their first AFC South title following a Tennessee Titans loss. They won the wild card game against the Buffalo Bills 10–3, then headed to Pittsburgh, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 45–42 to advance to the AFC Championship to face the New England Patriots, the first time that they have made the AFC Championship Game since 1999. Despite leading for much of the game, the Jaguars would allow two 4th quarter touchdowns, and ultimately lost to the Patriots 24–20.

The 2017 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 48th season in the National Football League, their 50th overall and their 15th under head coach Marvin Lewis. After starting 0–2, scoring only 9 points, and not scoring any touchdowns in their first two games, the Bengals fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor was promoted to offensive coordinator to replace Zampese. The Bengals suffered back to back losing seasons for the first time since 2007–2008. However, the Bengals were able to knock off two teams contending for the playoffs at the end of their season, the Detroit Lions in Week 16, and the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 and helped the Buffalo Bills reach the postseason for the first time since 1999.

The 2018 season was the Baltimore Ravens' 23rd season in the National Football League, 11th under head coach John Harbaugh, and their 17th and final season under general manager Ozzie Newsome.

The 2018 season was the Cincinnati Bengals' 49th season in the National Football League, their 51st overall and their 16th and final under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals failed to improve upon their 2017 campaign as they collapsed to a 6–10 finish to finish in 4th place in the AFC North. This marks the 3rd consecutive season the Bengals have failed to make the playoffs.

2018 Buffalo Bills season 59th season in franchise history

The 2018 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 49th season in the National Football League, and the 59th overall. The season also marked the fourth full season under the ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula and their second under the head coach/general manager tandem of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane. The team previously finished with a 9–7 record in 2017 and returned to the playoffs for the first time after having not been to the playoffs since 1999. After a 21–17 loss to the rival Miami Dolphins in Week 13, the Bills failed to match their 9–7 record from the previous season. They were officially eliminated from playoff contention the following week with a 27–23 loss to the New York Jets, ultimately finishing with a 6–10 record as numerous players from the previous season departed via trades, roster cuts or retirement.

2018 Houston Texans season 17th season in franchise history; final one with Bob McNair

The 2018 season was the Houston Texans' 17th season in the National Football League and their fifth under head coach Bill O'Brien. This marks the first season since 2005 that Rick Smith will not be the general manager as he took a leave of absence for family reasons. Despite an 0–3 start, their first in 10 years, the Texans surpassed their win total from the previous season with a Week 8 win over the Miami Dolphins. They had a franchise record 9 consecutive wins that also broke the NFL record for most consecutive wins after starting 0–3. The streak ended with a Week 14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. With a Week 15 win over the New York Jets, the Texans clinched their first 10-win season under head coach Bill O’Brien, their first 10-win season since 2012 and their 3rd 10-win season in franchise history.

The 2018 season was the Carolina Panthers' 24th in the National Football League and their eighth under head coach Ron Rivera. It was the team's first season without former assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who became head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason and former offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who became the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator of the New York Giants. The Panthers entered the season hoping to improve or match their 11–5 record from last year. After starting 6–2, the Panthers fell into a 7-game losing streak, failing to improve or match their previous season's record, and were eliminated from playoff contention following a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16. Although they went a dismal 1–7 in the second half of the season, the Panthers managed to end on a high note by defeating their division rival New Orleans Saints, 33–14.

2018 New Orleans Saints season

The 2018 season was the New Orleans Saints' 52nd in the National Football League, their 43rd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and their 12th under head coach Sean Payton.

2019 Buffalo Bills season 60th season in franchise history; first 10-win season since 1999

The 2019 Buffalo Bills season was the team's 60th overall, 50th in the National Football League, fifth full under the ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula and third under the head coach/general manager tandem of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane. With a 37–20 win over Miami Dolphins in Week 11, they improved on their 6–10 record from 2018. The Bills also clinched their second winning season in three years and fourth in 20 years after a 26–15 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day that gave them their ninth win of the season. In Week 14, despite losing 24–17 to the Baltimore Ravens, the Bills' 9–4 record marked the first time since 1996 that the team won at least nine of their first 13 games and matching their highest full-season win total in the 21st century with three games left to play.


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