|2017 Buffalo Bills season|
|Head coach||Sean McDermott|
|General manager||Brandon Beane|
|Owner||Terry and Kim Pegula|
|Home field||New Era Field|
|Division place||2nd AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Jaguars) 3–10|
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).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.Beane, who signed an undisclosed deal on May 9, 2017, replaced Doug Whaley, who was fired by Pegula after the 2017 NFL Draft. 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. 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. The 2017 season was also the first under McDermott, who spent the previous eight seasons as defensive coordinator, the last six with the Panthers. 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.
|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||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 coach||position created||John Egorugwu||February 2|
|Offensive quality control coach||position created||Marc Lubick||February 2|
|Assistant special teams coach||Eric Smith||Fired||Matt Smiley||February 2|
|Special teams quality control||Kathryn Smith||position abolished||February 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|
|General manager||Doug Whaley||Fired||Brandon Beane||May 9|
|Player personnel advisor||Kelvin Fisher||Fired||Vacant|
|Assistant general manager||Vacant||Joe Schoen||May 14|
|Player personnel director||Jim Monos||Fired||Malik Boyd||May 17|
|Assistant director of college scouting||Vacant||Lake Dawson||May 18|
|National scout||Vacant||Marvin Allen||May 18|
|National scout||Vacant||Brian Adams||May 18|
|College scouting director||Vacant||Terrance Gray||May 25|
|BLESTO scout||Vacant||Marcus Cooper||May 25|
|Northeast area scout||Vacant||Pete Harris||May 25|
|Pro scout||Vacant||Chris Marrow||May 25|
|Position||Player||2016 Team||Date signed||Notes|
|LS||Reid Ferguson||None||January 2, 2017||2 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)|
|RB||Cedric O’Neal||Philadelphia Eagles||January 2, 2017||2 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)|
|CB||Joe Powell||New York Giants||January 2, 2017||2 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)|
|CB||Max Valles||Buffalo Bills||January 2, 2017||2 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)|
|QB||Josh Woodrum||Chicago Bears||January 2, 2017||2 years/$1.02 million (Reserve/Future)|
|SS||Colt Anderson||Buffalo Bills||January 27, 2017||1-year extension/$900,000|
|LB||Ramon Humber||New England Patriots||February 16, 2017||1 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, 2017||4 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||None||March 17, 2017|
|WR||Andre Holmes||Oakland Raiders||March 18, 2017||3 years/$6.5 million|
|CB||Marcus Cromartie||San Francisco 49ers||April 7, 2017|
|T||Cameron Jefferson||Denver Broncos||April 7, 2017|
|LB||Jacob Lindsey||None||April 7, 2017|
|DE||Jake Metz||Philadelphia Eagles||April 7, 2017|
|OL||Jordan Mudge||None||April 7, 2017|
|DB||Bradley Sylve||None||April 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, 2017||1 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||None||June 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, 2017||1 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||None||August 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|
|Position||Player||2017 Team||Date signed||Notes||Source|
|CB||Nickell Robey-Coleman||Los Angeles Rams||March 7, 2017|
|CB||Stephon Gilmore||New England Patriots||March 9, 2017||5 years/$65 million|
|WR||Robert Woods||Los Angeles Rams||March 9, 2017||5 years/$39 million|
|LS||Garrison Sanborn||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||March 14, 2017||1 year/$950,000|
|QB||E.J. Manuel||Oakland Raiders||March 20, 2017||1 year/$800,000|
|RB||Mike Gillislee||New England Patriots||April 24, 2017||2 years/$6.4 million|
|S||Corey Graham||Philadelphia Eagles||August 3, 2017||1 year|
|Player/picks acquired||From||Date traded||Player/picks traded|
|Conditional 7th-round pick||Los Angeles Chargers||July 26, 2017||Cardale Jones|
| E. J. Gaines |
|Los Angeles Rams||August 11, 2017|| Sammy Watkins |
| Jordan Matthews |
|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, 2017||3rd-round pick|
|Position||Player||Date||Notes / 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|
|CB||Marcus Roberson||May 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|
|1||27||Tre'Davious White *||Cornerback||LSU||Trade from KC|
|2||37||Zay Jones||Wide receiver||East Carolina||Trade from LAR|
|2||63||Dion Dawkins||Guard||Temple||Trade from ATL|
|5||163||Matt Milano||Linebacker||Boston College||Compensatory pick from NE|
|5||171||Nathan Peterman||Quarterback||Pittsburgh||Trade from DAL|
|6||195||Tanner Vallejo||Linebacker||Boise State|
|Made roster Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during career|
|DE||Marquavius Lewis||South Carolina|
|S||B.T. Sanders||Nicholls State|
|CB||Marcus Sayles||West Georgia|
|WR||Daikiel Shorts||West Virginia|
|S||Jeremy Tyler||West Virginia|
|DT||Nigel Williams||Virginia Tech|
|G||Zach Voytek||New Haven|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1||Minnesota Vikings||L 10–17||0–1||New Era Field||Recap|
|2||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 16–20||0–2||Lincoln Financial Field||Recap|
|3||at Baltimore Ravens||L 9–13||0–3||M&T Bank Stadium||Recap|
|4||Detroit Lions||W 27–17||1–3||New Era Field||Recap|
|1||September 10||New York Jets||W 21–12||1–0||New Era Field||Recap|
|2||September 17||at Carolina Panthers||L 3–9||1–1||Bank of America Stadium||Recap|
|3||September 24||Denver Broncos||W 26–16||2–1||New Era Field||Recap|
|4||October 1||at Atlanta Falcons||W 23–17||3–1||Mercedes-Benz Stadium||Recap|
|5||October 8||at Cincinnati Bengals||L 16–20||3–2||Paul Brown Stadium||Recap|
|7||October 22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 30–27||4–2||New Era Field||Recap|
|8||October 29||Oakland Raiders||W 34–14||5–2||New Era Field||Recap|
|9||at New York Jets||L 21–34||5–3||MetLife Stadium||Recap|
|10||November 12||New Orleans Saints||L 10–47||5–4||New Era Field||Recap|
|11||November 19||at Los Angeles Chargers||L 24–54||5–5||StubHub Center||Recap|
|12||November 26||at Kansas City Chiefs||W 16–10||6–5||Arrowhead Stadium||Recap|
|13||December 3||New England Patriots||L 3–23||6–6||New Era Field||Recap|
|14||December 10||Indianapolis Colts||W 13–7 (OT)||7–6||New Era Field||Recap|
|15||December 17||Miami Dolphins||W 24–16||8–6||New Era Field||Recap|
|16||December 24||at New England Patriots||L 16–37||8–7||Gillette Stadium||Recap|
|17||December 31||at Miami Dolphins||W 22–16||9–7||Hard Rock Stadium||Recap|
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.
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.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.
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.
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.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.
Note: Former Bills Garrison Sanborn and Ryan Fitzpatrick made their first return to New Era Field since signing with the Buccaneers in free agency.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.
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.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.
Nathan Peterman started in Tyrod Taylor's place. Peterman was benched at halftime after going 6 of 14 for 66 yards with 5 interceptions.
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.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
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.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.
at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
LeSean McCoy surpassed 10,000 rushing yards during the game, becoming just the 30th NFL running back to do so.
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.Bills owner Terrence Pegula indicated he would protest the decision. 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.
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.The Bengals' victory allowed the Bills to enter the playoffs over the Ravens, thus reaching the postseason for the first time in 17 years.
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.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. Relatedly, the Bills organization announced that they were sending Buffalo wings from Duff's Famous Wings to the Bengals organization, where they were consumed by residents of The Children's Home of Cincinnati. 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.
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.MLB's Seattle Mariners hold the longest such drought in all North American sports at 17 seasons.
|(1) New England Patriots||13||3||0||.813||5–1||10–2||458||296||W3|
|(6) Buffalo Bills||9||7||0||.563||3–3||7–5||302||359||W1|
|New York Jets||5||11||0||.313||2–4||5–7||298||382||L4|
|1||New England Patriots||East||13||3||0||.813||5–1||10–2||.484||.466||W3|
|4||Kansas City Chiefs||West||10||6||0||.625||5–1||8–4||.477||.481||W4|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|8||Los Angeles Chargers||West||9||7||0||.563||3–3||6–6||.457||.347||W2|
|13||New York Jets||East||5||11||0||.313||2–4||5–7||.520||.438||L4|
|Playoff round||Date||Opponent||Result||Record||Game site||NFL.com|
|Wild Card||January 7, 2018||at Jacksonville Jaguars (3)||L 3–10||0–1||EverBank Field||Recap|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.