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Wild End to Ravens Game, Snaps Bills 18-Year Playoff Drought

The 18-year playoff drought for the Buffalo Bills ended on Sunday when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 22-16 and the Baltimore Ravens lost in the final seconds 31-27 to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bills were able to take the final spot of the AFC playoff lineup when the Ravens were stunned by the Bengals scoring a touchdown on fourth and 12. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton three a touchdown strike of 49 yards to Tyler Boyd with just 44 seconds left in regulation.

Buffalo fans were out to in sub-zero temperatures to welcome the Bills back to Buffalo on Monday after the team returned from Miami.

Buffalo, which finished the season 9-7, earned the AFC No. 6 seed and faces the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in a wildcard matchup. Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone will be coaching against his former team for the first time since he resigned as head coach of the Bills in 2014.

After defeating Miami, some of the players for the Bills were cheering on the Bengals, who at the time trailed the Ravens 27-24. Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said some of his players were holding hands and praying and that some of them cried as the Bengals won in the final seconds over Baltimore.

The Bills are in, but have long odds to overcome. When the season started in September, the Bills were 200 to 1 to win the Super Bowl, following Week 8, they were 5-2 and their odds had dropped to 50 to 1. At 5-5 the Bills odds mushroomed to 500 to 1 and following their win Sunday they were 100 to 1.

Buffalo last qualified for the postseason in 1999, when the Tennessee Titans eliminated them on a kickoff return in the final second for a TD that since then has been called the “Music City Miracle.”

Buffalo’s 17 seasons without a playoff berth was the longest active drought in the league and the longest in the history of the NFL since the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970.

The Browns now won the league’s longest active drought for reaching the playoffs that dates back to 2002 or 15 seasons.

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