The Buffalo Bills will play meaningful football for the entire 2017 season.
Their 24-16 victory Sunday over the Miami Dolphins guaranteed that the Bills will be alive in the AFC playoff race through the final game of the year – when they will visit those same Dolphins in South Florida. Before that looms a trip to New England for the biggest game in ... well, a really long time. The Bills don't quite control their own destiny, but if they were to run the table, they would have a great chance to end a 17-year postseason drought.
"We take them one at a time, really," coach Sean McDermott said. "This is a team that we’re going to face in two weeks here again and they’re a good football team so we’ve got a lot of work to do, as you saw, and we’ve got to get back at work Monday."
If you're curious about what needs to happen for the Bills to get into the playoffs, Nick Veronica did a comprehensive breakdown here.
Here's a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after Week 15:
QB Tyrod Taylor: The Dolphins continue to bring out the best in Taylor, who led three touchdown drives of at least 75 yards in the first half alone. Taylor did everything you would hope in the first two quarters, using his mobility to escape trouble, making good decisions and throwing with impressive accuracy. He deserved to go home Sunday with a smile on his face, especially after dealing with a benching and injury in recent weeks.
S Jordan Poyer: He had his third interception of the season and also broke up a pass intended for Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry at the goal line. Of Poyer's six tackles, three of them were classified as "stops" by the analytics website Pro Football Focus, which defines that stat as an offensive failure given down and distance.
RB Travaris Cadet: Mike Tolbert was a healthy inactive, leaving Cadet as the lone backup to LeSean McCoy. As he has for the most part since coming to the Bills, Cadet made the most of his opportunity, gaining 24 yards on four carries and 14 yards on one catch.
WR Zay Jones: Where has he gone? Since making a big touchdown catch in Week 12 at Kansas City, Jones has totally disappeared from the Bills' offense. He has been shut out entirely the last two games, failing to catch either target Sunday. One of those was a good deep ball from Taylor that Jones had in his hands, but got knocked away by a Miami defender. It wasn't a drop, but it's a ball the Bills would love Jones to pull in.
DT Adolphus Washington: What was Washington thinking in the second half? His personal foul for attempting to slap the ball away from Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake well after the play was over was perhaps the dumbest penalty a member of the Bills has taken all season.
RT Jordan Mills: He took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that turned a chip-shot field goal into one Stephen Hauschka had to work for, and was also charged with allowing a pair of quarterback hurries. Mills was given the Bills' lowest overall grade on offense by PFF.